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Online Job Hunting – Workshop Transcript 13th November 2001


Ben Hawes Hi Nic, welcome to the workshop. This is a workshop led by Terra Dourlain and Martin Yate, feel free to ask questions.
Martin and Terra are in New York, they are the authors of "Online Job Hunting: Great answers to tough questions", it's the companion volume to the bestseller, "Great answers to tough interview questions"
Terra Dourlain Hello Everyone! Martin and I are together on this line so our responses will be joint. Please feel free to ask any career questions you may have.
Ben Hawes Nic, Heiko, do you want to introduce yourselves?
Heiko Hepen Hello Everyone! My name is Heiko and I am in London
Terra Dourlain Hi Heiko - it's cold here in NY how about there!!
Heiko Hepen It' s pretty freezing here too.
Terra Dourlain Nic, how are you? Come one now, talk to us!! :-)
Nic Pulford I'm an IT consultant trying to get started. I have tried using the many on-line sites for job searches and to date have had little success. It is difficult even to get an answer. Unless you use the phone.
Heiko Hepen If you go job hunting online would you prefer considering only the big names e.g. michael page, stepstone etc or would you rather look for my specialist recruiters?
Ben Hawes Well, maybe we could start by saying that the job market looks like it's getting tougher, what advantages are there by searching online?
Terra Dourlain Before we answer, we want to say something about being British in US. Given all the problems in the US, there is probably not a better time to be English in the colonies. Because all Americans are saying that the British are our only true friends, those to be relied upon.
Heiko Hepen Do you think the nationality actually matters a lot?
Nic Pulford I'm in England and as I have children in school could not take a long term job abroad. So its the UK situation I'm talking about
Terra Dourlain The internet is a great communications medium and it involves every job hunting tool ever made available before. It allows you do everything faster and more efficiently.
Terra Dourlain The big danger is that we do just visit the big sites because that is the online equivalent of making our job hunt rely on the help wanted adverts from major newspapers.
Heiko Hepen Actually I agree with the comment Nic made earlier. It is often difficult even to get a reply from those recruitment consultants
Terra Dourlain If we use our time online efficiently, we don't have to jump from one job to another without any real choice. If we use the techniques we'll talk about today, and that you will find in our book, you can quickly get a picture of every available opportunity that could possibly be suitable for you.
Terra Dourlain So, from the get go, online job hunting can give us far wider choice.
Ben Hawes Hi Will, welcome, Terra and Martin are responding together from New York
Will Roberts Hi - I'm sitting at home in Newport Pagnell, England
Terra Dourlain Heiko - what we have to understand about recruiters is first the difference between recruiters and employment agencies. Agencies may possibly find someone with a good background and market them to potential client companies - recruiters on the other hand do not work in that fashion. Recruiters work on a client company's paid assignment. Their job is to find someone with the perfect matching background.
Nic Pulford From the point of finding a job that we fit I have no problem. I don’t think I would have a problem once in front of the people who would hire me. The problem is the bit in between. Have you any advice on getting the agency to talk to me.
Terra Dourlain Recruiters have no real responsibility to a job hunter who comes knocking at their door. And because of the volume of requests, they simply do not have the time to respond to every query.
Terra Dourlain That doesn’t mean they are ignoring you. Your CV will go in their database and you may be called later.
Terra Dourlain Hi Will - Hi Geoff!
geoff williams Hello all
Heiko Hepen Terra, do you think it's actually better then to identify a good consultant within the recruitment agency and talk directly to them?
Will Roberts Hi Terra - I'll just sit in the background for a while if that's OK. I'm still getting into this kind of chat.
geoff williams sorry to copy you Will, but me too. Baa baa
Terra Dourlain Heiko: If you can establish a relationship with a recruiter that can help not only in this job hunt but throughout your career. Let's look at this in the broader context - there are about a dozen ways you can dig up jobs. Having someone do the work for you, QED a recruiter is the best of all possible worlds. But you can not rely solely on recruiters.
Terra Dourlain How do you get a recruiter from an agency or from a company to read our CV?
Will Roberts Speaking as a trainer who is just on the verge of going independent, I am interested in the dozen or so ways of getting work.
Terra Dourlain An online CV is different. An online CV needs to be packed with key words - buzz words. It is these words that the recruiter will search for in their database.
Nic Pulford If you are posting it by e-mail the e-mail has got to sell him on you.
Heiko Hepen Can you give some examples?
Ben Hawes How, in fact is it different to presenting ourselves in other ways?
Terra Dourlain Nic and Heiko: Your email address and subject line become newspaper headlines encouraging the recipient to open the message.
Ben Hawes So EVERY detail has to be considered
Terra Dourlain You can get free email accounts that will allow you have a professional email address such as as well as allow you to separate your job hunt from your work and personal email messages.
Terra Dourlain The subject line must also be effective. Mention the job title and number if given.
Ben Hawes And an email CV/resume, should it be different in style?
Heiko Hepen Would you then rather apply for the jobs on their online database instead of just sending them a good cover letter and cv?
Terra Dourlain Your email cv is different in that it must not only be scannable and contain the right key words,, but you must be able to send it in a format readable by the recipient.
Ben Hawes In general, should it be even shorter than a paper one?
Terra Dourlain You must have text only CV's and formatted CV's, as well as be able to paste it into the body of the message - make sure it can be read and opened.
Terra Dourlain The rule of thumb is your CV needs to be long enough to be effective. If you have 20 years of experience you would be doing yourself a disservice with a one page CV. Likewise, a new grad will be hard pressed to have enough to say in a three page. Typically one to 2 pages is best.
Ben Hawes Any hints on typography, any other presentation details?
Terra Dourlain Will, digging up opportunities as a independent are very similar as in a job hunt. You can of course respond to any openings for a trainer as an independent but most important is that you have a clear focus on the type of training you are best at and which audience / industry will find it most appealing.
Terra Dourlain As we are talking to you we are finding you a great link for finding companies - this is also in our book.
Will Roberts What is the best way to seek out opportunities? Cold-calling is not only dispiriting, but also irritating to the recipient.
Ben Hawes Well, research is often the first part, finding the best resources
Terra Dourlain This site allows you research companies - about 60,000 by industry and geographies - you can find it on - for a job hunt or your needs this is a great tool.
Ben Hawes Of course, even some of the job sites are going under!
Terra Dourlain This is especially important to job hunters. It is very unwise in this economic climate to rest your job search on those postings you happen to see on the few sites you visit. We identified over 1000 UK job sites and not all companies are advertising all opportunities on all sites. So when you approach a company directly, you are probably increasing your adds because the majority of job hunters only visit a handful of sites.
Terra Dourlain That's right - sites are coming and going everyday! What could be your top ten today could completely change in the next year. Will, here's a great idea that many people are not aware of and makes cold calling must easier.
Terra Dourlain The best connected professionals in any industry tend to be members of a professional association.
Will Roberts Yes - that's useful.
Terra Dourlain So an excellent idea is to take out membership in at least one association. One of the first things you get with your membership is a member directory. This enables you to call people, cold, and immediately build a bridge. The conversation would go like this:
Terra Dourlain "Hi Will, this is Martin. We haven't spoken before but we are both members of the XXX. I have a question for you, could you spare me a moment?"
Terra Dourlain Practically speaking this is the old boy / old girl network in action. Just about any member will give another member a few minutes. In this way your call is not quite so cold.
Ben Hawes That's a good tip, it also makes you sound committed and involved
Will Roberts I guess it also allows you to get more info regarding the prospect.
Terra Dourlain Ben's point is relevant - it doesn't just make you sound involved, it demonstrates that you are involved. Almost all associations also have monthly publications and many employers will advertise in these publications or on the association web site because they know they are talking to the cream of the crop. Most of these associations have an online presence where newsletters and ads will also appear.
Terra Dourlain That's right Will! This is another great use of association membership if you know you have an interview at UniLever, in this instance you find a member who works for that company and make the same phone call as before and then tell them you have an interview coming and ask them to fill you in about the company.
Will Roberts Useful – thanks
Ben Hawes Back to online jobhunting, any more ideas of where to start?
Terra Dourlain Start with the big sites and then work your way to the speciality sites (both industry and geographic) as well as associations.
Terra Dourlain Once you have determined a site is a good match for you, then sign up for job delivery - this will save you time and effort. Setting up separate email accounts will keep this manageable. Over a period of time you will stay connected at a high level.
Ben Hawes Well, we'll wind this up here. Thanks Martin and Terra, and Will
Terra Dourlain Will and Ben - thanks for joining us! It's been great and hopefully helpful for you!
Ben Hawes Bye
Terra Dourlain Ta ta.
Will Roberts Thanks all.


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