In this article we’ll give you some tips on navigating through the maze of online information to find job openings in your field of interest.
We’ll also show you how to post your resume on the Internet so employers can find you.
First we’ll look at employment databases. These are usually sponsored by recruiting firms and there are hundreds to choose from. Some specialize in certain types of jobs, for example computer professionals. Others specialize in a geographic region such as Asia. Others are general.
Usenet is another part of the Internet which can also be a fruitful resource for international job leads. The Usenet is made up of “newsgroups” which could more accurately be described as discussion groups or electronic bulletin boards. They are places where people can post information for others to see and respond to. There are over 20,000 different newsgroups on the Internet although some Internet providers may not provide access to all of them.
Many newsgroups contain lists of job opportunities in various fields or places. To determine which newsgroups contain the types of job leads you’re interested in, use one of the major search engines such as Alta Vista, Infoseek, or Deja News. Each allows you to search Usenet newsgroups by a keyword or a combination of keywords to find sites of interest.
Search engines are the “yellow pages” of the Internet. They are electronic directories that can be searched for documents, pages, or sites. Popular search engines are Google, Yahoo, Alltheweb.com, Northern Light etc. There are many more.
When using search engines, you’ll need to experiment to find the right combination of keywords. If your keywords are too general, for example employment, you good get list of several thousand sites, some of which are only remotely related to employment. A better choice would be employment + computers, or better yet employment + computers + international. Also try using different words. For example, instead of employment, try jobs. If you are finding too many hits, narrow your search using specific words like: “esl buddhistan capital” or “engineer job buddhistan”
Experiment with different search engines. Just like the telephone yellow pages, different search engines may contain different lists of sites so its a good idea to check more than one.
The Internet has made it relatively easy to gather extensive job and company research. In fact, the process has become so easy that many people are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of responses they get to a typical search engine inquiry.
However, there are a couple of tricks you can use to improve the quality of your search and zero in on the best information. Try:
- Searching with multiple words, a phrase or a concept in the dialogue entry box and enclose these words within quotation marks to force the search engine to read the phrase in a locked context. For example: “employment trends” will force the search to be contained to the phrase rather than on the individual words
- Apply a conditional or restrictive qualifier to keep the search within a specific target area. For example, Oracle and programmer NOT java. This search will return instances where pages contain the words oracle and programmer, but will automatically eliminate those containing the word java.
These techniques will reduce the number of hits you will generate and produce more qualified results. See “The Actual Internet Job Search” below.
Employer Web Sites
Another approach to finding jobs is to go directly to the employer’s web site. Most large employers and many small employers now have their own web sites. These sites contain a lot of useful information about the company and their products and services. They often list job vacancies as well. Most of these sites allow you apply for job openings online through email or by pasting an electronic version of your resume directly into one of their forms. Submitting your resume through a company’s web site show that you understand the Internet and may give you an edge over other applicants.
To find a company’s web site, use one of the search engines mentioned above.
In addition to being a job hunter, you can become one of the hunted and have employers find you by uploading an electronic version of your resume to a resume database. There are many of these now on the Internet and employers and recruiters both use them regularly to find qualified candidates.
These searchable databases contain the resumes of individuals seeking employment. Employers/recruiters can search the database by keyword(s) to collect a list of potential employees from among the thousands of resumes in the database. Some of the sites listed are strictly resume databases, but many employment databases also contain a section for job hunters to upload their resumes.
Submitting your resume to one of these databases normally requires either emailing it or pasting it into a form on the web site. Specific instructions for doing this can be found at each site.
Preparing an Electronic Resume
Before you can email your resume to a recruiter or employer or paste it into an online application form, you must first create a version which is suitable for sending through the Internet. This requires that you first remove all bold type, underlining, italics, tabs, and other fancy design features. Once this is done use the “Save As…” command to save the file as a text or ASCII file. Your resume can now be uploaded to the Internet and read by the employer with any word processor.
When employers or recruiters search through resume databases for candidates, they use keywords related to the position they are seeking to fill. If the keywords they are searching for are not found in your resume you won’t be found. For this reason your electronic resume should contain a one or two line section called “keywords” containing words a prospective employer is likely to search for. This section is commonly placed either at the end of the resume or just below your name and email address. List all keywords which describe you, your experience, and the type of work you are seeking.
Examples of keywords for some sample occupations would be:
- Mechanical engineer, heat transfer, design, project manager…
- Accountant, controller, MBA, finance, etc…
- Nurse, surgical, RN…
- English teacher, EFL, ESL, TESOL…
- Computer programmer, Visual Basic, C++, Cobol…
Although job seekers are often advised to use “active” words such as managed, employers generally search electronic resumes by job title such as manager. Because searches are most often done on nouns, your electronic resume should be a noun-intensive document.
Learn to be creative in your job search. Job seeking has become increasingly more competitive as the ways of getting your résumé into a prospective employer’s hands has grown from “snail-mail” to fax copies, to e-mail attachments to Internet posting.
With more and more people taking a “What have I got to lose” attitude and tossing their résumé into the pile, each employment opportunity receives hundreds of applications from both the right and the wrong candidates.
Look at how you can make your résumé stand out by:
- Organizing the facts so that they can be easily picked out from the body copy.
- Providing summaries of skills and core abilities where appropriate.
- Using white space judiciously so that the layout is pleasing to the eye.
- Keeping your résumé and cover letter brief and relevant to the job opportunity.
A common error that people make when writing their resume is that they often confuse their job “responsibilities” with their “accomplishments.”
It is important to learn how to describe your experience in terms of transferable skills that the reader will be able to interpret as being a benefit to his or her business.
Here are a couple of tips you can use when writing your next resume to help enhance your perceived value:
- Under your job title, add a sentence or two that describes your overall job duties in this past position. A descriptive “responsibility statement” will put your seniority and level of expertise into perspective, and help the reader see how you might better fit with the job opportunity.
- Use the PAR formula to help you best define your accomplishments. P stands for the problem or challenge you faced. A represents the action you took to solve the problem, and R refers to the results you obtained. Write two to four accomplishments for each job position you held ensuring that the PAR formula has been satisfied in each explanation.
Company recruiters are not impressed with a laundry list of past responsibilities. Rather, they want to learn about how you think, tackled problems, and what experience and useful skills you bring to the advertised opportunity.
Give your résumé greater impact by following these helpful hints:
- Be blatant. Your résumé is no place for you to suddenly be shy about your past accomplishments
- Keep your points brief. Try to get right to the heart of the matter and re-read your résumé over to yourself several times out loud to help you make the very best word selection
- Remove any information that is a given or is repetitive. Ensure that your résumé and cover letter content reinforce each other
- Order your points with the most relevant first. The correct core skills priority is often found in the order of job requirements as they have been listed in the ad
- Every point should sell. Look to writing in such a way as to demonstrate a benefit in hiring you
- Your résumé should not be your complete autobiography. A good résumé can say almost everything it has to say in two to three pages. Let one of your (past) co-workers read your résumé over and comment on its accuracy and completeness.
The cover letter which accompanies your resume serves to add value, colour and dimension to what might otherwise be interpreted as just another job application. The cover letter provides you with the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and be noted as an individual who can make a difference to a company seeking to fill a vacancy.
The following examples illustrate how a well constructed cover letter can significantly enhance your first impression.
A properly designed letter fulfills three primary functions:
- It identifies your job objectives. “I was most interested in your advertisement posted in the Globe this morning seeking a ‘Manager for New Business Development’. I am currently the Regional Sales Manager of the ACME Industrial Supply Company in Glasgow, and due to the recent transfer of my spouse to Gotham city, am seeking a comparable position with a firm such as yours.”
- It emphasizes those transferable skills that you have learned in your past positions. “My past work experience has included the ability to recruit and train qualified people, build a functional sales team from the ground up, and manage a sales force of six against established competition.”
- It links skills that you have developed in past positions with the requirements of this opportunity. “In my role as Sales Manager, I have increased my company’s market share over the past three years from 12% to 18%, trained eight new salespeople, and have implemented a database control system that has improved our customer contact ratio by 43%. I feel confident that I am able to achieve similar results and achievements for you.”
Don’t waste this golden opportunity to impress a prospective employer by sending a bland and lifeless cover letter with your resume.
One of the most difficult obstacles for a job candidate to overcome is to secure employment in a new locality.
Whether you are moving across the the country or half-way around the world, it is extremely difficult to pre-arrange employment before you arrive unless you are very lucky or have an agent working on your behalf. It is best to preplan your relocation very carefully.
First, make the assumption that you will not be able to obtain the employment of your choice when you first arrive. Ensure that you have adequate savings on hand to help you bridge any employment gap.
While still at home, you might try to contact prospective employers to introduce yourself and let them know that you would like to interview with them when you do arrive. Do the same with appropriate recruiters. Lists of prospective companies, foreign newspapers, and recruiter directories are available at most major libraries.
When you do arrive at your new location, consider temporary employment while conducting your job search to provide local experience and some cash flow.
The Actual Internet Job Search
Finding job openings on the Internet is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. First you need to know the different Search Engines and that they all work a bit differently. We have listed the most commonly used ones below.
Our recommendation remains Google, but you should try different ones to see which one works the best for you.
Internet Search Engines
Using any of the above search engines in your browser is the quickest way to find current jobs. Our job links and jobsites are a good way to begin, but the best way to find job openings remains using Internet Search engines.
If you are looking for a job in Buddhistan (not a real country) as an English teacher, you need to type in specific words: buddhistan esl teacher (See sample below)
If you get hundreds of hits, which is very likely, you can narrow the search by typing in the words: buddhistan esl teacher name-of-city. If on the other hand you do not get any hits, you can widen the search by typing in the words: buddhistan esl or even a wider asia esl teacher
Hundreds of new jobs are posted daily, so if there is no job today, tomorrow there may be. You need to be persistent and keep at it until you find a job that you qualify for and can then apply to.
Just to give you an idea, using the word combination below resulted in more than 2600 hits! In this case, it might be wise to narrow the search to an area of the city.