Successful Work Search
I. Ways to Make Your Computer
Work For You
Word Process Your Résumé
other employment related correspondence.
Hone Your Skills by
your typing, word processing, or presentation development skills.
a web site and post your résumé there.
II. Use Internet
Resources - There are a number of helpful sites job seekers can
- Mirriam-Webster on-line. Look up the meaning of a word or
access their thesaurus.
- O*Net online is an occupational information site that is helpful
when writing your résumé. Gives general information about
occupations along with descriptions of common tasks.
- The Riley guide is an on-line resource for career related
by the National Labor Exchange - You can search jobs throughout
the United States and post
- Iowaworkforce.org links to statewide and local Labor Market
Information, jobs in Iowa, and jobs with the State of Iowa.
III. Schedule Your
Use a calendar to
track more than just your interviews. Many of the
establish have calendar features. Make the most of
your calendar to plan your week.
If you are unemployed, make getting
employment your full time job.
Schedule your time and then follow
the schedule. For example, you can plan to
fill out applications at employer sites in the morning (keep in
mind, you will probably not be able to hit more than 3 in a 4 hour
period of time)
Schedule follow-ups; this
includes calls and letters.
Schedule internet work search
Track any "send-outs"
you do. Note the company name,
address, telephone number and contact person.
IV. E-mail Tips
Set up a professional sounding
e-mail address using one of the free e-mail services.
If your e-mail address is corny
sounding, you may be taken less seriously as an applicant. Avoid
things that sound unprofessional.
Avoid using a friend or
relative's e-mail address. This way you can access the
account from various locations and don't have to depend on someone
else for access.
An e-mail account is easy to
set up and there are a variety of sites that offer free accounts.
Know your e-mail address and be
sure you note the password so you can remember it. Giving
out an incorrect e-mail address is like giving out an incorrect
Check your e-mail on a regular
basis - if you are a serious job seeker, this means at least 3
times a week.
If an employer left a
message on your answering machine, you would return it in a
timely manner. If you e-mail a résumé to an employer, or
complete an application on-line, it is reasonable to assume
the employer may try to contact you through your e-mail
E-mail your résumé to yourself
and to a friend for review before sending it to an employer.
You don't typically know
what kind of software programs a perspective employer has.
You can copy and paste your résumé into your e-mail, or attach
your résumé to your e-mail. If an employer specifies a
format, try to send your résumé in that format. If there
is no specified format, rich text or text formats work well.
Before you e-mail the résumé, send it to yourself and to a
friend. Open it. Does everything still look as you
V. Ways to
Apply for Jobs On-line
The employer you are
applying to determines how you prepare your résumé for
electronic submission. For electronic
there are three popular file formats, all coded in ASCII
American Standard Code for Information Interchange:
plain text, rich text, and hypertext.
Advantages: it is the most popular ASCII format.
Microsoft Notepad is a common text editor program - pc's,
Macintoshes, UNIX Workstations and mainframe
terminals recognize these text files. Disadvantages:
a plain text résumé is just that - plain -- there is no
Advantages: it provides formatting options that
plain text doesn't. It is compatible across word
processors. Disadvantages: Destination
computers may not recognize a rich text file. Rich
text is not supported by some e-mail editors and sending a
rich text file in the body of an e-mail will result in
Advantages: You can publish your résumé directly to
the world wide web and take advantage of HTML tags used by
search engines to index pages of information.
Disadvantages: You have to have a web browser,
internet access, an HTML converter application or
knowledge of manual HTML. Web résumés must attract
the interest of employers and recruiters on their own.
VII. Responding to
Internet Job Listings
Read the application
instructions and follow them.
Use the e-mail address from
If a job code is specified,
make sure you include it.
The employer may ask you to
send your résumé as an attachment in a particular format-i.e.
a Word document.
Use the right Subject.
In the Subject line be sure
to use the job title or job code cited in the ad.
Include a cover letter in the
body of the e-mail message. The cover letter introduces
you and encourages the reader to look at your résumé. It
should not be a summary of your résumé.
Make sure your résumé is
formatted for e-mail. If you copy and paste your
résumé into the body of the e-mail, make sure it will look
good in all e-mail systems. Shorter text lines are
important so that text doesn't wrap in funny places.
Print version -
version is one you print and mail or hand to contacts and
interviewers. Contains styles and formatting:
bullets, italics, bold.
- No fancy design highlights,
may have bulleted lists.
Plain Text version
- This version is ready to
copy and paste into on-line forms or post in on-line résumé databases. Advantages: you can spell check what
goes into the résumé builder, you can easily build résumés
into a number of sites by copy and paste instead of having to
type information in separately on each one.
E-mail version -
Another plain text copy,
but formatted for the length of line restriction in e-mail.
IX. Preparing Your
Résumé for E-mail
Open your formatted,
Select all the text and
change the font to a non-proportional 12pt, such as Courier 12.
Save your résumé as a
"text only" file.
Open this new file in
Set the margins to 1 inch all
around if they aren't already.
Review your résumé carefully
- replace unsupported characters.
If you see long lines of
text, use the word wrap feature under the Edit menu to insert
Copy and paste the text of
the résumé into the body of a test e-mail message.
Create a short cover letter
and insert this in the message.
Send a test copy of this
e-mail to yourself and to a friend who is using a different
e-mail program before sending it for the position you are
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