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>>Using the Internet in Your Job Search

by Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck
National Certified Career Counselors & Life Calling CoachesSM

The Internet has had a large impact on how people find jobs. It makes local, national, and worldwide job postings readily accessible. The Internet is a valuable resource for gathering information about organizations of interest. It also offers e-mail addresses for contacting employers directly to inquire about jobs that aren't advertised-those in the "hidden" job market. In addition, the Internet provides opportunities for networking with people who are in careers of interest to you.

Remember, however, that job openings found on the Internet are part of the advertised job market, which represents only about 15-20% of the available jobs. Therefore, while it is wise to use the Internet to find job openings, it should only be a part of your overall job search strategy plan. Although it depends on the type of job for which you are applying, typically no more than 25-30% of your job search time should be spent pursuing jobs in the advertised job market.

The following are some guidelines for using the Internet effectively when responding to advertised job openings and for posting your resume online:

1. Create three versions of your resume: a formatted resume, a scannable resume and an electronic resume.

a.      A formatted resume is the typical type of resume that most people use. It has a visually pleasing format. It can include different fonts, tabs, bullets, underlining, etc. Before sending this type of resume, however, ask if the resume will be scanned into a database. If so, then you will want to send a scannable resume (described below). 

b.      A scannable resume is a paper resume that the employer can electronically scan into the company database. It is now common for companies, especially larger ones, to scan your resume into their database. If your resume isn't in a scannable format, it may not become part of the company's database, and you therefore would not be considered for a position.

 Scannable resumes are simply resumes without any boldface type, underlining, hollow bullets, italics, fancy fonts or tabbed columns. If you are not sure whether or not an employer scans resumes into a database, you may want to use a scannable resume.

c. An electronic resume is what you will use when you are e-mailing a resume or posting a resume to a job database or employment web site. Electronic resumes include plain-text or ASCII resumes, and formatted electronic resumes. Similar to the scannable resume, your electronic resume will have no italics, underlining, boldfaced type, hollow bullets or "fancy" fonts. Also, set your left margin to "0." When you "save" your electronic resume in your word processing program, choose ASCII text (pronounced As-kee) as it is a universal computer language and can be read by almost all computers.

Send your electronic resume in the body of your e-mail message unless the employer asks you to send your resume in an attached file. If you are attaching a file, you can send your formatted or scannable resume.

2. Prepare a sample electronic cover letter. Begin your e-mail message with your cover letter. Keep your cover letter short and to the point (usually no longer than three paragraphs). An example of an electronic cover letter follows the electronic resume is what you will use when you are e-mailing a resume example.

3. Practice sending cover letters and resumes. E-mailed messages can look very different when they are received. Prior to sending out your cover letter and resume to an employer, send it to yourself or a friend to see how it looks when received.

4. Post your resume online. Find the websites that will most likely be utilized by employers looking for someone like you. You can post your resume for free at www.ChristianCareerCenter.com and www.ChurchJobsOnline.com. Link to "post resume" pages for these sites.

Used wisely, the Internet can be a helpful component of your job search. Remember, however, to use it as just one of your job search strategies. The more effective strategies you use, the quicker you will hear the words, "You're hired!"

© Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, www.ChristianCareerCenter.com. All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.

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