Don’t Rely Solely On Technology For Job Search.

If searching for a new job isn’t hard enough, current technology makes it sometimes even harder. With HR recruiters inundated with resumes from candidates flowing in sometimes by the hundreds and even thousands, they cannot keep up. So HR managers have been relying on specialized software that combs through all those resumes to whittle down the number. More often than not, they get stuck with resumes from candidates who game the system.

Current search software for recruiting can only identify key words that HR recruiters tell it to scan for when searching through resumes. Of course, gaming the system means planting key words throughout your resume so your chances of being “discovered” are greater. Although it makes sense on the surface, oftentimes it just creates more frustration for both parties. Recruiters end up having to review resumes from candidates who are unqualified but cracked the code on the software by savvy use of keywords.

Web-based software is no better. The holy grail of Web-based software was supposed to help connect qualified candidates with jobs they actually are qualified to apply for. HR recruiters were hoping that Web-based solutions could help them weed out unqualified candidates. Instead they are still stuck with people who apply for positions they are not qualified for.

Getting frustrated

Likewise, job-seekers end up frustrated by the impression that Web-based software just doesn’t help them get connected effectively. This is partly caused by some job seekers themselves who blindly apply for positions they have no business applying for.

Recently I was recruiting for a Web developer. I submitted a very clear and detailed resume into the local online job bank. Nearly 80 percent of the resumes I received were from people who were in the IT world but not in the Web development world. Or they were graphic designers who had little Web development experience but now wanted to play in that field. It was as if they didn’t bother to read the job description and just sent their resume in anyway. This is another example of the shotgun approach to job search that just doesn’t work.

In a world that is continually dominated by software “solutions” for effectively connecting employers with qualified candidates, what are you to do? Well, if you read this column often enough, you already know the answer. You don’t go though HR or apply online. I know, it’s not what we are trained or conditioned to do during a job search.

Building a bridge

Use the online job banks, whether or a company website, as a place to locate job opportunities. Then use your research skills to find ways to interact with hiring managers or other key influencers who could help build a bridge that connects you to a job.

Make sure you have a way into an organization without having to first try your luck through the HR tunnel. The only way to do that is to keep building your contact database. The more people you know, especially in your field, the better your chances that someone will be able to help cut through the technology clutter and get your message to people who can make things happen.

Source/Credit: David Dirks for Mr. Dirks is the author of “Job Search Marketing: Finding Job Opportunities in Any Economy.” Listen to his podcasts at


LearningExpress Job & Career Accelerator Launches Building Block For The Blackboard Learn Platform

LearningExpress, LLC today announced the launch of its award-winning Job & Career Accelerator online tool for the Blackboard Learn(TM) platform. Blackboard Learn clients can now leverage Job & Career Accelerator’s robust online job search and resume tools within their Blackboard Learn environment.

“Career development is a critical part of the educational experience,” said Ted Hopper, Vice President of Business Development at Blackboard. “The Blackboard Partnerships(TM) program provides our clients with access to partner products and solutions that service student and institutional priorities both inside and outside of the classroom.”

The Job & Career Accelerator Building Block provides Blackboard Learn users with access to Job & Career Accelerator functionality through a single-sign-on within the Blackboard Learn platform. The Job & Career Accelerator tool allows colleges to customize their Job & Career Accelerator sites and gives students easy access to search for job and internship opportunities. This tool is a great resource for colleges, including college resource centers dealing with increased enrollments, a difficult job market, and strained financial resources. Institutions will also have access to detailed site usage reports.

“We are excited to be a Blackboard Signature Partner(TM),” said Barry Lippman, CEO of LearningExpress, LLC. “The Job & Career Accelerator Building Block provides colleges with a unified user experience and access to powerful and effective resources to help students succeed beyond the classroom.”

Job & Career Accelerator includes everything needed to select the right career and search for jobs, all within a secure individual sign-in and in one easy-to-use online application. Students have access to resume writing and letter creating tools; expert tutorials on mastering interviewing techniques; research into more than 1,000 occupations mapped to student interest assessments; and a model resume bank with expert usage tips. Expert guidance is given for personalized career situations and users have access to an integrated database of over 5 million current job and internship opportunities.

Job & Career Accelerator(TM) is a three-time 2011 CODiE Award winner for Best Postsecondary Instructional Solution, Best Postsecondary Education Solution, and Best Instruction Solution.

Visit LearningExpress,LLC at BbWorld® 2012, July 10-12, New Orleans, Booth 205.

LearningExpress, LLC is an educational technology company founded with the mission to help adult and student learners improve basic skills for academic and career success. Since 1995, LearningExpress has paired innovative technology with a strong foundation in research-based testing and tutorial course development, and has emerged as an industry leader in high quality academic and career test preparation and skills improvement content. The company currently serves over 6,000 public libraries, 5,000 schools, and 1,200 colleges across the United States and Canada, and helps more than 1.5 million adults and students each year. Visit LearningExpress, LLC <

Job Search On Vacation?

Vacation: Time to kick back, relax, soak up the sun — and go on a few job interviews? That’s right. If the last day of your vacation finds you dreading Monday back at work, consider using your next vacation to find a new job.

Why Blow Your Vacation Job Hunting?

You’re caught in a tough situation. You want out of your current job, but you also want to enjoy your vacation. Here are some reasons your vacation may be the best time to search:

  • When you’re on vacation, you are more readily available to meet with prospective employers any day of the week, at any time. You don’t have to squeeze an important interview into your lunch hour.
  • You won’t raise eyebrows when you show up to work in a suit versus your usual jeans or khakis — if your office dress code is casual.
  • You won’t have to feign illness, sick kids, deaths in the family or other reasons for taking a day off to interview.
  • A week or two can give you enough time to really dedicate yourself to a thorough job search. Rather than cramming this important process into the rest of your busy life, you can totally focus on this one priority.

The Disadvantages

Sorry, there really is no downside to using your vacation to find a new job — except in your perception. You won’t have this hard-earned time off again for a while. If you don’t feel you’ve gained anything as a result, you may regret using your time this way.

How to Vacation Like You Mean It

According to Stephen Viscusi, host of the nationally syndicated radio show “On the Job” and author of On the Job: How to Make It in the Real World of Work, to return from vacation with a job offer, you’ll need to:

  • Treat each day like a workday. Get up at your usual time, and be productive at your job search all day. Don’t get into a vacation mind-set; you’re on the job.
  • Send out resumes to prospective employers four to six weeks prior to your vacation. You want to have actual interviews during your time off — not be doing the legwork — so make sure you’ve taken care of this early.
  • Let interviewers know you are using your vacation specifically to find another position, and give them the dates you are available to meet. This demonstrates two things to a prospective employer: Your serious approach to your career and the respect you show your current employer by not conducting your job search on company time.
  • Pound the pavement. Maximize this time off by meeting with as many employers, recruiters and networking contacts as you possibly can.

Resigning Without Ethical Baggage

If your hard work while on vacation leads to a job offer, congratulations! How do you tell the boss you’re quitting? “Giving your resignation after returning from a vacation isn’t any different from resigning at any other time,” Viscusi says. Just be professional and follow the same protocol as you would with any resignation.

Remember: You earned your vacation time. It is part of the reward for having worked hard all year. Whether you want to give two weeks’ notice is a personal decision. Now that your future lies with your new job, your decisions must be based on when your responsibilities begin there.

The best possible souvenir you can bring back from vacation is a new job. Instead of going for a change of scenery for a week or two, go for a change of employers. Source/Credit: Susan Bryant for

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