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Websume: Resumes As Websites

As we move into the next millennium, one's approach to the job market is becoming exceedingly more sophisticated. Technologically our options are ever-evolving at a rather fast clip. To find a job today, we work with the new world of career management websites, online communities, listservs, video conference interviews, virtual offices, data mining techniques, virtual reality job simulations, and newsgroups, just to name a few. We are moving so fast, Merriam-Webster, et. Al. cannot keep up with the spontaneous combustion of new words entering our daily lives.

So with all of these new means of communication, how do we put our best virtual foot forward?

A candidate in today's marketplace cannot rely upon the traditional methods of a job search. Responding to classifieds, working with executive search firms and networking with industry associates are not the primary investigative channels that they once were. According to Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehlin, authors of the well respected directory "CareerXRoads" (a guide to the 500 best job, resume and career management sites): "?too many professionals look to find a 'yellow brick road' -- a straight and narrow path" to the ideal job. When, in essence, it is a territory with "crossroads?where both employer and candidates can meet and make a choice or two."

However, even with greater communication, the job of getting a job is still an arduous task. It requires up-to-date knowledge of the new technological process of recruitment. "Recruiters and managers prefer to scan the most candidate data in the shortest period of time," states Gerry Crispin. This is the quickest way that a firm can formulate a short list of applicants that meet their job criteria. So it behooves the job-seeker to become familiar with the "key words" that are needed to make their resumes the most "scan-specific."

But even at this point, how do candidates differentiate themselves from the competition? In other words, once in the the door, how do we move beyond just having face time with the job decision-makers?

Developing a resume web site is a means to that end. Here for the first time is an opportunity for candidates to make their professional background come to life and virtually (no pun intended)?jump off the page (or screen, as it were)! If your written page of vita data got their interest -- think about the icing on the cake -- the advertising vehicle of a website that is able to stimulate the senses of sight and sound.

A few examples follow:

  • When you want to highlight a point, include a photograph or .jpg file.
  • If you were ever filmed during an interview or a personal appearance, transfer that footage to an .avi file.
  • Use a camcorder to conduct your own interview and paste it to your homepage.
  • Film and interview one of your references.
  • Add sound (a .wav file) to accent a hyperlink, or include background music to set a tone.
  • Use clipart or graphics to reinforce a theme, an idea, an experience.
Once the creative process has begun, there are endless possibilities as to what one can do to make the work experience come alive.

However, coupled with this new and exciting opportunity to present oneself is the much needed element of self-promotion. The field of dreams analogy of "once you build it they will come" does not necessarily apply here. One has to be tenacious in the pursuit of making a resume site available to the most people. Similar to the concept of networking, the more people you meet, the greater are your odds for selling the goods.

In promoting a resume website, you can expose your electronic advertisement in some of the following ways:

  • Embed your URL site into e-mail, press releases, and newsgroup communications.
  • Conduct an e-mail campaign to all of your prospects.
  • Send a separate e-mail communication to your networking associates.
  • Connect to search engines with key words.
  • Link to the resume web sites of your associates and trade organizations in your field.
  • Advertise on career placement websites.
  • List your site name on all of your correspondence, traditional resumes and FAX cover sheets.
  • Get your references to give you testimonials so they can mention your site during reference checks.
  • Present your website during the job interview.

Again the possibilities of promoting one's self is endless, but extremely important in making sure that your website receives as much traffic as possible. As a reinforcement to one's printed resume and your face-to-face interview presentation, a resume website can only enhance your chances of getting that next important job.

Read more: Websume: Resumes As Websites

How To Choose The Best Resume Format

This career article gives you some common sense advice and tips on how on the most common resume formats.

When designed properly, your resume can be a powerful component of your job search arsenal. When created carelessly, it could actually impair your job search. Crafting a poorly designed resume is one of the worst blunders a job hunter can make; unfortunately it is also one of the most common mistakes made. Think about it. Do you want the very first thing an employer evaluates you on to be less than effective?

The easiest thing to do is just open Microsoft Word, choose a resume template and start filling in the blanks; that could be the start of your troubles. Those templates are great guides and look beautiful, but they may take you down the wrong path.

This article covers the three basic types of "resumes". Use this article as a guide to help select which resume format is best for you.

THE CHRONOLOGICAL RESUME
QUESTION: What is it?

ANSWER:
Hopefully, the name gives you a clue about the format of the Chronological Resume. It is simply an organization of job titles and corresponding responsibilities from your current or most recent position to the oldest relevant one you held.

QUESTION: How can I make it effective?

ANSWER:
Employers absolutely love this style of resume. When written properly, the Chronological Resume can be clear, straight-forward and most importantly, easy to scan. (Remember, hiring managers are notoriously short on time!) Since employers initially only give most resumes a quick once-over, being able to make a strong first impression is crucial. This format is direct and factual, which is a tremendous help to a person sorting through a slew of resumes.

QUESTION: Who should use it?

ANSWER:
Though appealing to employers, the chronological format is not for every applicant. Job seekers with a great deal of experience and a fluid job history benefit most from the Chronological Resume. However, people changing careers or lacking formal work experience (such as recent graduates) will find it difficult to create a resume in this format. They may find greater ease using the functional format discussed next.

THE FUNCTIONAL RESUME
QUESTION: What is it?

ANSWER:
The Functional Resume arranges your job history to highlight special skills and achievements. Great caution must be taken when using this format, because it can draw an unkind eye if done incorrectly.

QUESTION: How can I make it effective?

ANSWER:
The main complaint employer's have with Functional Resumes is not being able to match up skills with an actual job. Thankfully, this is an easy error to avoid. Every skill or accomplishment listed should have a company name and job description listed under it. Remember, the Functional Resume highlights your achievement, but employers still care about experience and dates. You can only benefit from a Functional Resume, if you use it in a way that meets an employer's concerns. A chronological order of your jobs must be easily inferred if not explicitly stated in any resume format.

QUESTION: Who should use it?

ANSWER:
The Functional Resume is a sort of "problem solving resume". It can help you and a prospective employer make sense of your work history. The best suited applicants for a Functional Resume are:
  1. Individuals with a varied work history where previous positions held do not clearly link together,
  2. People with job titles that do not clearly explain job responsibilities,
  3. New graduates entering the workforce, and
  4. People making a career change.
THE COMBINATION RESUME
QUESTION: What is it?

ANSWER:
This is a mix of the above two formats. Information is organized in relevant skills and functions, followed by job titles, companies and a brief description of responsibilities. The combination resume format is very well received by hiring authorities. This powerful presentation shows relevant skills and accomplishments at the beginning, but is later supported by the strong employment section. The combination resume is very similar to a functional resume, it is a chronological resume which lists accomplishments in functional skill areas.

QUESTION: How can I make it effective?

ANSWER:
This format is great because you can show off a strong employment record with upward mobility. You can customize this to showcase relevant skills, and abilities, and a supportive employment record as well as emphasize transferable skills.

QUESTION: Who should use it?

ANSWER:
There is a lot of flexibility with this type of resume, it can easily be used:
  1. If you are fairly certain about the specific job you are looking for.
  2. If you are skilled and capable but have no direct work experience in any specific area.
  3. If your functional resume is shorter or too sketchy, this format is better..
  4. If you want to offer a complete picture of your abilities and work history.
CONCLUSION
Don't be afraid to use a resume template, but you need to seriously consider if the template you are using is actually beneficial. Spending a little extra time developing your resume can dramatically decrease the time you spend looking for work. So, how do you want to spend your time? This article can be read online and shared with others directly at:
http://www.worktree.com/newsletter/choosing-the-best-resume-format.html

Sincerely,
Nathan Newberger,
Managing Editor
http://www.WorkTree.com
"Helping You Find More Jobs Faster"

Read more: How To Choose The Best Resume Format

Tips To Handle Employment Gaps

This article gives job seekers some important pointers on handle gaps in their work history.

Being unemployed is a difficult and stressful situation. To make matters even worse, the fact that you may not currently have a job can prevent you from finding a job. It is unfair, but true. Having gaps in your employment history are often an immediate turn off for recruiters and interviewers; however, with a little bit of creativity, you can make those gaps disappear.

This month's newsletter explains the 4 steps to handling gaps in your employment history. Don't let being out of work keep you out of work.

These following four methods will be covered:

1. Find Real Gaps
2. Fill In Gaps
3. Dodge Resume Gaps
4. Mention Major Gaps


4 TIPS TO HANDLE EMPLOYMENT GAPS!
1) FIND REAL GAPS
The first mistake many people make is to assume the worst when it comes to being out of work. Not having a job does not mean you have an employment gap. There are many legitimate reasons for not working. These reasons can be addressed directly without any worry.

The most common explanations of unemployment that should NOT be considered employment gaps are:
  • Attending school
  • Having/taking care of children
  • Personal health problems
  • Serious Illness in the Family
  • Being between jobs for a short period of time (less than 6 months)
2) FILL IN GAPS
If your bout with unemployment does not fall into one of the categories listed above, you most likely have an official gap in your employment history. Even at this point, you do not necessarily have to let a potential employer know about this gap.

By keeping busy while you are between jobs, you can turn a would-be gap into a learning experience. Consider using the following tactics to fill those gaps:
  • Take a class related to your profession. Being in school accounts for your time off, and employers like to see people bettering themselves through education.
  • Look for freelance or consulting projects. These jobs are not permanent, but they do ensure that you keep up-to-date with your skills. You can put this type of work on your resume as if it were any other kind of job.
  • Volunteer for an organization. Getting paid would be ideal, but future employers are concerned with your work experience. To a recruiter, a volunteering position can be just as good as a paying job.
  • Read trade journals. Though this method may not be something you put on your resume, it will help you stay current with the industry. Conveying the newest information possible in an interview shows that you have not lost your knowledge of the business.
3) DODGE RESUME GAPS
Not everyone will be able to find a creative way to fill the gaps in their employment history. If you find yourself in this situation, it is no longer an issue of proving your time was occupied. Instead, you should focus on the fact that you are still skilled and qualified.

However, most resumes focus on time by addressing experiences chronologically. Consider using the following suggestions to draw attention away from your time between jobs:
  • Don't distinguish between paid and unpaid work on your resume. This way you can have a seemingly continuous string of jobs, even if you volunteered for the sake avoiding an employment gap.
  • Use only years (not months) when listing work dates on your resume. This can discretely cover several months of unemployment.
  • Summarize what you did while you did not have a job. It may seem awkward to put this kind of information directly on your resume, but it is more important to let recruiters know you used your time wisely.
  • Use a functional resume. Unlike the traditional chronological resume, a functional resume puts less emphasis on the timing of work experiences. Instead, a functional resume emphasizes skills, which employers care more about.
4) MENTION MAJOR GAPS
The last important step in handling employment gaps is deciding when to discuss them. Unless you can completely hide the gap, a recruiter will eventually spot it. If you are prepared to address the issue, you can avoid a potential disaster.

There are basically 2 schools of thought on this issue: address an employment gap in your cover letter or address it in the interview. Neither approach is wrong; neither approach is right. It is a matter of personal taste. Just consider these points before deciding, which approach you use:
  • In a cover letter, make your explanation very brief. A one or two-sentence long explanation is enough. Details are not important.
  • If a gap occurred a long time ago, don't bother mentioning it in a cover letter. Employers are concerned with your recent work, not something that happened 10 years ago.
  • In an interview, still keep your explanation brief. The only reason to go into deeper detail is if you gained valuable experiences during your employment gap.
  • No matter what, END ON A POSITIVE NOTE. Whether you address the gap in a cover letter or an interview, state that you are ready and excited to get back to work.
CONCLUSION
Hopefully, these steps will give you ideas on how to handle your own employment gaps. It's a difficult task to do, but it is also one of the most valuable. Having employment gaps shouldn't keep you from finding a job, but only you can stop the cycle from repeating itself. This article can be read online and shared with others directly at:

This article can be read online and shared with others directly at:
http://www.worktree.com/newsletter/tips-to-handle-employment-gaps.html

Sincerely,
Nathan Newberger,
Managing Editor
http://www.WorkTree.com
"Helping You Find More Jobs Faster"

WorkTree Success Story
"WorkTree has provided some of the best resources I have employed. Its been a tough market, but I've had a lot of leads. The local market is finally picking up...its showing in the worktree portal as well."....Sandra P.,

Read more: Tips To Handle Employment Gaps

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