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Friday, May 17, 2013

Finding a Job Using Online Resources

It can be daunting it to look for a job if you are not comfortable with technology. Many of the places to look for jobs are online.  If you go to many places to apply they have a computer right there that you can use.  You may even feel that your outdated computer skills will make it hard to get any job, even if you successfully apply.

Here are some things that might help with your job hunt.  I assume that if you are reading this blog you can use a mouse and know how to get onto the Internet.

1. Linked In is a network similar to Facebook, but rather than connecting to friends and family the goal of Linkedin is to help you connect with people professionally. It can provide you with job possibilities while also helping you to connect to people who can write you a recommendation. You can also follow a company so that you are notified when there are changes on their profile.

2.  Workplace Reviews:  Looking online to find out what employees of places you may apply are saying might be helpful. I just typed "employment 'name of company' reviews and got many helpful websites. The two most common are listed below. The Glass Door allows you to see all sorts of things about the company that you are considering including Salary, Who is Interviewing, and a list of Job Openings. You can create a notification so that it sends you email whenever a new job you are interested in is posted. On Indeed you can post your resume and employers can post a job
Glass Door

3. Filling out an Online Application: Some online applications require that all of your documents (resume, cover letter, etc...) need to be uploaded in .pdf format. If you have typed your resume using word it probably has a .doc ending. To make it a .pdf often you have to go to FILE>PRINT and then choose PDF (usually at the bottom of the window). The computer will ask you where you want to put it (the same as saving) and will change it into a .pdf. Unlike saving as, a .pdf makes a picture of your document, so it cannot be edited or changed.

4. Writing a Resume  In your word processor (Word, Open Office, Pages, etc) there are often templates built in. These are pages that are already formatted like a resume. All you need to do is to type and replace words that have been put in the right spaces. To find out if your program has templates for this go to FILE>OPEN>TEMPLATES and look through what is there to see if there is a template you like. If not, you can go online to look for a template. Here are some links to free templates online.  Build your resume online with several choices of format. You must log in and create a password.  This has an article about things you should include in a good resume. This has 1500 templates that are all sorted by job type.

There are lots of other sites that provide templates. There are also courses that teach you how to make a resume. Below is a link to one example. Search Google for resume writing course and you will see 15,000,000,000 results. There are also courses at your local Junior College and through Employment Centers at your city government. This is an online class. It costs $35 and will give you 1.2 CEUs.

Another possibility that is a bit more expensive is to have someone write your resume for you. If you have trouble putting your experience into words this might be for you. This is an example of a list of services in Austin, TX.

5.  Job Search Websites - There is lots of information and job hunting advice as well as a searchable list of jobs on this site. - This site has other resources as well. You sign up and create a password so that you can get back into your account. - Simply Hired allows you to search for a job by category. - This site reviews the links above as well as many others.

Finally, remember that EVERYTHING you have done online is easy for any employer to find and lasts forever. It is important that you do a search on your name to see what comes up. 

If nothing shows up when you type in your name it is not always good. It means that you have no digital footprint and depending on the job you are looking for that might be bad. 

It is always possible that something surprisingly bad might come up. A friend of mine did a search and several years ago she was arrested for a minor issue. Some company takes mug shots and posts them for anyone to see. In order to have them to take your picture down you have to send them money. At least if you know that something like that is out there you can explain it in an interview or a cover letter.

One last thing!  You can call I'm not a at (512)560-2609 and spend 1 hour brushing up on your skills or getting help with writing that resume or searching for jobs!