Finding a Job after the Divorce
Finding Jobs: Tips to Help You Find a New Job Using the Web
Now that you’re divorced, are you in the market for a new job? Well, you’re not alone. Recently, Yahoo! HotJobs surveyed more than 5,000 U.S. workers and found nearly half plan to search for a new job within the next year. Additionally, that number only represents those who will actively look. Another two-thirds of currently employed respondents said they may not actively seek out a new job, but that they would be open to one if the right opportunity came along.
Whatever is motivating you to seek out a new employment opportunity — whether it’s a recent relocation, the need to earn more money, or an effort to re-enter the workforce now that you’re single and can no longer afford to be a stay-at-home mom — when you’re ready to begin your job search efforts, the Internet can be a powerful tool.
As a word processor, your computer can help you create professional-looking resumes and cover letters. As a contact management and scheduling tool, it can assist you in keeping track of potential employers, allow you to track when resumes were sent, when follow-ups are needed, and when interviews have been scheduled. When your computer is connected to the Internet, it also becomes a valuable tool for finding job openings, by allowing you to search through thousands of ‘help wanted’ ads and job descriptions in seconds “ not hours. It can also be used as a research tool, making it easy to learn about potential employers before your interviews.
Most recently, job seekers have discovered another way to find job openings using the Web. It’s by tapping into online social networking services, like LinkedIn and Facebook. These services allow you to meet new people with similar personal and professional interests, and then leverage those contacts to make finding and landing a new job easier.
Even with a computer, the job search process will require significant time, dedication and persistence on your part. However, with the use of a computer and the Internet, certain aspects of this process have become much less time consuming and tedious.No matter what type of job you’re looking to fill, the more education you have, the better qualified you’ll be. The U.S. Census Bureau recently released data proving the substantial value of a degree in the United States.
According to careeroverview.com, a website that offers information for job seekers about specific industries and the current job prospects within them, workers 18 and over sporting bachelors degrees earn an average of $51,206 a year, while those with a high school diploma earn $27,915. Workers with an advanced degree make an average of $74,602, and those without a high school diploma average $18,734. One way to increase your earning potential is to obtain additional education and/or job-related training.
FINDING SUITABLE OPENINGS
Once you’ve carefully analyzed your skill set, experience, education and overall qualifications, and have matched them up with your career-related interests, it’s time to begin searching for available job opportunities that you’re qualified to fill. The best way to avoid wasting valuable time during your job search is to only pursue jobs you’re actually qualified to fill and that you’d have an interest in taking.There are many ways to find suitable job openings, including:
1. Searching the help wanted’ ads in local newspapers and industry trade magazines.
2. Attending career fairs held in your area.
3. Pinpointing specific employers you’d like to work for, and contacting their human resources departments directly.
4. Working with a headhunter or employment agency. Using your networking skills in order to reach out to the people you know, to determine if they know of available job openings, or if they can help you get your foot in the door at a potential employer through a personal introduction.
5. Tapping into the online social networking websites to meet people working in your industry in hopes of discovering new career opportunities.
6. Attending industry-oriented trade shows and conventions. These can be excellent opportunities to network with professionals in an industry where you have interest in working.
7. Surfing the Internet and utilizing job-related Web sites, such as The Monster Board and Yahoo! HotJobs, to search through thousands of job listings quickly and apply for suitable jobs online.
Each one of these job search methods has benefits and drawbacks, which is why incorporating a multi-faceted approach to your job search efforts is essential. For example, if you pick up a copy of the help wanted section in the Sunday edition of your local newspaper, on Monday morning, dozens, if not hundreds of job seekers will begin responding to each ad. This makes it difficult for you to stand out as an applicant. Plus, if you wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to make contact with potential employer, chances are the job will already have been filled.
Also, according to job search experts, more than 60 percent of all available jobs are never advertised, meaning that job seekers often learn about them through word-of-mouth, and get invited in for an interview based on a personal introduction from someone they know. This is why networking should represent a significant part of your job search efforts. With or without the use of a computer and e-mail, networking involves contacting the people you know — friends, relatives, past coworkers, former clients, former professors/teachers and others working in your industry, for example.
Especially if you’re looking to fill an entry-level or middle-management level position, one quick and easy way to learn about what types of job opportunities are available in your geographic area is to visit the various job-related websites.
According to The Monster Board, one of the largest and best-established job-related sites on the Web, in 2005 more than 186 million job seekers utilized the site worldwide. This included having its online job postings viewed more than 2.1 billion times, and having 107 million jobs applied for by job seekers using the service. On average, The Monster Board accepts 16.4 million new resumes into its database every year, which averages more than 40,000 new resumes from job seekers being posted every day.
While landing a job using one of these services doesn’t work for everyone, statistics show that using these services increase your chances of finding employment quickly.From Web sites, like The Monster Board, you can perform a variety of job search-related tasks, like creating an electronic version of your resume that can be added to an online database. This makes it possible for potential employers to find you. You can also use this same electronic resume to apply for specific job openings that you see advertised on the various job-related Web sites.
The Monster Board and Yahoo! HotJobs, for example, also allow you to perform online research about thousands of different employers quickly, plus learn about various industries, and read career advice from experts. What’s also nice about these job-related sites is that the majority of them are free-of-charge for job seekers. Some job-related websites cater to all job seekers by offering a wide range of services, plus job listings from thousands of employers working in virtually every conceivable industry. Other sites, however, focus on specific types of jobs or industries, such as entry-level jobs, seasonal positions, hospitality jobs, sales jobs, programming/IT jobs, or accounting jobs, for example.
Depending on what type of position you’re looking to fill, and what your qualifications are, you’ll want to invest your time appropriately by choosing a job-related website that best caters to your needs. Again, relying on these job-related sites should only be one facet of your overall job search efforts.
FINDING JOBS ONLINE
When it’s time to sift through the thousands of job listings posted on these web sites, job seekers can typically search for specific types of jobs in a variety of ways, including by keyword, job category, location, job title, experience level, or a combination of these criteria.Some of the sites also automatically match a job seeker’s search criteria with the latest job postings and then notifies the job seeker via email when new positions are posted by employers in their geographic area.
Knowing that in some cases, confidentiality is essential (especially if you’re still currently employed and your employer doesn’t know you’re looking for a new job), many of these websites have tools that allow you to conduct your job search efforts without accidentally revealing your identity or intentions to your current employer.
“One of the biggest obstacles for job seekers considering taking the next step is fear or apathy of the job search process,” said Tom Musbach, editor and career expert for Yahoo! HotJobs. “Our job assessment tool provides customized guidance and is a great place for them to easily get started. The Assessment.com site also includes assistance to job seekers on developing a resume, handling the interview process and even preventing their current employers from knowing they’re looking.”
Another useful feature of HotJobs is that it automatically incorporates help wanted ads from more than 150 major daily newspapers into its database of job listings, which eliminates the need for a job seeker to also scour their local newspaper and tediously search through printed ads to find the ones they’re interested in or that are applicable.
When you visit a job-related web site for the first time, the process typically begins by creating a free account with the service. This could take anywhere from five minutes to over an hour, depending on whether or not you’ll be creating an electronic resume at the same time, and what features of the web site you intend to utilize. Each of the job-related web sites has its own template for helping job seekers create and format an electronic resume. While you can lift information directly from your traditional printed resume and incorporate it into the electronic version, how you word certain things and the formatting will be vastly different. For your electronic resume to work properly, it’s essential that you adhere to the unique template utilized by the job-related website you’re using.
CREATING AN ELECTRONIC RESUME
When you create an electronic resume that will ultimately be e-mailed to a potential employer or added to a vast database of other electronic resumes that potential employers can search, it’s essential that the resume you create be formatted properly.
There’s a good chance that a computer program (known as applicant tracking software) will scan and review your resume on an employer’s behalf, and then automatically narrow down potential applicants based on keywords that appear within each resume. This all happens before a human ever actually reads your resume. So, if your resume isn’t formatted correctly, you could easily be rejected by a potential employer even if you’re otherwise qualified for the job.
An electronic resume will contain details about your job objective, employment history/experience, skills and education, but it should be keyword-based. In addition to incorporating many of tips and strategies commonly utilized for creating a traditional printed resume, and then carefully adhering to the resume templates offered by the various job-related Web sites, the following seven tips will help you create your electronic resume: Make sure your electronic resume is 100 percent error-free — no typos, spelling errors or other mistakes.
Be sure to incorporate appropriate keywords into job titles, accomplishments, responsibilities and when describing job-related skills. This can and should include the use of buzzwords, industry-specific jargon, and commonly used acronyms. When applicant tracking software reviews your electronic resume, it will simply match up the number of keywords incorporated into your resume with a list of keywords the employer pre-selected in order to find qualified applicants. The more matching keywords your resume utilizes appropriately, the better your chances will be of getting an employer’s attention. Sample keywords include: Ph.D., MBA, Manager, Supervisor, Director, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Excel.
To help you find appropriate keywords, refer to the company’s help wanted ad or job description. Also, look at similar job descriptions created by other sources, like the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Utilize action verbs to describe yourself, your skills and your accomplishments. Using words like “managed,” “created,” “directed,” “coordinated,” “scheduled,” “facilitated,”” planned,” “established,” “supervised,” and “organized” can make you more appealing as an applicant.
Avoid using symbols, like: #, @, %, -, = and &. Avoid using abbreviations, such as “Dir” for Director” or “VP” for Vice President. For degrees, however, it’s acceptable to use abbreviations, like MBA, BA, and Ph.D. Avoid mentioning your recent or pending divorce, or the fact that you’re a single parent within your resume. As you enter information within an online resume template, don’t try to exceed the maximum number of characters allowed within each field. Also, when you’re asked to input information, don’t try to add extra or non-relevant data to that field.
POPULAR JOB-RELATED SITESThe following are just some of the hundreds of general-interest (non-industry-specific) job-related websites you can use to help you find and apply for a job:
AllJobsSearch.com (Search for job listings from more than 200 websites, 500 newspapers, and 300 newsgroups simultaneously)
America’s Job Bank
CareerJournal (sponsored by The Wall Street Journal)
Job Central (National Labor Exchange)
USAJobs.gov (Here you can learn about job opportunities within the Federal government)
While you’re looking for full-time employment, you can seek out paid freelance, consulting, or part-time work by posting information about yourself and responding to help wanted ads using one of these online services: