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Monday, December 03, 2007

Q&A with Alison Doyle: About.com's job search guide

I've been a big fan of About.com's Job Searching section for a while now. It's a very comprehensive resource put together by career professional Alison Doyle. Recently I asked Alison for a few pieces of advice about the job search.

1. How long have you been at About.com and how did you come to get the job there? I started with About.com in January, 1998 and I became the Guide to the Job Searching site (jobsearch.about.com) in June 1998.

2. What has been the biggest change in job hunting since you started as their guide? There have been so many changes that it's hard to mention them all, but two majors ones are the job search engines (Indeed, SimplyHired, etc.) and social/professional networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). The change to online applications (vs. paper) is a big one, too.

3. Name 2 or 3 of the biggest mistakes you see job hunters making today? Not covering all the bases. Anyone who is seeking a job or building their career needs to create an online professional presences, needs to network, and needs to be proactive in their job search. Posting a resume online and clicking to apply to a few jobs here and there isn't going to find you a new one.

4. What's the best way to impress an employer before going to an interview? Research, research, and more research. The more you learn about the company and the job, the more informed and educated you'll be during the interview. Read the "About Us" section of the company web site, used LinkedIn to see if you can connect with current or past employees of the company to get some insider information, check Google, blogs, and discussion forums to see what the buzz is on the company. If you're a college grad, check to see if your school has a Career Network, so you can tap into alumni who work at the company.

5. Do you have any favorite resume tips that you like to give out? Take the time to target your resume so it focuses on the job you are applying for. Yes, it's work, but it's work that will pay off.

6. What are some of your favorite sites for job hunting? SimplyHired, Indeed, Craig's List, Media Bistro, LinkedIn, Jobfox, company web sites (go direct if you know where you might want to work), and for local jobs, your Chamber of Commerce web site.

2 comments:

Rick said...

I like Allison’s perspectives here. Today’s technology allows you to customize your resumes and offers you access to many job boards and networking sites to advance your career and boost your name exposure. But technology is not the be all and end all. You need to cultivate relationships and build a network of colleagues, former colleagues, friends of colleagues and former colleagues, and influential friends of friends. Technology is important in managing your career today, but there is no adequate substitute for face-to-face communication – and there never will be.

Brad Attig said...

Allison's comments are pretty good with one small thought. Going direct is not always the best route.

In certain cases, having an executive recruiter represent you with a targeted company can significantly improve your chances. Note that I didn't say all the time but some times.

If you are comfortable with the recruiters you know, don't hesitate to ask them about their relationships with target companies. Sometimes their relationships can open doors you might not be able to on your own.

Regards,

Brad Attig
www.myretailcareer.net