ONLINE JOB HUNTING

As the world becomes more digital with each passing day, you may run across employers who will only accept an electronically transmitted application or resume. You may even decide to supplement traditional face-to-face employer contact with electronic job search efforts.

Here are six things to think about to become an online job seeker:

1. First, you’ll need a professional résumé. Most word processing programs such as Microsoft Word make it easy by offering fill-in-the-blank templates designed by professionals. Simply go to Microsoft Office Template Gallery and gain access to over 100 resume formats. You should find something there that suits your needs. If not, stop by the One-Stop Job Center at 124 N. Irwin Street in Downtown Hanford for free assistance. We can also offer an honest critique of your current resume. Professional resume writers will also develop your resume for around $100.00 or more. You can find them online.

2. In transmitting your resume or cover letter, make sure to use the right file format. Do it incorrectly, and your résumé will end up in the electronic trashcan.

For starters, don’t use a program like Winzip to compress your documents. There are people who can’t or won’t take the time to open a .zip file. To be safe, send your resume as a Microsoft Word document or Acrobat PDF File. Attach your document to an email, which should also function as a cover letter, offering brief career information and skill highlights.

In an attempt to prevent computer viruses, some companies will not accept resumes submitted as attachments. Here’s where you can run into problems. You may not be able to simply copy the resume’s text from Word and paste into an email. Formatting can be lost when you put it in the email body. Or, worse, the formatting can make it look jumbled. Always send a ‘trial version’ to yourself before sending it off to the employer. If simply pasting the document into the email doesn’t work, copy it from Word and paste it into Notepad. Save it, then copy it from Notepad to your email program. Notepad will remove all formatting. Be sure it looks OK in the email. Email it to yourself again to double check before sending it to the prospective employer.

3. You’ll also need a decent email address. If your email address is something like NothingButNet@aol.com, you will not make a good impression. There’s no need to buy your own domain, just get a free Web address from a provider like Yahoo or AOL. Use something like YourName@yahoo.com.

Once you settle on a “Job Search” email address, don’t change it. How will the company reach you? This is another good reason to get a Web-based address. If you change Internet service providers, you can continue to use the Web address.

4. Research. This is a two-part tip. The company will probably research you on the Internet. If you hang out on questionable message boards or have a personal Web site, the company will probably find that. It will find things that other people say about you too. Be prepared –those could come up in the interview.

You should also do some online research.. Most companies have Web sites. Use them to learn about your prospective new employer. Information about public companies is available at Yahoo! Finance or theSecurities and Exchange Commission. Easier yet, get the web address of the prospective employer or look for them on your browser.

5. Job Listings. Internet job sites have tons of listings, but they are literally all over the world. If you want a job in San Diego, check the San Diego newspapers on the Web. Links to newspapers can be found at Newslink on the web. Also, if you’re interested in a particular company, check its website. Many companies post their openings online.

6. Finally, don’t be tempted to add your photo, or get too creative with your documents. That will just make your document larger, and could be an annoyance to the employer who has to wait to download or print your resume. They’ll see you if you’re interviewed.

Your best bet is to use as many ways as possible to find that ideal job. Online job search may become the preferred method in the future. Why not explore it now? Particularly if the job you’re applying for requires the use of technology. Who knows, your next job may be waiting for you online.