You’ve been waiting for the right time, and it’s finally here. 2019 is the year — the year you find a new job.

You’ve hated your job for years, but you’ve stuck it out because you weren’t sure of the market. Now, the economy has turned around. Job seekers have leverage, and organizations are desperate for talent. You’re ready for something new, and this is your perfect chance to get it.

But you haven’t looked in so long. You’re not sure where to begin. The last time you looked for a job, you found it the old-fashioned way. Applying online is intimidating — perhaps it’s so intimidating that you don’t even want to start your job search anymore.

The good news is that even though companies keep telling candidates to apply online, most hiring managers are still making hiring decisions the old-fashioned way. It makes sense: Even with all the latest hiring technology on hand, recruiting on the internet is a pain.

When a manager needs to hire someone new, they first think about whether they personally know anyone who could be a good fit. If not, their next move is to ask around to see if they know anyone who knows anyone. Very rarely will a hiring manager’s first thought be, “I’d love to sort through hundreds of resumes today to see if I can find anyone on the internet!”

The internet is typically where hiring managers look when they can’t find anyone within their personal professional networks. Hiring managers may even try headhunters or external recruiters before they trust internet applications.

All of which is to say: Don’t worry. The job search has changed less than it seems like from the outside.

Another bit of good news is: The internet has given job seekers an incredible amount of transparency into potential employers — more than ever before. Thanks to Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Indeed, and other sites, it has never been easier to find out which companies are hiring and what a particular role is worth on the talent market. Heck, you can even find out what employees think of their CEOs or learn ahead of time the specific interview questions you’ll be asked!

In other words, the internet has helped level the playing field for job seekers.

If you’re embarking on a job search for the first time in years, don’t let the internet or new-fangled processes and technologies scare you. Keep looking for jobs the old-fashioned way, and use the internet to do extended research on target employers. It’s okay to email your application directly to the hiring manager. It’s okay to ask a friend who works at the company to put in a good word for you. The old process still applies.

On a final note, before you apply, make sure to revise your resume. You want it to be up to date, accurate, and error free. When you do get in front of the hiring manager, you want to put your best foot forward the very first time. That also hasn’t changed.

A version of this article originally appeared on Copeland Coaching.

Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at Copeland Coaching.

Power your recruiting success.
Tap into, the largest network of recruiters.

in Job Search]