Since launching my resume writing business 20 years ago, I have assisted many clients in posting resumes on-line, to electronic job boards such as MonsterJobs.com, CareerBuilder.com, and USAJobs.gov. When I first began this service, statistics said that only 30 percent of employers were recruiting on-line. This figure recently has risen to over 80 percent.
~ How They Work ~
On-line recruiting reduces human effort and saves the employer time and resources. Recruiters can search quickly for job candidates in a database of thousands of resumes by selecting key words — a combination of criteria representing the qualifications, knowledge, and strengths critical to job performance.
The job seeker chooses similar data elements such as industry, title, location, distance, and others — further tailoring the field with keywords such as sales, marketing, sales representative, Los Angeles, 50 miles, etc.—to produce a report containing the desired job announcements. You do not need to post a resume to take advantage of this job search tool and may have the job announcements delivered daily or weekly to your e-mail address.
Tip: If you have not jumped aboard the electronic job board train yet, you must give it a try, because nearly all employers and recruiters use these tools, and so should you. Read these tips first to guide you generically through major job boards, while avoiding some common mistakes and safeguarding yourself against identity theft.
~ Log In & Register ~
Congratulations on having written—or having hired a Certified Professional Resume Writer to write an interview-winning resume. You are ready to log in to Monster, CareerBuilder, or another job board after setting up a user identification and password combination.
Tip: Memorize or store your user identification and password in a safe place. Also, change you password often.
~ Personal Information ~
(b) In addition, your on-line resume should not show your home address or home telephone number. Ensure you modify your resume header information to include only your name, cell, and/or disposable e-mail address.
Tip: You may set up free e-mail accounts at MSN.com, Yahoo.com, and Gmail.com. Use a professional-sounding name, e.g., email@example.com (your last name and initials) or firstname.lastname@example.org (your job title).
~ Upload Your Resume ~
Once inside the job board, look for a link or tab that directs you to the on-line resume builder. This tool allows you to either import a word or text document from your computer desktop. You will highlight a directory and file name on your PC, and click on download/import/ or open key. In a few seconds, the job board has captured your resume.
You may also “copy and paste” the text from your document, block by block, into the resume builder.
Tip: I prefer the Copy & Paste method, which allows you to constantly review the information you are posting, block by block. You can make revisions on-the-fly, especially to the blocks titled name, address, job experience, and education. Use the following keyboard shortcuts on an ms windows operating system: Ctl/A to highlight; Ctl/C to copy the text; & Ctl/V to paste)
Tip: Be prepared to make minor adjustments to formatting to adapt your resume to the job board’s own template. Preview your completed resume to ensure it is visually pleasing, with no typographical, spacing, font size, highlighting, tab, or margin size errors.
~ Optional Information ~
Answering optional information blocks such as age and nationality can work against you. In fact, before answering any data request, determine if the information could be used against you, reserving these responses for the job interview and beyond.
Examples of optional information to be avoided or carefully considered before posting:
* Behavioral Interview Questions * Behavioral interview questions such as “what is your perfect job?” or “how would you solve this xxxxx?” Do not answer these questions now, but definitely research and develop answers to these questions for your interview, emphasizing your strengths and intelligence. They are meant to disqualify those who are challenged by a lack of common sense or who do not adapt to pressure easily.
* Illegal Questions * Questions related to age, sex, children, race, nationality, religion, or disability should be left unanswered on these forms. According to U.S. labor law, these are taboo interview questions; however, be prepared for an off-the-record, surprise attack and try to answer the interviewer’s concerns effectively.
* Availability * Never respond “immediately” if you are currently employed. You will not be considered a trusted employee if you can leave with so little notice.
* Skills * You should answer this in detail if you have particularly valuable skills. For example, indicate that you are an expert user of MS Word and Excel. Cite the individual components of MS Office, rather than merely saying, MS Office, unless you truly are proficient in all its programs.
* Salary * Try to leave salary questions unanswered. We professional career coaches recommend you wait until you have reached the salary negotiation stage, when the employer makes a job offer. If and when you must answer this one, do your homework with a quick salary research trip to Monster or Salary.com. Salary research sites will ask you to provide your targeted job title, targeted city, years of experience, and educational level. A salary range report matching these elements will be presented, along with national and regional figures for comparison.
~ Additional Information ~
This is a good place to post your cover letter (if the job board has no cover letter upload feature). Cross-functional strengths and additional experience also may be mentioned using key words applicable to other industries/job titles of interest to you. This will get you more “hits.”
~ Save, Preview & Print ~
At this point, you should “save” your work on-line, so that local power or web server interruptions do not destroy your work. Continue saving your work frequently. You will have a chance to preview your resume before you actually post it for recruiters to see. You also should print a copy of your on-line resume on your personal printer, create a PDF file using the print command (with PDF software such as Adobe), or “copy and paste” the on-line copy into your word or notepad text editor for later use.
~ Apply On Jobs / Receive Interview Invitations ~
Once your resume is online, you may associate your resume with a job by viewing a job announcement and clicking on “apply.” Your resume will be forwarded to the company recruiter, or the recruiter will receive an e-mail notification to view your on-line resume. The more positions you target, the more chances for interviews.
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