Hi-Tech Tricks to Use in Your Job Search
It seems like just about everything and everyone has gone high tech. From refrigerators with built-in computers to high-powered handheld devices, technology is touching nearly every aspect of our lives. The job search process is no exception. While the traditional approach, with a focus on networking, strong resumes and solid person-to-person interviews, is still king, technological advances are in job hunters’ game plans across the country. If you are looking to enhance, here are a few areas to explore.
1. Tech Savvy Resumes
Many candidates opt to send their resumes to companies via e-mail, or choose to submit resumes directly through company or job search Web sites. Because of new Internet and e-mail technology, it pays to ensure your resume is technologically sound. When creating your resume, you should create the following formats:
•Traditional resumes: These are the typical, ink and paper resumes which are nicely formatted, professional, and eye-catching.
•ASCII, or “plain text” resumes: These are simplified versions of your resume, focusing solely on content. Plain text resumes have the advantage of being readable, no matter what computer system the reader is using. In a plain text resume, avoid italics, unusual fonts, and other fancy formatting. You can create a plain text resume by opening your resume in your word processing program and performing a “save as” function, selecting to save the document as “plain text.” ASCII resumes are best used when filling out online resume posting forms, which tend to convert resumes to plain text.
•Scannable resumes: Many companies prefer to receive scannable resumes, which are run through scanners with character-recognition capabilities. Companies then utilize applicant-tracking system software (ATS) to match stored resumes with open positions via keywords. For example, if a company is seeking a position with specific graphic design skills, the software will automatically select the resumes that include those skills. Therefore, you must make sure the right keywords are included in your resume.
2. Personal Resume Web Sites
For fields in which portfolios are necessary for the job search process, some candidates are finding that building a personal resume Web site is a convenient way to show off skills and accomplishments. You can develop a Web site that includes examples of your work such as articles, software you developed, artwork or photography and more. You can also include other items such as letters of recommendation.
3. Other Portfolio Options
Having a thick portfolio is important in many industries, and in the past this meant lugging around a huge binder or oversized case full of work examples. Today, a portfolio can be small enough to fit in your briefcase. You can burn all of your materials on a CD, or even create a PowerPoint presentation that shows off your best work. These tools can be put on display during an interview, or left behind for the company to examine once the interview is completed.
4. Video Portraits
If you’re not camera shy and really want to be tech savvy, you can tape an interview of yourself and post it on your resume Web site for employers to review. This can give the employer an example of your poise right off the bat. There are many options for how to do this, including creating your own video file using a digital camcorder or by utilizing a professional service.
5. Online Networking
Think you can only meet people at real, live networking events? Think again. There are a wide variety of online portals in which professionals can network, meet others in the field, and make great contacts. Most professional organizations have message boards and online forums, and there are many other sites such as LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) and WorldWit (www.worldwit.org) that tout themselves as networking forums.