Just as most jobs today require some basic computer skills, conducting a job search in today's market requires making the most of computer based technologies. An easily updated scanable resume needs to be written on a word processor. Large employers and some smaller companies with web sites are abandoning hard copy job postings in favor of Internet job posting sites. Accordingly, job seekers need to know how to create and post online resumes, conduct an Internet job search, communicate by e-mail and send resumes via the Web.
Computers have changed the way job seekers use, and employers look at, resumes. Templates make formatting simpler. Word processors give the job seeker the ability to tailor the resume to a specific job, employer or simply create multiple versions. While creating advantages for the job seeker, computers have also raised expectations on the part of the employer.
Human Resource managers are quick to eliminate resumes with spelling and grammatical errors that should have been corrected by a simple spell check. Scanable resumes are becoming increasingly important. These resumes have "key word' sections added to increase the odds that they will be selected when employers scan resumes on line for particular skills or qualifications.
A recent survey conducted by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) found that employers wanted to see more resumes posted on the Internet. Most Internet job search engines, like CalJobs, Monster.com, etc., now host a resume posting site. These sites are generally free to job seekers. If you want your resume posted, it's up to you to go into the relevant sites and input your resume.
Job search Web sites usually give you several options; search for jobs, post your resume, enter a chat room, search for career news, get some career counseling or research an employer. Searching for a job can be a lonely business. Getting rejected multiple times before you find the right match can be brutal. Why not make use of the support that is available online. The career news sections offer tips on keeping your job search up beat and up to date?
Web site career resources offer tips on everything from resume writing to how to ace an interview. Career sites that offer chat rooms could be a place to get advice from other job seekers or just get a lift by talking to others who are in the same boat.
CalJOBS is maintained by California's EDD Job Service. CalJOBS offers an automated, easy-to-use system with access to local, up to date jobs in a wide range of occupations. CalJOBS is available in both English and Spanish. The CalJOBS site is pre-selected on computers at LA's 16-plus ONE-STOP Job Centers ( for the ONE-STOP nearest you call 800.FOR.AJOB). But you can enroll with CalJOBS on any Internet connected computer without going to a ONE-STOP or filing an unemployment or disability claim. You can also make an appointment with Work Services at the APLA Career Center to enroll in CalJOBS and get an introduction on how to use the system.
Most job search sites let the job seeker search by geographic location and occupation. Monster.com is hyped as the largest employment service of this type on the Internet. If too many job postings come up, narrow your search or if too few, broaden the category or key word to include more options. Monster allows you to individualize "search agents" and will e-mail you the results of the job searches daily or weekly.
Job search engines on the Internet can be so far reaching (California to the Canary Islands or brain surgeon to busboy) that they become useless. Narrowing your search by location or occupation is helpful but sometimes it's best to seek out a site that specializes in your niche. LatPro.com targets bilingual Spanish/English speakers and offers current job listings, opportunities to receive job announcements by e-mail and maintains a Latin American Recruiters Directory. WorkingWoman.com features business news and job opportunities for women. Employus.com is a career site for African Americans while AsiaWired.com offers opportunities for Asians.
Staying local, if you don't plan to relocate, can help you choose an Internet job search engine. Look into the industries based in your neighborhood as well as neighborhood resources like local news or libraries. Showbizjobs.com is an entertainment industry site that has been on the Internet for years, and consistently has plenty of current job listings. The Los Angeles Times can be found at LATimes.com and will lead you to CareerBuilder.com for job postings. JOBSTAR at jobsmart.org is the LA County Library site for Southern California jobs and career fairs, and lists county career centers.
The Internet is home to an increasing number of sites of particular interest to people with HIV who want to stay on the job or who are planning to return to work. The Work Services page under Programs at www.apla.org contains the Work It! Guide and up to date listings of upcoming employment-related workshops in Los Angeles. Benefitslink.com is a free online publication about all kinds of employer-sponsored benefit plans and has links to related topics. Project Return to Work is a start up site providing information on work at home opportunities for people with disabilities.
Looking through online job boards takes a lot of time. You need a good fast computer, or the patience of a saint. If you don't have your own computer with Internet access borrow some time on a friend's or get to know someone who is plugged in. Internet connected computers are also available at a number of public locations. The APLA Work Services Career Center and HIV Resource Center both have computers with Internet hook-up. You will need a quick tutorial and a password to use the computer. Work Services staff are also available by appointment to help you write or update a resume.
The Gay and Lesbian Center's Village at Ed Gould Plaza has one of the best computer labs in town. The machines are new, fast and open to the public. You can use the computers at the Village free for one hour a day. Computers with Internet connections are free for one hour, then five dollars an hour for more time. Printing and printing services are also available. The Village computers are loaded with resume templates, and volunteer lab coordinators are available to help you. For more information, call The Village at Ed Gould Plaza at 1125 N. McCadden (a block east of Highland, half a block north of Santa Monica Boulevard) at 323.860.7302.
Los Angeles's ONE-STOP Centers all have computers with Internet connections, available free for job hunters. There are ONE-STOPS in nearly every community in Los Angeles. For a ONE-STOP near you, call Work Services at 323.993.1616 or 323.993.1659 or 800.FOR.AJOB. ONE-STOPS offer assistance to novices searching for jobs on the Internet. They also offer a variety of services to job seekers including: workshops on resume writing and interviewing, job clubs, placement services and government-funded training to upgrade job skills at a wide range of technical institutes.
The Job Search Web Sites page includes a list of helpful Internet job search Web sites. If you need start up assistance or a short tutorial, call APLA Work Services and arrange for one-on-one assistance at 323.993.1616 or 323.993.1659.