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How to get your resume noticed in the online clutter

How to get your resume noticed in the online clutter

By Brandon Comstock, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Dec. 30, 2011 at 11:27 a.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- It's where we turn for everything. It’s got news, almost every item ever sold and facts on everything from how wide the universe is, to how to make cookies. So it's no surprise that the first place that most people turn to when searching for employment is the Internet.

However, more and more experts are agreeing that while jobs are available online, the success rate is low.

Richard Bolles, author of “The Job-Hunters' Survival Guide,” estimates that in "good times,” online job searching “results in finding a job for up to 10 out of every one hundred people who us this method.” That’s not to say that 10 percent of jobs are found online, but just 10 percent of people who use that method exclusively will ever find a job. And remember: That was in good times. Bolles goes on to add, “In bad times, the odds are worse.”

So how do you go about finding a job? Unlike most things in today's world, the process of finding a job is pretty much exactly the same as it was 30 years ago. According to LDSjobs.org, 35 percent of all jobs are found through word of mouth, while 30 percent are found through contacting companies. In other words, the best way to find a job is to get away from your computer and talk to people.

But there are still valuable ways to utilize the Internet in your job search.

Here are a few tips to help increase your success rate.

Use the Internet to find leads, then visit in person. While the Internet is a less effective way to find jobs, it can be a good tool if you use it right. When you see an opening at a company, submit the resume online, then go visit them in person, experts recommend. If possible, go back several times and make sure the person in charge of hiring knows your face. Then when it comes time to offer an interview, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.

Use the words in the job posting. One woman reported that “within three minutes of sending out my resume to a company, I received a return email saying that I would not be considered for the position due to my qualifications.” She was surprised that her resume was read so quickly, but the fact is that it wasn’t read at all.

With the huge amount of resumes submitted, companies can’t afford to have a person sit down and read each one. Instead, they use a resume scanner that searches for key words in the document. How do you know what words they will search for? Odds are they told you in the job posting.

Most companies list the qualifications and job responsibilities for each position in the posting. Be sure to use as many of those words as possible in your resume. If the posting says the company is looking for someone who is “experienced in business-to-business sales,” copy and paste the exact phrase and you’ll increase your odds of making it paste the scanner.

"the internet has made it possible for the masses to apply for every position," said Eric Bright, ksl.com's Vice President of E-Commerce. "Make sure your application stands out - not through quirky antics, but because you have a well thought out application strategy including making sure your qualifications truly match those listed in the posting.

"Nothing gets your resume dumped quicker than when a hiring manager sees no link whatsoever between what they need in the position and your skill set."

Not all job sites are equal. Depending on what you’re looking for, you might be better suited to use a smaller, local job site, like KSL Jobs, rather than a large national or global one. Most large sites charge a hefty fee to post openings on their site. As a result, many companies recruit on the site year round, even if there aren’t any openings. In other words, you might be applying for a job that doesn’t even exist.

Smaller sites on the other hand are generally utilized by companies with a few hundred employees or less. Companies like these can’t afford expensive fees of large sites or the high-tech resume-reading technology. As a result, your resume is much more likely to be read by a real person.

"While many jobs are filled through personal networks, the advent of online job boards has given hiring managers access to a much greater audience and job seekers unprecedented access to jobs that historically were only available to friends and colleagues of hiring managers," said Bright.

In addition, with a little work you can usually find someone to contact at these companies about status of your resume, a task you can rarely accomplish with a larger company.

Brandon Comstock is an instructor of religion at Hurricane High School seminary. He previously worked as a career preparation mentor at BYU- Idaho and is currently serving as the employment specialist in the Hurricane Utah 8th Ward.

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Brandon Comstock

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