How to Stand Out in Cyberspace

Money Morning Staff Reports

Whether you have a job and are seeking a new one, or are out of work and need to find gainful employment again, the Internet provides some real advantages for those who know how to maximize its benefits.
Here are some key considerations:

  • Interviews Are the Second Impression: It used to be the job interview that was the "true" first impression. It's really now the application process. So make it count. Cater your application to the job at hand, and to the culture of the company (if the company is identified). Eradicate minor-league miscues (such as typos or getting the contact person's name wrong) or those miscues will eradicate you - from consideration for the job.
  • Follow Instructions: As a follow-on to the points above, make sure to follow directions in the online application process. After all, if you can't follow the "simple" instructions on how to file your resume, why would the company think you'd be able to follow your new bosses edicts in a pressure-filled job?
  • "Action Verbs" Are Out, "Keywords" Are In: Before the Internet's onset, action verbs made stellar resumes stand out over their more-mundane counterparts. Today, however, carefully chosen keywords are, well, key. Why? Because it's quite likely that your resume -- at least the one you e-mail or submit online -- may never be read by a human. It's often now a computer that processes your application information, placing it in a database in a neat bit of electronic screening. That means that it's highly probable that the resume your e-mail into a company or submit online in response to a want ad never actually is read by a human being. Be sure to include a section atop your electronic resume that's filled with 10-15 keywords related to the position you are seeking. If called for an interview, bring with you a more-conventional paper resume.
  • Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Yourself a Match: Use your resume, and the words that you choose to describe yourself, that you're a perfect candidate match for the job opening. Make sure to very clearly articulate y our skills, experience and qualifications as they relate to the posted job description or profile.
  • Move Quickly: Respond to job postings as quickly as you're able; when they're able to hire, employers are making their hiring decisions a lot faster these days.
  • Avoid Culture Clash: While you may need a job, if you can only function in a structured and predictable environment and the employer needs someone who can "run and gun" and operate with flexibility and in a business environment that's often ambiguous at best, might be best to keep looking.
  • Be Forthright: Make sure to be honest and specific about your career history. If you aren't at the beginning, it will almost certainly come back to haunt you at the end - when you don't get the job.
  • Be Professional - Always: It's always best to start out by being overly formal, and then ratcheting downward to a more-familiar rapport as the relationship develops. By erring on the formal side you don't miss out on what might be your only chance to make a good impression.

[Editor's Note: To read about the places to look - and strategies to employ - as part of your online job search, check out this story appearing elsewhere in today's issue of Money Morning. Please click here.]

News and Related Story Links: