Thursday, April 27, 2006

Making the most of the job posting process.
Many job seekers find the job posting boards enticing because they appear to be an effective method of search and the opportunities posted seem plentiful. But the reality is that a meager 3-5% of candidates in search find their positions through the posting boards. While I don't recommend spending countless hours online scanning the boards, I do recommend leveraging the information you gain from the postings to create a more efficient and strategic search plan. Here are a few ways to accomplish just that. 1)Only post your resume for the positions with a real match. Don't expect "I'm a fast learner" to work when you're competing against a large applicant pool. 2) If you find a good match on a posting board, don't just zap your resume out into cyberspace and hope for the best. Go directly to the company's website to see if you can post there as well. Review all open positions to see if you can identify growth trends or other changes within the company. 3) Review job postings to gain perspective on the compensation for particular positions. Validate the information you gather by comparing it to information from recruiters and colleagues. Having this knowledge will make you a more effective negotiator when it is time to discuss the compensation associated with a job offer.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Reasons to create an ASCII (text only) version of your resume
An ASCII résumé is a plain text presentation of your document. It does not include graphics, rule lines, or bullets and it's far less "sexy" than your Word document, but many recruiters and hiring managers prefer plain text documents. Imagine that you are a recruiter who has posted an open position on a big job board. You may receive several hundred resumes for that open job. The time spent opening all those Word documents could be overwhelming. It's much more efficient to review multiple resumes when they are posted within the body of the email than it is to view as an attachment. In addition, the risk of opening an attachment that contains a virus is eliminated when the text only version is copied and pasted into the body of the email. Even if the employer requests that the resume be sent as an attachment, it is still recommended that you include a copy and paste version so the reader can quickly preview your qualifications before opening up the attachment.