Applying for jobs can be stressful and time consuming. Most job postings are listed on the internet and most applications are accepted electronically. With a focus on applying for jobs electronically I will try to give some tips and tricks to reduce the time you sit in front of the computer.
LOOKING FOR THE JOBS
Interest Cards: Automatic E-mails from Companies
A lot of larger companies and government entities will allow you to sign up for “interest forms” where they will e-mail you anytime a job in your field open. An example of that is Waukesha County. Once you create a profile with them you can file out an “interest form” and then they will e-mail whenever a position opens up in your field.
Details: For an example check out Waukesha County’s website.
Metasearch Websites: Check out Indeed.com
There are a lot of options for search engines to look for jobs. For example there are company websites, city websites, county websites, organization websites, and for profit sites like CareerBuilder and Craigslist. All of these options can be overwhelming.
If you want one website that grabs a variety of these job posting from other all these types of websites try a metasearch website. The results won’t be as precise as if you searched a regular website, so be ready to wade through about 50% more jobs. Try my favorite metasearch site, indeed.com.
FILLING OUT THE APPLICATION:
Google Chrome: Auto Fill
Google Chrome is a web browser similar to Internet Explorer and Firefox that is offered for free by Google. This web browser offers the cleanest add on option called “auto fill” that I have used yet. Basically you can add your contact information (e-mail, name, address, phone number, etc) to your profile and it will save it. Then the next time you are filling out an application, with the press of one button, the entire contact portion of the application is filled out.
Plain Text Resume: Use Copy and Paste
Though this isn’t as quick and easy as Auto Fill, it will still help your aching fingers type less. Have a thorough plain text copy of your resume filled out. This means a simple resume with no embellishments like bold, bullets, or any other features. (Tip, on my plain text resume I also have extended information about former employers, like supervisor, address, telephone number, etc. some applications do ask for that information.
When it comes time to fill out the “work experience” portion of a resume, utilize copying and pasting from the plain text resume to the application. I use shortcut keys for the copying and pasting. Always have this plain text available by saving it in a online document storage place, like Google Documents (it is free!).
MAKE REALISTIC GOALS
Limit Your Time in Front of the Computer
Set goals as to how many applications you are going to fill out for the day or how long you are going to spend. Also make sure to make your goal attainable, if you start setting your goal over 10 applications in 1 day or spending more than 4 hours at a time at the computer, you may be over doing it. After a certain amount of time your productivity and attention to detail will start to decrease and you will not be as accurate or thoughtful in filling out your applications. You want to make the best first impression! Good luck!
Hopefully these couple of tips and tricks help you fill out your applications easier. If you want some help learning how to make a resume please stop on in at the Mukwonago Community Library for our Resume Workshop on Wednesday,March 2nd,2011 at 2 pm. I would also advise you to bring a flash drive to save your documents on.