Feature: How to Get Yourself “Chera-Picked” By Recruiters
Perhaps you’ve heard of him? His name is Jean Carlos Chera, and he’s just 9 years old. Despite his age and the fact that he lives in a small town in Brazil, he’s been offered a contract by Manchester United, one of the elite teams of world soccer, and a number of other clubs are pursuing him, as well.
How did this happen? Well, Jean Carlos is a soccer “wunderkid;” he can do things with a soccer ball that even many adults only dream of. He would have simply been a local hero, however, and languished in obscurity (at least until he reached his teens) had it not been for the Internet. He exploded on the international soccer consciousness because a video of his play appeared on his team’s Web-site. There, it was seen by a reporter from an Argentine newspaper who wrote a story about it. That, in turn, prompted some soccer fans to take a look at the video, and they then e-mailed it to their friends who passed it on to their friends, and before long, the video had circled the globe online. The rest, as they say, is history. The soccer career of young Jean Carlos has been launched.
What can we learn from the experience of Jean Carlos? Simple. The Internet can make you and your talents visible to lots and lots of people, including those who count most in your profession, craft or trade. Of course, everyone already knows that. The problem is that most of us limit ourselves to but one demonstration of our capabilities: our resume. We post it in the database at a job board or two, and think we’re done. With our resume online, we’ll stand out like Chera, and the recruiters will soon be beating down our door.
If only it were that simple. The problem, you see, is that there are a huge number of resumes on the Web so it’s difficult for any one resume-yours, for example-to stand out. Additionally, recruiters have to dig around in a job board’s computerized resume database to find your document, and in some, perhaps many cases, their search skills are not up to the task. As a result, they overlook your resume and fail to contact you for a position that you are clearly qualified to perform.
So, how can you make sure you get noticed online? There are at least two steps you can take that will both differentiate you from the herd and enable you to showcase your talents.
Rules for Success If you decide to participate in a listserv, follow these rules to ensure that it actually helps your career:
1. Fit in. Each listserv and chat has its own culture and rules (e.g., how they handle disagreements, how formal or informal their messages are), and you must be respectful of both if you want to be welcomed and allowed to participate.
2. Participate regularly. The only way a listserv can help you is if you are actually contributing to it. You never know when a recruiter is going to be watching, so you must showcase yourself frequently (i.e., 2-3 times/week) if you want to be seen.
3. Add something worthwhile. You don’t have to spend a lot of time during each visit to the group, but you must stick around long enough to be noticed and make a contribution. Showcasing your talent is not showboating, so make sure your input is relevant, timely and contributes to the group’s discussion.
Rules for Success If you decide to write a blog, follow these rules to ensure that it actually helps your career:
1. Don’t rant. A career blog is not the place to vent your spleen about the cost of prescription drugs or how unfair your speeding ticket was. It is a platform for showcasing your skills, so focus on that.
2. Communicate like a professional. It may be all yours, and it may be personal, but if you want to impress a recruiter, make sure you edit your entries and proofread them carefully. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so take the time to put your best foot forward.
3. Say something worthwhile. A blog is not a place to rehash your resume. Recruiters are looking for distinctive performers, so use your commentary to excel in your field, to offer your ideas about how best to address a particular challenge or to accomplish a task that is often done poorly.
Shakespeare said “all the world’s a stage,” and he was right-in his time and in ours. Thanks to the Internet, we can now offer performances that recruiters in our hometown and around the world can see. Done well, they can be the opening act for what’s next in our career.
Thanks for reading,
Section Two: Site News You Can Use
HireVetsFirst.gov, conducted a recent survey of employers and found that many were unfamiliar with the abilities of veterans and the special qualities they bring to the workplace. What should you do if you’re a vet? First, review the site’s “10 Reasons to Hire Vets” so you can properly sell yourself effectively to employers. Second, use the site’s “Military Skills Translator” to remove as much military jargon as possible from both your resume and your vocabulary. Third, take advantage of the employment opportunities posted at sites designed specifically to serve veterans. Two of these sites won WEDDLE’s User’s Choice Awards in 2005: VetJobs.com and Vets4Hire.com.
Indeed.com launched a “job agent” that it has designed to scan the entire Web for job openings. Founded by the fellows behind jobsinthemoney.com (which they sold to eFinancialCareers.com in 2003), the site professes to search all commercial job boards and newspaper sites to provide a one-stop access point for some 22 million jobs now posted online. The service is free for job seekers; like Google, it make its money by selling those little ads that appear on your search results.
IntelCareers.com launched its site for job seekers who are looking for intelligence-related positions anywhere around the world. It is organized into a number of discussion forums on employment opportunities and intelligence topics.
MEPatWork.com, a site that specializes it the mechanical, electrical and plumbing industries, announced that it has redesigned its Web-site to enhance its appeal to visitors. The redesigned Home Page provides separate entry points for job seekers and employers and targets the content in each area to those groups.
U.S. Department of Labor reported that, since the mid-1990’s, “older people” have become the fastest growing portion of the workforce. It projects that workers over 55 will make up 19.1% of the labor force by 2012, up from 14.3% in 2002. Despite that reality, however, not every organization will be free of age bias, and many organizations will not be organized to make best use of these more experienced workers. If you’re over the age of 55, therefore, it’s important that you evaluate just how “older worker friendly” a prospective employer is. How can you tell? Visit its Web-site and (a) see if it has set up a special area to make “older workers” feel at home on the site, (b) take at look at the employees pictured on the site to see if there is age diversity among those it showcases, and (c) review its policies and benefits to determine if they (consciously or otherwise) favor younger age cohorts (e.g., tuition assistance is limited to those seeking a bachelor’s degree rather than to anyone upgrading their education, to include those taking refresher training).
WEDDLE’s announced the release of its 2005 print catalog. If you’d like to receive a free copy, please e-mail your name, company name, title and postal mailing address to us at email@example.com. The catalog will probably ship in mid January and list all of our publications for the new year. These books will not appear in book stores until March or April, but you’ll be able to order them right away with the catalog. You’ll have special, advanced access to our 2005 Guide to Employment Web Sites, our 2005 Directory of Employment-Related Internet Sites, and our completely updated Guide to Association Web Sites, as well as to several exciting, new titles. If you want to get ahead of the pack, sign up for WEDDLE’s 2005 Catalog today! Sorry-the catalog can be mailed to U.S. addresses only.
Section Three: Site Profiles
Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?
1. If you’re looking for a position with a social service organization and have experience helping high school drop outs, which of the following sites would put your search at risk?
2. If you’re a landscape architect seeking a position with a growing urban planning firm, which of the following sites would stunt the growth of your career?
3. You’re an experienced life scientist with a track record of successful research on sleep aid drugs. Which of the following sites would let you rest easy in your search for a new employer?
Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2005 Guides and Directories
A WEDDLE’s 2005 User’s Choice Award Winner
Post full time jobs: Yes
Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – All
Distribution of jobs: Regional/USA-AZ, NM, CO, FL, RI
Number of jobs: 8,000
Salary levels of jobs: Not Reported
Offer a job agent: Yes
Resume database: Yes
How long are resumes stored: 365 days
Restrictions on who can post: If registered
Other services for job seekers: Career and job search information on-site, Links to other sites with job search and career management information
Answers to Site Insite
1. HelpPeople.com, the site of an HR consulting firm.
2. TreePeople.com, the site of an environmental service organization.
3. Only HireHealth.com. SleepySearch.com is the site of a hotel reservations company, SleepPositions.com is a sleep information site, and GoodSleep.com is a fatigue management consulting firm.