People who haven’t been looking for jobs for a while are in for a real shock. The rules of the game have changed significantly. To be effective at finding a job, one needs to involve everybody one knows. Finding a job while being low-key and discreet like in the past will take forever! Newspaper ads have been replaced by the Internet, and one needs to learn to use company Web sites, online job boards, and online social networks—not to mention extensive use of the computer.
Among the online job boards, some are broad and general, while others are specific to an industry or a profession or other criteria. Most job boards let you post your résumé, search for open positions and, fill out applications online. Often, the communication is one way except for unsolicited spam. Among the most popular sites are careerbuilder.com, careerjournal.com, craiglist.org, and monster.com. And there are several aggregators such as indeed.com, and simplyhired.com, which help make the search more efficient.
Using external recruiters is another avenue for job seekers. At the medium-income level, they are called contingency recruiters, and they’re competing with other recruiters. At higher income levels, they’re called retained recruiters, and they’re paid for the work they do regardless of whether they place people. Recruiters whether retained or contingency typically specialize in certain fields. Developing satisfactory and long-term relationships with some of them is a good investment of one’s time.
Today’s résumés have gone through a face-lift. Generic résumés are lacking and need certain fine-tuning so they match the specifics mentioned in the job description. Last decade’s résumés listed the various activities similar to the job description. Today’s employers want to see quantifiable accomplishments—and in dollars and percentages. One needs to emphasize specific skills and abilities to accomplish results as a member of a multidisciplinary and, possibly, international team. The résumé needs to show flexibility because of the dynamic nature of business today, and it needs to show resourcefulness and expanded responsibilities over time. But probably the most important change lies in the fact that the résumé has to contain the right keywords. Most résumés are scanned into an applicant-tracking system and will never resurface unless they have the right keywords.