Persistence is certainly the key, but beyond that, finding a job via the Internet is TOUGH. Depending upon your focus in your job search (not sure what field you are looking to get into), networking is essential. Talk to family and friends to see who they know... and then talk to those people and if they do not have a direct connection, get more names from them.
The best jobs I have ever had in my career have always had some kind of networking component involved in my getting the job. The best jobs out there are not necessarily posted.
Yea, I heard that something like 90% of the job openings out there aren't posted, and most people get there jobs by knowing someone working at the company.
I'm trying to get into anything in a systems installation (comms equip.) that goes along with my CTM (Cryptologic Tech, simmilar to an Electronics Tech) experience in the Navy.
I was also a Govt. contractor for BAE Systems in Virginia and got some good experience there.
I have a head hunter working with me looking to fill a possition in SC, where they are looking specifically for CTMs out of the Navy. The company has my resume and he hasn't heard back from them yet (only 3 days), but I don't like waiting too long.
Don't spend too much time on the internet. It is the black hole of resumes! Last time I was looking, I found one posting had the hiring managers phone#. A couple days after submitting my resume, I called & asked him about it. He told me there currently was no opening. He had the posting there so when he did need someone, he would already have a pile of resumes.
Another time I applied for a job posting for the company I was already at. I asked HR about it & was told that this position wasn't real. Anytime a H1 visa is used to fill a job, Federal law requires the job be posted on a regular basis (annually?) The law says nothing of actually hiring a citizen & booting the visa.
I don't know any statistics, but I have the feeling this is pretty common. Work your contacts! Most people are hired because some random contact introduces them to the right person.
You'll have a chance if your resume gets looked at by a headhunter. I've gotten one job by persisting through hotjobs. A headhunter was looking to fill a company's position and used hotjobs to place it.
I wouldn't waste time with sites like monster.com or hotjobs. Go directly to the company website. They're usually kept current. I know that at the company I work for we post jobs internally for a week or two then they go on our company website. Applying online is how I got my current job.
I've gotten a number of hits off of my Monster resume. Use the Resume builder on monster, don't upload the same old resume you've been handing out. The resume builder asks alot of different questions that I'd never have thought to put on my resume. Make sure it's searchable, and give it an interesting title, not just "Drafter with 10 years ACAD exp." The title for mine is "AutoCAD Samuri"! I've been hit 15-20 times for further info/interviews in the lasts 2 years.
I have actually gotten jobs and numerous interviews from Monster.com. Some from submitting my resume, and some from cold-calls (company called me). I have also been in the position of having to hire people, many of whom submitted their resume via Monster.
A few general guidelines (warning--Long post):
Unless the job listing tells you to ONLY submit via Monster/HotJobs/etc, submit it to the company directly. If there is not a contact person listed on the job posting, go to the company website and find one. It makes you stand out a bit.
Cover letters are important. Remember, the person reviewing your resume likely has at least a hundred applications to look through. An interesting, well written cover letter means your resume will actually be read, rather than merely skimmed and discarded. If you are emailing your resume, your cover letter should be the body of your email, and attach your resume as a standard document type file (MS Word .doc, Rich Text .rtf, PDF, etcc).
Make sure that you have no spelling, grammar, or formatting mistakes on your resume/cover letter. Remember, reviewers are looking for a reason to discard your resume to shorten their list.
If a job is asking for specific skills (ex: work with Oracle DB), ensure that you have the relevant skill listed prominently. This is especially important for jobs at large companies, where the person reviewing your resume typically does not work in the department you are applying for, and has minimal (if any) knowledge of the skill set necessary, and is merely looking for keywords.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to limit your resume to one page. If you have enough experience/skills, you can go into a two-page format, with a third page for your references. Depending upon the reviewer, a single page resume might be viewed as someone who has minimal experience.
On Monster/HotJobs/etc, the title of your posting does matter. The title is basically a mini-cover letter, and needs to grab someone's attention. Do not be very bland, but having a "funky" title tends to get you ignored as young. Ex: "Uber-leet System God" is bad. "System Installer with 5 years experience" is rather bland. "Cryptologic Tech and Systems Installer" would be a better choice, as it sounds interesting/impressive, and gives some insight as to your specialties.
Do not make false claims on your resume. A bit of padding is acceptable, but only if you can back it up. If a job listing requires 5 years of experience with something, and you only have four, padding your resume by one year is usually acceptable if you could reasonably have an additional year of experience in it. But claiming you have five years of experience in Navy-specific CTM when you were only in the Navy for two years would be bad.
Remember, reviewers are looking for reasons to ignore or discard your resume, so do not give them one.
If a company states "Do not contact us after submitting your resume", then do not bother to do so. Otherwise, it is acceptable to contact them to ask if your resume has been reviewed. Generally, giving 4-5 business days before your followup is the standard period, to give time for your resume to be looked at.
Remember the true purpose of cover letters and resumes: Cover letters are meant to entice someone into reading your resume. Resumes are meant to give a brief overview of your skills and relevant experience, to make someone offer you an interview.
If the job would require relocation, be sure to mention in your cover letter that you would be willing to relocate.
One final piece of advice: if you are looking for jobs in a specific area, such as Washington DC, Denver CO, etc., try finding a major newspaper for that area online. Ex: The Washington Post (for DC). The papers tend to have a much more comprehensive selection of local jobs than national sites.