Creating An Online Resume
"Today's job search is a sophisticated process of cat and mouse, hide and seek, and success or failure."
So since your job loss, you've walked the dog, sat around and pondered how Bob Barker could possibly still look the same, lost several games of online chess to a 10 year old in Norway and now you're bored to tears.
What ever shall you do? How about....get back to work? Whipping sound...whipeeee!
If you're looking for a new job or career for any reason, the first thing to remember is that you're not alone. Now, while that doesn't help pay the bills, it should at least take away some of the sting.
As the layoffs continue, more and more people are looking inward at what they want to do. Why do you work where you do (did)? Are/were you there because you like it or because it was simply the best-paying option at the time?
Assuming that you've already gone through the introspective, "What do I want to do now" phase of your job transition, and have hopefully identified something you'd be at least marginally happy doing (see my page on choosing a career for more information), the next thing you need to do is prepare a new resume. There are many and various resume programs out there that do a wonderful job. Don't waste your time having someone else do it for you unless you are simply too lazy to go out and buy the software. If you are running MSOffice on your computer, MSWord has a decent array of resume styles that you can use. I also have used WinWay™ Resume as well as Individual Software's Resume Deluxe 2001™ (as long as you're not running Windows Me™). Both are excellent and contain tons of interview information as well as suggested phrases and action words you can use to good effect.
There are many subtle yet distinct differences between a resume that you are simply mailing out, and a resume that you are posting on the Internet. In the old days, (the 80's) one simply put their employment and accomplishments on a resume in chronological order and started mass mailing them out to companies in their area. Today's job search is a sophisticated process of cat and mouse, hide and seek, and success or failure.
A properly formatted resume, can make the difference in whether the Recruiter or Employer ever even SEES your resume, much less reads it for content.
For those of you who are already Internet. savvy, this will bore you to tears, but for those who are just beginning to embrace the electronic world (shrinking though it is already) this small section is a must if you are to understand this brave new world of Internet Job Hunting.
The Search Engine, the Heart of the Net
The Internet. is nothing more than millions of large and small storage devices hooked together so that anyone (assuming the correct level of security) can access them and read what they have stored. That's it really, nothing more. There's no magic, no voodoo involved or dead chickens. I'll not give you a Telecom 101 lesson in how all this works, just believe me when I say that people much smarter than me are working on it right now.
Anyway, since we've got these millions of storage devices out there, we must have a way of accessing, reading, and storing the data in such as way that it can be filtered down to what we want. It wouldn't do us any good if we needed a recipe for Kung Pao chicken and we had to wade through Joe Bob's used car database to get to it. As such, keywords were invented. And no, before you ask, a certain popular ISP who gives you 700 free hours, did not invent Keywords.
A keyword is sort of like when you scan a page in a book for the work "Snafu" and you ignore all the other text until your brain suddenly focuses on just that word. Well, the Internet. and Search Engines work the same way. When a Recruiter goes to an online Resume database, they put in a Keyword, such as "Cold Fusion" or "Brundle Fly," in order to pull out every resume that has that word on it. This allows them to pull just those peoples resumes who have that particular skill set
This is why it is imperative nowadays that when you write a resume to be posted online, that you be specific and include specific industry jargon. It doesn't matter that 99% of the people in the world don't know what a "Diaphanous Semiorphic Speculum" is. That employer who is looking for someone who can work one of ...those things knows what it is and BOOM, you're there.
WRITING YOUR RESUME FOR THE NET
Now that we've looked at how Search Engines find resumes using Keywords, let's look at how you can create a resume that will show up in the right Recruiters and Employers hands.
Begin by identifying your industry; whether it be Telecommunications, Computers, Teaching, Automotive, Science, etc...
Then, write down each and every industry product name, training material, certification, software program, and skill that you know and have had experience with. Because like I said, the Internet is all about specifics. Generalities return millions of responses, while specifics only return tens of thousands. See how much better that is already?!
Now then, when you start writing your resume, be very specific with the description of your background.
For example, instead of my putting on a resume:
"I have 10 years of Telecommunications experience working with people in 30 countries."
I should write:
" I have 10 years of Telecommunications experience with 56K up to T3 data lines. I have provided network monitoring and troubleshooting using HP Openview and Spectrum Network Management Software."
Or instead of:
"I have over 8 years experience in providing training within a corporate environment"
I should write:
" I have over 8 years experience in Corporate training. I have written and delivered Operational Guidelines for the U.S. Air Force. I developed the training plans for a new T::DAX Transport Switch for a major Telecommunications company."
Do you see what a big difference it makes. Had an employer been performing a resume search for someone with "Telecommunications" and "Training" experience in the last example, they may not have come across my resume if I had written it the way we used to.
Another major thing to consider these days is exactly what to put on your resume. Sure, we need to be specific, but as is my case, I've too much information to put on a two page resume. It's hard to get 5 jobs worth of information, plus education, plus objective, plus whatever else on anything less than 3 pages.
This is where the Self Assessment comes to play as well. By identifying what it is we want to do, we can eliminate or minimize those things on our resume. This gives us a two fold advantage:
- It reduces the amount of information we have on the resume. If I could care less whether the next Employer sees that I had a Top Secret clearance or that I used my military bearing to salute over 100 officers on my daily walk into the Pentagon, then I'm going to leave that off my resume. This frees up room for the really important stuff. Stuff that I could tell you about...but then I'd have to kill you!
- It removes us from Recruiter Searches that we don't want to appear on. If I used to be a computer programmer and I want to be a Corporate Trainer now, I wouldn't want to put "Computer Programmer" all over my resume, because every time a Recruiter runs a search for a "Computer Programmer" guess who's going to come up? Instead, I focus on my experience that had to do with what I DO want to do. So I would play up my training experience. What have I trained people on? How many people were in my classes?Fun stuff like that.
I nearly forgot one more very important thing. This could also be placed under the Working with Recruiters section, but since I thought of it while writing this, this is where it goes.
Hopefully you have some (references). Problem is, every recruiter you talk to, and many of the websites you will post your resume to will want you to list them. Don't do it! Think about it. How many of your friends might possibly use you as a reference? Hopefully they've talked to you about it before they stuck your name and phone number on their resume. Whether they have or have not, would you want your name and number up on the web for every person in the world to see; of course not. This is why we do not place our references online and we do not give them to a recruiter until we have talked to an employer and the next step is having your background and references checked. It's simple courtesy.
WHERE AND HOW TO POST YOUR RESUME ON THE INTERNET.
I mentioned previously where to begin searching to find the most widely visited resume websites on the Internet. Just for convenience sake, I'm going to list some of them here. These are national sites, but some of them have sites also dedicated solely to major cities.
I've read many people's opinion about where to and not to post your resume on the Internet. Personally, I don't think you can post it in too many places. Having said that however, don't subscribe to these websites or e-mail that want to charge you to "blast" your resume out to 100's of different sites. It's a big fat waste of time.
The main thing you must be careful of, is responding to two different website or Recruiter postings of the same job. This is sometimes tricky since they usually don't post the name of the company. The only thing you can do is TRY to keep good records of the jobs that you have responded to and keep them on file. Then, if you see a similar posting again, try to contact the recruiter for more information. If that doesn't work, I have in the past, simply submitted my resume for the job and the first one that gets me results, wins. If the other Recruiter comes up later and I find out that it is in fact the same job, I tell the second Recruiter that I'm not interested. It's their loss for being slow.
The last important thing you need to remember when writing your resume for the Internet., is that Recruiter Websites, don't use a proprietary form of Word Processing. That is to say that, if you write your Resume using MSWord, or MSWorks, or any of the other many Word Processing programs, when you go to post it on the Internet., it's going to look all messed up. This is because each software uses it's own proprietary form of design and coding.
The way around all the proprietary stuff, is to write your resume in what is called Rich Text Format (RTF) or Basic Text. There are several ways you can do this, either by using Notepad, if you are a Windows user, or by writing it in your Word Processing software and then saving it as Text or RTF. It's a straightforward operation. See your software Help Files for instructions.
Using this form of coding (or lack of coding) guarantees an almost perfect transition of your resume from your computer, to the Internet. Often times, after you cut and paste your resume onto a Website, it will look jumbled and confused. As long as you used RTF or Text formatting, it should generally show up OK regardless of how it looks to you at the moment. It's always a good idea to go back and view your resume, just as if you were an Employer. This gives you a good idea of just how and what they will see.
an article by Chris Souther author of Job Hunting Online
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