Working the Web
Published Jul 1, 2006 12:00 AM
Recruiters fill jobs by scouring the Internet for posted résumés, says a young alumna who has been both recruiter and candidate. Here's what she learned about job-hunting online.
Copyright ©Photo by Michael Sugrue
Like many UCLA alumni, I recently began to look for a new position to expand my career opportunities. Unlike many alumni, I have firsthand experience working for an information technology consulting firm in San Francisco representing Fortune 500 clients. This knowledge not only gave me information about how to interview and portray myself properly, but also information about industry and salary trends. One of these resources is the Web, courtesy of UCLA in 1969. Almost four decades after the first message was sent on ARPANET, the Internet has the ability to help job seekers land their next job. Here are a few of the methods I have learned from my experiences as a recruiter and a successful job hunter.
Many recruiters rely solely on posted résumés to find candidates for their open positions. I speak from experience in telling people that they should post their résumé online, and often. While the job board en vogue can vary depending on the location (Computerjobs.com is huge in the South), industry standards are Monster.com, HotJobs.com, CareerBuilder.com, and craigslist.org. Also, you want to match your description to words that prospective employers might type into the search tools on these job sites. If you are a Java programming expert, for example, make sure the word Java is listed in your résumé numerous times so it shows up at the top of the rankings. A former project manager who did heavy business analysis can write "Business Analyst" when applying for a role of the same title to ensure they are not rejected as overqualified. Just make sure that you actually did the job you say you did; don’t list yourself as an executive if you were an executive assistant. And be picky: The Internet makes it so easy to send your résumé that it's tempting to blast everyone under the sun, but you’ll show your skills as a spammer more than your professional skills. If you don't have any of the skills in the job description, don't waste your time. You will look like an idiot, and that same recruiter probably won't contact you about a position you are actually qualified for.
Hook up with more tips, references and job openings at the Alumni Association BruinView.
Put your best foot forward.
I once received a résumé from a man describing himself as "inteligent" with exclamation points after every sentence. If you know that you have difficulty writing, make friends with someone who can help edit your e-mails before you send them. Send a personalized e-mail instead of a handwritten card to a manager following an interview, and you won’t be perceived as sending "junk mail."