Sunday, September 13, 2009

Getting noticed in the virtual world

How do I get an online job – either apply as employee, or start marketing yourself as a contractor. You will most definitely need a resume or business proposal. Either way you’re selling your services and experience. The resume should be short and focus on what you have to offer the employer. There is really no difference than in the B & M world. Many employers have you fill out an online application, but give you the option to upload your resume’. A good recommendation is a skill set listed high up on your resume.

Skills: 5 years banking experience performing customer service and teller duties. Excellent communication skills, strong mathematical abilities, extensive experience with Excel, Microsoft Word, in house software, and instant messaging systems. Received teller of the month award on four different occasions.

What does this tell us: Without even meeting this person, they have the potential to be an ideal candidate for a credit card customer service position. Why: Banking background demonstrates likelihood of passing a background check, knowledge of federal banking regulations, good speaking voice, and good computer skills.

Why is it important to list these skills separately? This is what recruiters want to see, if you get yourself noticed, they will read a little further. Keep in mind that thousands of people apply daily for these jobs. Many companies use scanning software looking for key words. No key words in the resume, you’re not going to get beyond the scanner.
What else do we need to say? The balance of the resume should be short and informative. A good guideline is strengths on top. For example if your education is stronger than experience, put your education on top. If your experience is more relevant to the job than your degree, put that on top. If your job history is relevant just highlight the last 5 years or so of work experience, only put more if you feel it is a good selling point. Explain time gaps: on leave to raise a family, military service, traveling abroad. Don’t leave unanswered questions; you may never have time to answer them. How good you look on your e resume is key. Use good grammar, no spelling errors, and minimum personal information. Your employer is more interested in your skills, than in what clubs you belong to. If you are a college student with no work experience than by all means draw on your volunteer work, clubs, academic accomplishments and even courses that would be of interest to your prospective employers.

Covers letters are useful to some jobs; others do not even give you an option. If prompted to upload a cover letter, by all means do. Your opening paragraph should briefly explain why you are an ideal candidate for the position and company. In other words demonstrate to the prospective employer what you can offer them. Take what you’ve learned about the company, the position and find a way to tie in your relevant experience or skills. Use a formal writing style, no slang, no abbreviations, just good grammar and professionalism. Be sure to thank them for their time, leave contact information and best way to reach you.

Testing even before you get an interview is very common in the virtual world. Test can range from voice auditions, personality tests, computer knowledge, to math, logic, typing or spelling. Use your time while you’re job hunting to brush up on your skills. When the test comes do the best you can.

Important note: You are only sending your resume to online companies you have thoroughly researched. If in doubt about their legitimacy, I recommend an email of interest which would contain a brief description of your skills. Request they forward you more information on their company. Never, ever provide your date of birth, home address or social security number to anyone unless you have verified the company is legitimate. When in doubt visit one of my favorite work at home forums and post the question.

Check back soon, for more tips. Followers are welcome, comments are encouraged.

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