Whether you’ve been out of the job search scene for three years or 30, things are changing rapidly. Thanks to cyber security concerns at most major American companies, especially the names I’ve mentioned on the FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network in the last nine months, the idea of printing and mailing or emailing your resume is going the way of the typewriter.
Companies are now converting their online employment systems (paper resumes are mostly obsolete) to a write, click, fill approach. This means instead of you emailing your application to a company and the Human Resources Department uploading and opening your document, you have to fill in the lines at THEIR website, usually click after click after click. Are you prepared for that?
As tedious as it sounds, there are ways that you can make the process easier on yourself.
Step One: Make sure your resume is on your computer in the most simple Word format possible. This can be on your PC or your Mac, so don’t let that limit you. Microsoft Word is still the most commonly used word program, so use it.
Step Two: Make sure your resume is divided into simple sections like experience, your address and contact information, former employer contact information, and references so you can easily cut and paste from your document to the company website.
Step Three: There are programs such as Last Pass (www.lastpass.com) that let you not only store your credit card and passwords safely for the web sites that rule your life (bank, mortgage, Facebook, Amazon) but it also lets you create “fill forms” which automatically fill in the spaces at the job application site for you. If you are hunting seriously for a job, you are going to have to go to several different online systems for several different companies. This will save you hours!
Step Four: Create a profile on Careerbuilder and Monster. These are the most well known job search sites, and you can email your link to a prospective employer. Again, this prevents the HR representative from taking a chance opening a potentially corrupt file from you.
Step Five: Be prepared when you go to these web sites to agree to the application terms. Things you should be aware of when you click “Agree” are things that may come up at some point in the interview process, such as drug/alcohol tests, background checks, personality evaluations like Meyers-Briggs, and financial reviews. In this day and age, employers can screen out many potential job seekers for things that four years ago they would have overlooked. Know your skeletons and your boundaries with regards to sharing your personal information and history.
Step Six: Don’t trust spell check! I don’t care if you are walking to the local hardware store with paper resume in hand. I cannot believe how many people in this day and age of computers and online assistance still make this basic mistake. If you are clicking through an online form, it is EASY to make mistakes. This reflects badly on your character.
Step Seven: Don’t lie! Nowadays all an employer needs to do is go to Google, Facebook, or Yahoo and do a quick search. These sites can produce anything and everything in your history and background, including what could be harmless banter between yourself and your friends. Google YOURSELF before you start this process.
I’m going to be writing this column each and every week. I’ll see you on Fox and Friends Tuesdays at 7:50 a.m. every week, and I’ll be posting here more advice so that you can get hired.
Cheryl Casone joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in September 2007 as an anchor. She also serves as a financial contributor on FOX News Channel (FNC), and provides weekly job reports. Click here for more information on Cheryl Casone.