Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Your Online Job Search

As a recruiter, I am inundated with resumes weekly. Don't get me wrong, I am certainly not complaining; but the speed and efficiency of the Internet allows job-seekers to blast out resumes with relative ease. This means that more and more qualified applicants are vying for positions daily. Thanks to and Abby Locke, today's article explores a couple of techniques for mastering your online job search.

On an aside, for those of you actively seeking out new employment opportunities, let me encourage you to get on LinkedIn to make yourself more available to recruiters and hiring authorities. LinkedIn is the buzz tool of 2008 and I am finding more and more recruiters utilizing it to identify great individuals for their searches. I personally utilize it daily and know many here in the office that are using it heavily. Please feel free to visit my LinkedIn profile: LinkedIn

Without further adieu, enjoy today's posting!

By Abby Locke

Ten years ago the Internet was a relatively new phenomenon. It was a gold mine for finding and securing great job opportunities. Sending an application only took a few minutes and more times than not, you got a response quickly. Even when everyone starting jumping on the bandwagon, you still had a pretty good chance of finding your dream job just by surfing the Internet.

Fast forward to today. Candidates get lost in a maze of job search boards, company databases, and online recruiting. With technology advancing at the speed of light, the Internet and its capabilities keep evolving. It is a medium you simply cannot ignore as a job seeker.

Here are seven strategies to increase your online job search success.
  • 1. Avoid Generalization: It’s impossible to stand out with a one–size–fits–all marketing document. Develop an executive resume that has a tailored title header, a strong executive summary with specific areas of expertise, and highly–targeted keywords throughout the document.
  • 2. Create Multiple Formats: To effectively compete, you need more than a Word document. To meet online compatibility standards, your resume portfolio should include a Word document, a Portable Document Printing (PDF), an ASCII (text), and HTML (web–based) versions. Follow application instructions carefully, paying close attention to the employer’s requested format.
  • 3. Watch Out For “Bad Words”: The overwhelming responses to online postings have forced recruiters and human resources managers to aggressively screen out candidates. In some cases, seemingly innocent words can divert your email to the trash folder. Commonly used words like “magna cum laude”, “winner” and “free” scream SPAM for many email systems. Use Lyris Content Checker to review and scan your resume before completing an email blast.
  • 4. Use Niche Boards & Specialty Sites: Huge commercial career sites have hundreds of thousands of candidates in their database. These are usually geared towards entry–level and mid–management positions. To avoid frustration, subscribe to specialized online job boards that focus on a particular occupation or industry.
  • 5. Work with Specialty Recruiters: Similar to niche job boards, executive recruiters and search firms specialize by industry and job function. Sources like provide online databases for recruiters that may specialize in your area.
  • 6. Limit Widespread Resume Distribution: Due to the overwhelming amount of time and commitment that a job search requires, it is very tempting to take what appears to be a time–saving route. Remember to tread lightly with mass correspondences. Resume distribution services blast your resume to hundreds of recruiters and companies but the drawbacks are significant. With limited customization, blind distribution and a lack of search privacy, you’ll give up more than you get back.

To have a competitive advantage in today’s job market, continually employ creative techniques to get in front of key decision makers. Diversify resume formats to maximize your success rate and use the Internet to charge your job search. This said, never underestimate the power of in–person and online networks. While it is critical to engage in online searches, they should only be a portion of your job search strategy.

Abby Locke, Executive Director of Premier Writing Solutions, is a Nationally Certified Resume–Writer and Personal Brand Strategist who helps senior–level professionals and C–level executives achieve personal success with customized, branded executive resumes and career marketing documents. Her resume samples have been published in Nail the Resume! Great Tips for Creating Dynamic Resumes, Same–Day Resumes, and Quick Resume and Cover Letter Handbook.

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