Saturday, February 11, 2012

Where to post your resume

"Only as high as I reach can I grow,
only as far as I seek can I go,
only as deep as I look can I see,
only as much as I dream can I be."
Karen Ravn

Recently, there was a survey completed by Saddleback College of employers where a job seeker should post their resume.

College/University career center - 69.3%
Monster - 59.1%
LinkedIn - 58%
Careerbuilder - 55.7%
Craigslist - 31.8%
Indeed - 18.2%
Facebook - 17%
Twitter 9.1%

These are of course an indication also where employers are posting openings these days. One of my favorites is less than one third of all openings (Craigslist). It's one that I do highly recommend but like all things in the job market, things change constantly. Where one site may be popular today it will change again tomorrow. Having posted my resume on Craigslist a few years ago I'm not sure that I can recommend it. The responses I had was not from employers but was ones that I didn't really want. If you do however, make sure that you don't do what I did. Don't include your contact information with the posted resume.
Facebook makes sense because of the BeKnown and BranchOut applications there. Those applications work pretty well from what I could see. I will note however that they don't work very well on mobile devices including my Blackberry. You'll be using those two applications on a PC only. I've never had one of my resumes posted in a college or university center so I can't comment there. Then again, I've never went to a physical college, my additional education was online so that wouldn't have been available to me. Most of my resume responses have been from my CareerBuilder resume and next would be my Monster resume.
Of the others I have had my resume posted on Indeed for over two years now. There has never been a response to it in all of that time. I can say the same about my LinkedIn resume also, never any responses. LinkedIn however is where most management positions are posted and resumes are searched. Now, moving on to Twitter. This one is interesting for me when I'm looking at it. Can I put my entire resume into 140 characters? I'm not quite sure at this point in time that I can do so.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

A lack of skills

This article in the Washington Post definitely shows the magnitude of the problem. There are many out there that don't have the skills that particular employers are looking for. Another rather large group never finished high school which greatly diminishes chances also. There are some ways around it though that I can recommend from personal experience. I've done beta testing which I then listed as job experience for a six month period which filled the hole nicely. Because of having it there I was able to get three different jobs even though the beta testing was unpaid. While beta tests are not available all of the time they are a good choice for some.
There are some other things also that will work nicely to fill a resume void. Donating some time at a local food bank or church can also be listed as work experience. This is especially true after a couple of weeks of helping one day per week. Once I helped out a few times at the local soup kitchen. While I wasn't needing to fill a resume hole at the time I could have, I could have gotten some reference contacts too. Just make sure you get someone's name and number if you do this though as an employer will want to check it out. That's just part of the background check process that just about every employer does these days. Well, I do hope that helps you to find a paid position.

For more information like this and other posts in the blog I have written a job hunting manual. It's been written based directly on my own job hunts and is available on Amazon at:

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Resume document formats

There are many ways to format a resume on a computer. We'll be taking a look at the ways to save the document that you've just created. There are a few others also but we'll focus on these as they are the largest ones in use. Let's go through these here:

.doc is the format that is native to all versions of Microsoft Office from 97- 2003.

.docx is the format that is native to Microsoft Office 2007 & 2010.

.pdf stands for Portable Document Format and is produced by Adobe.

.odt is one used by OpenOffice for documents natively.

.txt is a text file, these run on any computer, most mp3 players & most cell phones.

For many reasons when it comes to a resume I recommend that you use the Microsoft Word 97-2003 for the output. It's extremely portable as it will come up on just every computer and many smart phones. It also works on just about every resume upload system worldwide which is great. I've begun to also see some resume systems will also accept OpenOffice and Word 2007-2010 formats. Of those two OpenOffice is the one that seems more resume systems use at present. Probably why is that OpenOffice is free which also means that it's going to be used by even more systems. A note on the Word 2007-2010 format, it can add extra spacing to your resume so I don't recommend it.
Though I've seen recommendations for having a PDF version of your resume on hand I can't recommend it. There isn't too many systems that accept that format but it works very well for printing your resume. You get for output exactly what you have seen on the screen of your computer which is nice. Now, let's talk about the very last one which is text. This is extremely useful for sending your resume in an email. You just copy the entire document and paste as the body of your email. I've responded to many job openings this way, two of which I have worked at.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Your stories

I'm looking for real world stories of how people got their jobs at an average company. What I'm talking about is positions in retail, call centers, painting houses and many others. The reason for this blog is to help the average person become employed again. So please leave your comments so that it can help others.

Thank you
Brian Bigelow
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On communication

How you communicate with others is extremely important at any time. During a job search however it is even more so. You need to be able to communicate well the benefits that you are bringing to that business. That is one of the things that an interview is, showing the interviewer you can fill the need they have. If you have a few examples ready that demonstrate what the interviewer is looking for it can help. Preferably they'll be able to see the situation through your eyes. More often than not this will put you in a positive light with the interviewer. This can't ever hurt you.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thank you notes

These will definitely help in getting you selected from the other candidates for a position. There is a concept that is called the "Law Of Reprocity" that can motivate and guide behavior. That is where a thank you note comes into play when it comes to whether you are hired or not. Basically if I treat you in a certain way then I want to be treated accordingly by you. This makes perfect sense when you think about it, making an extra effort leading to a new job. It doesn't take all that long to write a thank you note or a letter of appreciation either.
Take a few minutes of your time to write a thank you note preferably addressed to the interviewer. There were many times on my own job hunts that it made all the difference. I walked out with a new job and feeling like I was walking on air ready to jump for joy. All you need in the note is a couple of sentences in total. You simply thank the interviewer for their time for that day. Of course, a second sentence would usually state that I looked forward to a future with that company. Usually I kept a generic note ready that I would then address to the interviewer where possible.
This will make all the difference in your job hunt, you will be so much more successful. There was more than once having done that I would get called back for a second interview also. That is something that makes this activity of writing thank you notes an important part of a job search. It has made me successful at getting jobs and it can definitely help you too. Remember, your success is something that is up to you and no one else. You can take control of the situation and no longer let it control you.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Paying for job listings

There are numerous sites that charge job seekers for listings of openings. My short answer is "Don't Do It". I can easily understand the frustration you are feeling with hunting for jobs these days. Sometimes it seems like your applications/resumes are just falling into a black hole. Nobody is seeing them or better yet responding to what you've submitted. I'll admit I sometimes even liked receiving the negative responses from employers. That at least let me know that someone actually looked over my submittal. It also let me know that I was no longer being considered for a position, I could expend efforts elsewhere.
There was once many years I was living in Pueblo, Colorado. The steel mill had just about closed down completely that was in town due to a strike. Because of this there were a lot of job seekers all seeking employment at the same time. Needless to say it was hard to find jobs at the time in that city much like the rest of the US the last few years. Because I was having a hard time finding a job I answered a local ad for paid job listings. I think I paid something like $20 at the time for the listing list. Most of the postings were really outdated on that list I paid for.
All I managed to do was spend what was a lot of money at the time that I didn't have. If I hadn't been as frustrated as I was I probably wouldn't have done it. Still, it was a learning experience, a painful one, but it was still painful. I'll never make the same mistake again and counsel others not to either. As I recall, the list company went out of business two months after I paid for my list. After asking around I found out a lot of people that paid for lists weren't getting results just like me. So, take warning and learn from my experience and don't pay for employment listings because you don't need to.

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Sunday, February 5, 2012


This is a new domain extension that was created more recently. It is very specifically for employment sites only. If I were to convert this blog to a domain name it would probably be a .jobs site. This should make it easier to find employment theoretically. Apparently AT&T has already moved over 70 of their hiring sites to the new jobs domain names. I'm not sure how many others yet but the total number is over 1500 so far.

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