Use An Excel Job Search Log To Keep Track Of Your Job Search

There is a useful Excel template available to help you keep track of your job search activities.

If you are searching for a new job, you will likely send out more than one resume. After sending out a few resumes, it is easy to lose track of where you have applied, whom you have interviewed with, and names of various contacts. If you use career Web sites, you might also lose track of which sites you have posted your resume on along with usernames and passwords to access such sites.

So if you want to be more organized in your job hunt and keep track of your interviews and contacts, try using the free Excel template. The nice thing is that you can customize the template to meet your own personal requirements.

There are two versions of the Job Search template. One version is only supported by Excel 2007, while the other can be in Excel 97 and later. You can find the templates on the Microsoft Office Online Web site. Just type Job Search in the search field and you will find both templates.

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How To Write A Resume

When you are preparing to apply for a new position it is important to write or update your resume. Your letter of application and your resume are your first introduction to the potential new employer so it is important to give careful consideration of what you include in the resume and what you include in your letter of application.

The resume usually begins with personal information that includes your name, address and contact information. You may decide to put the position that you are applying for on the resume but I prefer to include an accompanying letter of application in which I include the information related specifically to the position. Some also include objectives in the resume but prefer to include this information in the letter of application.

After the personnel information I would include my educational experiences. This would be listed in a chronological order, starting with the most recent first. In this section I may also include any certificates that I received as a result of my education. I would then outline all my work experiences, again in chronological order starting with the most recent. This would be followed by professional activities, such as boards and committees that I have had membership and participated. I would also include other professional work that I have completed, including articles written, presentations and workshops given and lastly, I would include professional organizational memberships that I have currently and have had in the past. It is also important to include any professional development that you have participated in and highlight any honours or awards that you have received. Remember that this resume is your way of showing your prospective employer what you will be able to offer in the position.

As a final suggestion, it is important to keep adding to your resume. As you enhance your educational experiences, publish new articles, or participate in new boards or membership opportunities, add these to your resume so you won’t forget to include them. Remember if you feel that some information is not relevant to the current position you are applying for you can always remove it.

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How To Ruin Your Job Search In 8 Different Ways

So you’ve decided to use the Internet to find potential employment. You’ve created your resume, picked out a few Web sites, posted your resume and applied for numerous positions online. To your surprise, nothing is happening. What could be wrong? Well here are a few surefire mistakes many of us make that put a damper on the ol’ job search:

  • You’ve resorted to the Internet-only way of finding a job. Many companies, especially smaller ones, still opt to post jobs the traditional way. Don’t forget that socializing is a great way to meet people and jobs are often landed through the contacts we meet. And why not flip through the classifieds on Saturday morning while you sip that cup of Folgers?
  • You are distributing your e-mail through using a mass e-mail approach. Don’t send your resume out to thousands of people. First of all, it’s difficult to keep track of and follow up with potential employers. Second, you should be customizing your resume for the jobs you are applying for.
  • You are applying for jobs that you don’t meet the requirements for. I’d love to think that I’m a rocket scientist, however, deep down, I know I’m not. When you’re applying for jobs, make sure you’re applying for those jobs that you are qualified for.
  • You have become a virus distributor. With the popularity of e-mail as a means of communication, be sure you are running anti-virus software and that it is up-to-date. Chances are you will not be considered for a position if you mistakenly send a potential employer a virus along with your e-mail.
  • Your resume is more like your life story. Create a resume that is straight to the point and one that highlights your skills as they relate to the job position you are applying for.
  • You are only using the ‘brand’ name job search Web sites. As a lot of you may know, some of the best stores are those that are small and off the beaten path. The same holds true for job sites. The most popular does not always mean the best.
  • You have decided to include as much personal information in your resume as possible. This may not necessarily affect your employment opportunities, but it is a perfect way to share your identity with someone else who is looking for a new one. The key word here is ‘privacy.’
  • You assume everyone is receiving your e-mail. There is always the chance that your e-mail has been marked as spam and has been deleted without even being read. If there is a way to follow-up with your e-mail, take advantage of it to make sure your resume is being received.

Posting Your Resume Online

Placing your resume online is a great way to increase your chances of finding your dream job. Many companies now use the Internet as a means of finding potential employees. However, this does bring up the issue of privacy. Posting a resume online can have negative results if you do not take certain precautions to protect your personal information.

First of all, before you go posting your resume online, take some time to research the various sites that are available. Once you find a site that meets your needs, make sure you take a close look at the Web site’s privacy policy. The policy should state exactly what the site does with your information. If you are comfortable with the company’s privacy policy, you are ready to get your resume ready for posting. Here are a few rules you should follow when posting your resume online to protect your own privacy.

  1. Remove your contact information from your resume. Of course, the downside of this is that a potential employer will not be able to pick up the phone and call you. However, no one else will be able to, either.
    So when tweaking your resume, remove the following information:

    • Name
    • Home and business address
    • Phone numbers
    • Home or business e-mail addresses
  2. Replace your regular e-mail address with one that can not be used to trace your identity. This may be a good time to take advantage of free e-mail and create a Hotmail or Yahoo! e-mail that you can use for applying online. A note to consider here as well, make sure you use an e-mail that is appropriate but does not give out any of your personal information. If you choose to do this, also make sure that you check your e-mail on a regular basis.
  3. Make a few changes to your employment history. Try to make it more generic by removing the name of your current employer.
  4. Remove the date from your employment history. This is considered personal, private information that no one requires access to.
  5. Change all your employment history by removing the names of all the employers and replacing them with more generic names.
  6. Keep track of where you post your resume. When you no longer require access to the job sites, delete your resume.

[tags]resume, job search, job hunt, career[/tags]

The Salary History Request

Believe it or not, there are some companies that will request a salary history from a potential employee. They are considering making you an offer of employment but want to see how much you have earned at your past jobs. The company may use this information as the basis for the salary included in their offer. It is entirely up to you as to whether or not you provide this information to potential employers but before you do, consider this second opinion.

The salary you have earned at your previous jobs should be of no concern to a potential employer. They should not be using this information to decide what kind of compensation to offer you or as a means of determining what would be acceptable compensation to you. Employers should be looking at market value and geography when deciding on the salary amount to offer.

If you are absolutely forced to submit a salary history, be sure it is clear to the company that your previous salary should not be used as an indication of what you will consider an acceptable salary for the position at hand. Otherwise you may be selling yourself short.

[tags]diana huggins, salary history, career, job hunt[/tags]

Finding Tech Jobs Online

I can remember graduating from university and starting to look for a teaching job. The only resource I really used to find job listings was the local newspaper. Every Saturday morning I would scour the classified ads to see what was available.

My next job, which stemmed my career change, I found on the Internet. The Internet is a great way to begin looking for an IT job (or any other job type for that matter), whether you’re looking to make a career change or looking for your first entry-level position. There are numerous Web sites that offer great job-hunting services, many of which are free. Most of them allow you to search for jobs based on your specifications, such as job type, location, salary expectations, and so on. Others allow you to post your own resume online that is viewable by potential employers.

The type of Web site you use will depends on the type of services that you are looking for. You may just want to search through job postings to get a feel for what is out there or you may want to post your resume for potential employers. In any case, here is a list of some popular Web sites that you can use to find your dream job. Most of the sites listed below allow you to post your resume, search, and apply for jobs free of charge.

Dice is one of the most popular Web sites for technology jobs. It allows you to post your resume that is viewable by potential employers, search job postings based on different criteria, and it provides various other career resources.

Monster is another popular Web site for job seekers. You can search through numerous job postings, apply for positions online, and get sound career advice. You can also use the new Network Now feature to make new contacts.

Careerbuilder posts thousands of job listings. You can search, post your resume, gain access to career advice and resources such as resume services.

ITJobs is solely dedicated to IT jobs. Companies can post available positions; you can search for jobs, and also post your resume on the Web site.

job-hunt.org provides many resources for job seekers from job searching to resume writing to optimizing your online job search.

Although the Internet can be used to kick start your career, you should also proceed with some level of caution, especially if you decide to post your resume online. Steer clear of those Web sites that do not allow you to maintain confidentiality and anonymity.

[tags]job search, job hunt, work, job, career, IT job[/tags]