Using Technology for a
Successful Work Search
I. Ways To Make Your Computer Work
Word Process Your Résumé
and other employment related correspondence.
Hone Your Skills by
practicing your typing, word processing, or presentation development
Develop a Web site and
post your résumé there.
II. Use Internet Resources - There are a number of helpful sites job seekers can utilize:
www.webster.com - 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.
www.rileyguide.com - The
Riley guide is an on-line resource for career related information.
- US.jobs by the
National Labor Exchange
Iowaworkforce.org links to statewide and local Labor Market
Information, jobs in Iowa, and jobs with the State of Iowa.
III. Schedule Your Time
Use a calendar to
track more than just your interviews. Many of the e-mails you
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
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 telephone
Check your e-mail on a regular
basis - if you are a serious job seeker, this means at least 3 times
If an employer left a message on
your answering machine, return it in a timely manner. If you e-mail
a résumé to an employer or complete an application online, it is
reasonable to assume the employer may try to contact you through
your e-mail address.
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
V. Ways to Apply for Jobs On-line
VI. Résumé Preparation
The employer you are applying to
determines how you prepare your résumé for electronic submission.
For electronic résumés there are three popular file
formats, all coded in ASCII American Standard Code for Information
Interchange: plain text, rich text, and hypertext.
Plain Text: 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 formatting.
Rich Text: 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 unreadable text.
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
Read the application instructions
and follow them.
Use the e-mail address from the
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
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.
VIII. One Résumé - Four Versions
Print Version -
The "attractive version" is one you print and
mail or hand to contacts and interviewers. Contains styles and
formatting: bullets, italics, bold.
Scannable Version -
No fancy design highlights, may have bulleted
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
Open your formatted, "attractive"
Select all the text and change
the font to a non-proportional 12pt, such as Courier 12.
Save your résumé as a "text only"
Open this new file in Notepad.
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 "hard"
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 applying for.
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