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web exclusiveJob Hunting in the Digital Age

 
image courtesy of indeed.com
Circling job listings in your local newspaper probably won’t land you the job of your dreams. With technology advancing, the job-search environment is more Web heavy than it was even 10 years ago. Women looking to re-enter the working world or make a career change need to be prepared for the next level of job search. Minimize stress and maximize employment potential by getting up to speed with these tech trends in the career-hunting environment:

Revamp your resume
Don’t settle for a template. Preformatted word processor documents are “cookie cutter, obvious and hard to edit,” says Kelly J. Brown, assistant director of the Tina Press and David Rubin Career Development Center at Syracuse University. Create your own unique layout on a design program such as Adobe InDesign. Not comfortable with software? Research sites like resumewriters.com have professionals who work with you to update and individualize your resume.

Get Digital
Have a PDF copy of your resume and/or portfolio ready to send or upload as an attachment. Convert word processing documents to PDFs on your own. If you don’t know how to manually convert a document to PDF, download freeware, which converts for you.

Personal Web Sites
Your own Internet domain boosts networking potential and offers employers more information about you and your credentials. Post your resume, portfolio pieces and contact information all in one convenient virtual hub. For example, Web and graphic designer Doug Strahler keeps all his professional information and virtual portfolio on dougstrahler.com. For more design ideas, check out Bestwebgallery.com.

Google Yourself
Your digital footprint provides biographical information, photos, even recipes or movie revues posted under your name. Most employers will search your name online. If there’s a photo floating around cyberspace of you nude, contact the Webmaster directly to remove the questionable content. Brown says to be prepared to explain yourself to the boss-to-be if you can’t remove the material.

Job Search Engines
Use Monster.com, HotJobs.com, CareerBuilder.com and other online job boards to find job listings. Untied’s resource page includes links to these sites and other helpful career tools. Nicholas Thompson of Wired.com advises job hunters also to use Indeed.com, a site that aggregates search results from all over the Web into one handy job listing. Check out this CNN video clip for Thompson’s interview.

Get Search Specific
Don’t depend exclusively on general search engines. Career-specific sites crank out lists of openings related to your area of interest. If you dream of doing marketing for your favorite brand of clothing, go directly to the company’s Web site for available careers. Most companies have a jobs link.

Virtual Networking
If you’re already a fan of sites like Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter, be sure your profile is squeaky clean. It’s good to show your personality, but avoid foul language, poor grammar, misspellings, and personal photos that you wouldn’t want a potential boss to see. Set strict privacy settings and remove questionable content, just in case. Post your professional profile on LinkedIn, a site specific to professionals, and start connecting with people in your field.

Be a Life-Long Learner
It may have been a while since you worked as a publicist or nurse — you know, with raising the kids or taking off time from working after getting married. Your field of expertise has changed some, no doubt. Enroll in an online college course to stay up to speed with changing trends.

Face-to-face Networking
Although most of the tips above deal with techie tricks, don’t lose sight of the impact of personal contact.  Job fairs and community networking events are great places to show your face and shake hands with powerful employers. “[That way] you’re more than just a name or e-mail address,” Brown says.

 
 
 
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