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The official online job search resource hosted By Dick Bolles, author of "What Color is Your Parachute"
Job & Resume Sites
Job & Resume Sites
For most people who are job-hunting on the Internet, this is where the rubber meets the road. When most people are job-hunting, their instinct is to go directly to the job boards and see what is available. Some are richly rewarded; some are bitterly disappointed. Clearly, this is not what the Internet does best when you are job-hunting; even though it is probably what the Internet should do best.

Be that as it may, you should of course give the job & resume sites (also referred to as job boards) a shot. There are three things you can do at these sites:

  • Look through the job listings in the site's database, using the on-site search engine that all such sites have. You type in keywords that you think will describe the jobs that you are interested in, and the search engine kicks back those job postings in its database that are triggered by your keywords.
  • Post your resume on the site. This allows employers to come to the site and look through the resumes that have been posted there, using the on-site search engine that all such sites have. The employer types in keywords that he thinks will describe the people he is interested in finding, and the search engine kicks back those resumes in the site's database that are triggered by his keywords. Hopefully, one of those will be yours.
  • Many job sites have the ability to match up resumes and job postings automatically; we'll call them "matching engines". It's very much like typing in keywords to find a suitable job posting, but in this case, your resume itself takes the place of the search string. Most sites will have the ability to do this in a continuous manner, so that when a new job is posted to the site, even if it's days or weeks after you posted your resume, the two can still be matched, and you will be notified off this by email.
What computers do quicker than people, if not better, is to say that this thing is the same as that thing, or that the two are different, and then take some action based on that sameness or difference. This action - the conditional branch - is the essence of all computer programming, and the technology is well suited to seeing if a resume matches a job posting. Or, more specifically, to see if the keywords in a resume match the keywords in a job posting. It is not the same thing.

This is what you must remember if you are going to enjoy any real success on the job boards and. Think in the very literal manner in which a computer thinks, and discover the right keywords to bring up the sort of job you are interested in. The perfect job could be right there, just a mouse click away; but if you cannot enter the proper keywords for the job site's matching engine to bring it to your attention, the job might as well be on Mars.

The same principle applies when you write your resume: have the specific goal of responding to any keywords that the employer might enter, as he looks for potential employees. Also, your resume must be written so that it will trigger the job site's matching software… and yet, it must still be readable. This is an art.

Lucky for you, I'm not the only person to have thought about this, and there are many Web sites that will tell you how to write your resume for the Internet Age. In fact, there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to Internet resume resources; so let's go there first.

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