Using Online Resources to Find Jobs
Among the most popular lands of information appearing online are job and talent services - and not just for "techies." This article reveals concrete opportunities for anyone seeking to advance his or her career.
The online information boom is arriving in a variety of formats for matching task to talent, and talent to task. Resume databases, online job postings, specialized bulletin-board services and electronic job and-career research resources are powerful tools for the job seeker, or those in the throes of a career transition.
Career planning has assumed a new importance in today's unstable job climate. No longer will most individuals pursue a linear career path. Instead they'll face plenty of choices and changes along the way. Ambitious-and prepared-individuals who can exploit all available resources will be more adaptable when change occurs (and it will).
Just as important, computer skills and knowledge of online sources developed while job searching can be applied to other tasks, making you more valuable in the job market.
Online employment-related services are covering more industries and functions at all levels. In addition to opportunity-hunting, computer-literate job seekers can net-work with colleagues and perform career-development research. The virtual revolution breaks geographic boundaries, which is especially useful for those willing or wanting to relocate.
The computer effortlessly processes ridiculously large amounts of data. That fact, combined with the ability to scan written material accurately, makes massive resume databases a reality.
These databases contain either full-text resumes, condensed job seeker profiles or capsule candidate information leading to full resumes. Depending on the service, resumes can be uploaded or e-mailed directly into the system, filled out online, or sent to the service via e-mail, fax or in hard copy to be scanned or entered manually by the service's staff.
Rates for enrolling a resume into a database vary from free to a high of about $75. Resumes usually stay in these databases 6 months to a year; some services have unlimited renewal.
Resume-database services are used by employers, recruiters, and placement firms. Searches among thousands of resumes in any of these databases are executed either directly online by the employer or recruiter or performed by the staff of the database service according to specified parameters.
Work experience, skills, geographic areas, educational and professional degrees, and other attributes and qualifications are specified in targeted keyword searches. Some resume-database firms charge employers per-search, some per-candidate-identified-by-the-search, and some on a retainer basis (to supply a company with qualified applicants over a specified period of time).
NOT JUST FOR ACTIVE JOB SEEKERS
A number of resume-database firms report that most candidates in their databases are employed. Eventually, having one's resume in such databases may become an accepted fact of work life and not an indication of an active job hunt. The new reality: jobs are not forever and it's natural for people to make themselves available for new opportunities.
Still, confidentiality can present a problem for those currently employed. Some resume-database companies address this issue by providing information to the employer only with the candidates approval. Employers, too, have concerns about confidentiality. Many prefer that their competitors remain unaware of a strategic opening in their ranks.
WHAT ARE MY CHANCES?
The high ratio of resumes to job opportunities lessens the likelihood of landing your dream job even if you're in one or more resume databases. But exposure does create potential which is why these services are growing.
Resume databases are building so rapidly that some services are having difficulty updating their systems quickly enough to keep pace. This seems to lower the chances for any individual job seeker's resume to be pulled in a search. But take heart. Based on the diverse job functions and industries that are represented, more employers will use the services to find candidates.
KNOW YOUR TARGETS
It's important to understand the methodology of each resume database service you choose. The best services will help you tailor your resume (profile, skills, qualifications, experience, etc.) to the form and language their computer search will recognize.
For example, many resume experts advice using action verbs to describe abilities, but many resume-scanning and keyword-search systems use nouns. Sometimes even the kind of paper the resume is on can affect the process.
If you're uploading your resume online rather than sending a resume to be scanned, be aware that on most systems your information will be stripped of any fancy fonts, bold, or italics. Rely here on spacing and judicious use of upper and lower case for effective presentation.
The opposite presentation extreme can be found on the graphic-intensive World Wide Web portion of the Internet. Here "uploaded" resumes (in HTML format) can appear with pictures, photographs, even audio and video clips, in addition to distinctive, carefully laid-out text.
Savvy job hunters learn these and other tactics to maximize their visibility in candidate databases. Be creative: Think of clever ways to position yourself. If you seek to relocate, find databases that specialize geographically. This field is full of niches to be explored once you've targeted your search.