Feature: The Language of Success Online
Millions of job openings are now posted on the Internet, but every one of them is invisible. They’re open and available to you, but you can’t see them. How can you uncover these opportunities and spot the ones that interest you? It’s easy … if you’ll learn a few simple rules for speaking to computers.
When you open the classified ads in a newspaper or professional journal, all of the openings appear right in front of you, on the printed page. Jobs that are posted on the Internet, in contrast, are stored in computerized databases. Nothing is visible until you tell the computer what kind of jobs you’d like to see.
While all job board computers are different, the vast majority accept instructions that are based on a single set of rules. These rules were devised by a 19th century British mathematician by the name of George Boole. He established the logic by which factors are presented so that their relationship to one another can be clearly and accurately understood. In job databases, these factors are the characteristics you seek in your dream job.
For example, if you’re looking for a facility manager position in the hospitality industry that pays a salary of $50,000 and is located in Milwaukee or Green Bay, Wisconsin, Boolean rules will enable you to present those criteria so that the computer understands exactly what you want. Thanks to that clarity of expression, you can be sure that you won’t waste a lot of time uncovering positions in which you are not interested or, even worse, overlook one or more positions in which you are.
The following list summarizes the most important Boolean rules. To get the best results from any specific job database, however, study its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and use its online tutorial, if one is provided.
Rule #1. The characteristics (i.e., the individual words, terms or phrases) that you use to describe your dream job are called “key words” on the Internet. They are normally entered in all lower case letters because capitalization makes them cases sensitive. In other words, if you capitalize a key word, the computer will identify only those jobs where that word is capitalized. If you use all lower case letters, the computer will identify every job that contains the word, whether it is capitalized or not.
Rule #2. To link two characteristics together, both of which are required in your dream job, use the Boolean operator AND. Boolean operators are normally expressed in all capital letters. In the example above, you might use the following expression to tell the computer what kind of job you want: $50,000 AND hospitality. This expression tells the computer that you want it to identify any job in its database that offers both characteristics. It must pay $50,000, and it must be in the hospitality industry. If either one of those factors is missing, you do not want to see the job.
Rule #3. To tell the computer that the characteristic for which you are looking is a phrase rather than a single word, use quotation marks. For example: “facility manager” AND $50,000 AND hospitality.
Rule #4. To link two characteristics together, either one of which is acceptable in your dream job, use the Boolean operator OR. For example, Milwaukee OR “Green Bay”. Note that using capital letters with city or state names is acceptable as they are seldom expressed any other way.
Rule #5. To link two characteristics together when they are part of a longer set of characteristics, use parentheses. For example, “facility manager” AND $50,000 AND hospitality AND (Milwaukee OR “Green Bay”).
Rule #6. To account for the fact that different people use different terms to express the same idea, always include any synonyms of your characteristics and, wherever possible, use a Boolean operator called a wildcard.
Using Boolean expressions is a little like learning to speak pig Latin. It’s not an elegant way to communicate, but it can convey information so that is accurate and comprehensible. Equally as important, anyone can do it, and with even a little practice, become expert enough to find their dream job and make it visible on the Web.
Thanks for reading,
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Section Two: Site News You Can Use
The Association of Executive Search Consultants released the results of a poll of 516 senior executives. It probed their willingness to relocate to management positions in China, India or Russia. In a sign of the growing importance of global business experience, an impressive 50% said they would go to China, 34% to India and an identical 34% would go to Russia. Obviously, overseas employment is not for everyone, but it’s an option you should definitely consider … now, if you’re in transition, and for the future, if you’re thinking about what your next career move should be. To do your homework on opportunities and employment conditions, conduct a browser search using the key words “international jobs.” You’ll find plenty of information sources and a growing number of job boards that specialize in employment abroad.
BrokerHunter.com has teamed up with Tradepub.com so that visitors to its site can now download free subscriptions to trade publications. You get access to 300 different publications in 28 industrial sectors including finance, insurance, banking and securities. As I’ve noted from time-to-time, one of the most important keys to success in today’s competitive job market is to be “interview ready” at all times. That means you must be up-to-the-minute with the latest news in your career field, industry and the general world of business, and as this announcement indicates, online publications offer a convenient and often cost-free way to do so.
TheLadders.com announced the results of a poll of 858 senior job seekers conducted in June. It found that almost half of these executives (48%) expect to apply to 100 or more job ads before receiving an offer of employment. Just 10.2% expect to get an offer with less than 20 applications. Is it still possible to land a job with a single application? Sure. But, as this survey indicates, the odds are much greater that multiple applications will be required. While the job market has definitely improved, it still takes plenty of elbow grease and a fair amount of time to find a good job, so if you’re in a job search campaign or about to embark on one, make sure you set realistic expectations for yourself and for your spouse and family.
U.S. Public Interest Research Group conducted a survey of 200 adults and found that 79% of their credit reports contained errors. Even worse, 25% of those errors were serious enough to preclude their qualifying for a loan, renting an apartment or getting a job. With a large and growing number of employers now conducting background and credit checks as a part of the application process, it’s imperative that you check with all three of the major credit reporting bureaus and correct any errors you find in their reports. Those bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Yes, it will cost you a little money and, if you find errors, it will certainly take some time and effort to correct them. However, that investment will be well worthwhile if it prevents you from losing a job offer because of some error in a credit report.
USA Today reported that a growing number of employers are now taking steps to respond to recent surveys predicting high turnover as the economy strengthens. Unfortunately, the strategy adopted by at least some organizations seems more focused on legal restrictions than on better leadership. Strengthening legal contracts designed to protect trade secrets is an entirely appropriate step for an enterprise to take, but it does nothing to build loyalty among workers. One way to gauge the priorities of a prospective employer is to compare the detail and completeness of its Nondisclosure Agreement with the range and quality of the benefits it offers. If it’s invested more in lawyers than in human resources, you might want to consider another place of employment.
Section Three: Site Profiles
Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?
1. If you’re an experienced environmental engineer looking for a new employer, which of the following sites would be a mother lode of opportunities?
2. You’re a seasoned compliance professional with a background in Federal Government reporting. Which of the following sites would fail to meet the standards for successfully supporting your job search?
3. If you have a track record as a CIO who can direct major system changes, which of the following sites would likely program you for further success?
Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2004 Guides and Directories
A WEDDLE’s 2004 User’s Choice Award Winner
Post full time jobs: Yes
Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – All
Distribution of jobs: National: USA
Number of jobs: “Hundreds of thousands”
Salary levels of jobs: Not Reported
Offer a job agent: Yes
Resume database: Yes
How long are resumes stored: 1 year
Restrictions on who can post: Must register with the site
Other services for job seekers: Career and job search information, Links to other sites, Confidentiality feature in resume database
Answers to Site Insite
2. TopCom.com, a site offering services for small businesses.
3. All but aCIO.com, the site of a media services company.