Resume and Interview Tips
These days, unless you're an IT engineer the first place you're likely to go to look for job opportunities is the web. Monster is just the biggest example: there are dozens of job listing sites focused on industries, career types and on geographical regions. Many of the general career websites provide an opportunity to file a resume in their database, made available to companies seeking employees. Most have fairly sophisticated search techniques that allow you to search their database of available jobs by area, career type, salary range, industry, company size and so forth.
What many job seekers don't recognize is the value of the internet in presenting themselves - an online resume, so to speak. But people who use websites to provide their employment background have found many additional features that will optimize the presentation of their skills and experience.
Every online job inquiry requires at least the submission of a resume. The career web site or the HR department requesting the resume may well request a format, and they inevitably vary. Some want an attachment in Word, some won't accept attachments, insisting on an email inclusion. In both those instances, you can never be sure that the document you send will look the same when it's opened by the recruiter as it looks when you send it. The appearance of the document is never an issue when all you are sending is a url to be clicked.
Your resume will look just as you want it to look, every time. And the value of a website does not end with just providing consistency in the appearance of your basic document. Some job listings ask immediately for samples of your work, whether it's in written or graphic form. Prospective employers want to see your writing skills, whether it's for white papers or advertising copy or business plans or operational proposals. If you're in the graphics field, of course you've got to have a "portfolio" - if you're in advertising, they'll want to see your "book."
You can design your website to include samples of your work. Further, you can set up your web site to present different sets of samples for different job applications. All this requires is grouping types of work samples and providing a password to access them. Send a url and a password, and you've accomplished a couple of things.
The first and most obvious is that you can make the most professional presentation possible by using the tools available with HTML. The best an email response can be is a one dimensional document with a dull font and no highlighting. It is equally possible that a resume sent via email will not present properly; margins and tabs will be out of line, and so forth. Attached documents may also be askew if your software and the software of the reviewer don't match up.
The second, and equally important effect that a resume on a website provides is ease of access. All that is required is a click, and your resume or CV is presented in browser format. Many freelance writers feel that this approach gives them leverage in replying to job placements; a url is less likely to be discarded or overlooked than an email or a word processor attachment.
Those ironclad rules about one page resumes aren't so threatening when there are no pages involved, but just a little scrolling through a polished, graphically enhanced HTML document. At first glance a website when you've got no current income seems like an unnecessary luxury. But with many website hosting plans starting at less than $10 a month, such an investment seems insignificant considering the possibility of shortening your job search substantially.