Friday, March 12, 2010

Internet Job Boards - Friend or Foe

By Steve Jones, CPC March 11, 2010 for Photograph by: Handout, ACSESS

The Internet and job boards have given you and the rest of the entire world an equal ability to discover and apply for all the same jobs.

The Internet and job boards have given you and the rest of the entire world an equal ability to discover and apply for all the same jobs. Technology makes it easier for the qualified and the unqualified to clutter the field making it more difficult for you to stand out from the crowd. Understanding Internet job board technology can give you the upper hand when developing your resume and employment application strategy.

Here are a few quick tips that will increase your job board application results.

Tip #1 - Resume Key Words

Most employers use indexed database technology where the words and phrases contained within your resume are stored and then searchable within the database. It is very important that your resume contains the words and phrases that an employer will likely use in their resume searching and filtering process. For example, you may have had the title of "Product Support Specialist" in a call centre for an electronics company. If your job search is focused around customer interaction then the words "Customer Service", "Call Centre", "Client Support", "Inbound" and "CSR" are common words and expressions that might work for you. On the other hand, if your career objective is more technically focused than people focused then you should shift the emphasis of words in your resume to describe the specific products and technologies that you are familiar with.

You already have the headings in your resume like “Career Objective”, “Education” and “Career History” so why not include a heading called “Key Words” then list a set of key words that might match common words used by employers when using a database search engine.

Tip #2 - .doc File Format
Employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to store and sort the resumes and applications they receive. Most ATS are capable of handling Microsoft word .doc file formats but many have difficulty handling resumes in other formats such as PDF, .docx, wpd, html and other standards. These formats may have their advantages but not when attaching your resume to an on-line application form. If the words and phrases within your resume cannot be extracted by the employer’s applicant tracking software then you run the risk of never being noticed by a real person. Always submit your resume in the world's most common format.

Tip #3 - Follow Up
The biggest problem with on-line systems is the lack of human interaction. In the end, people will hire people to work with other people. Do your research and figure out who the human resources or hiring manager is and then send them a personal note pointing out that you have applied on-line. Include a professional letter that contains information that will motivate them to bypass the computer sorting process and go directly to your application. Try to make contact in person, over the phone or by email.

We frequently hear people talk about how lucky or unlucky they are in their job search. Luck has nothing to do with it. Remember that the smarter you work, the luckier you'll get.

The People Bank is an active member of ACSESS, the Association of Canadian Search Employment and Staffing Services and Steve Jones is President of both The People Bank and ACSESS.

1 comment:

Internet jobs said...

In today’s job market, lots of people are finding ways to do just that. Most Internet jobs come with flexible or part-time schedules.