The Insider

The Insider's Guide To Job Search

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Creating Job Search Agents and Alerts - Plain Text Resumes and Search Engine Tips

Kevin T. Buckley, CPC

When you are entering information into online forms, including Job History,
Objectives, Skills Summary, Education, etc. you can run into unexpected
problems if you copy/paste text directly from a previously formatted Word .doc.

Most resumes are created in MS Word .doc format. The problem is that all of those nice fonts, cool bullet points, little images of telephones and email envelopes, bolding, italics and underlining can sometimes look very different when copied and pasted into online forms. What you see is not always what you get with a formatted resume text. You don't have this problem using unformatted, plain text. True, it isn't exciting to look at but the job site computer will handle it much more accurately compared to formatted text.

What is the difference between a formatted and unformatted resume?

A plain text or unformatted resume means that it contains:

- no bullets
- no bolding, italics or underlining
- no fancy fonts, colors or any other enhancement
- the document is saved as .txt instead of .doc

Plain text has universal application and can be read by any software or system. You do not run the risk of your data being garbled when you paste it into the online forms.

Defining Your Search Terms To Specify a Job Title

- Use quotations "-" around the job title: "design engineer"
- This instructs the system to find titles with these two words together
- Click on the Advanced Search Options link to refine your terms further
- Other options offered may include Location and Date of the posting
- Save your search and name it to identify what type of job posting it is
- Many of these sites allow you to save more than one job alert
- The larger job sites all offer these options to one degree or another

Create Your Job Search Agents or Alerts

- Create a  job search to run automatically to send you info about new jobs as
  they are created
- You can usually specify the frequency, choose Daily for optimum results
- The site will usually display a "save as an email job alert" option after you
  run a job search with certain keywords
- Often, you can edit these job alerts to change the criteria and job title

Once you have set up your Job Search Agent or Job Alerts on various sites,
you can enter your email, save the information and have new jobs sent directly to you as they are posted. This can free you to conduct other job search activities and not have to go back to the job site frequently to check if there are new jobs in your field that have been posted.

If you set up 10-15 of these job search agents or alerts on carefully chosen job sites you will create a steady flow of information on a daily basis which affords you increased opportunities to explore.

Boolean Search Strings - using + (and), - (not) and :

You can instruct a search engine through entering a search string which will tell it to display results that include (+) and exclude (-) certain terms so you zero in on documents that you want.

Putting double quotes around a phrase "sales manager" tells the engine to bring results that display those words in exact order, together.

To search within a specific company site for a specific title:

sales - this is an excellent way to determine who does what function in a target company's website. You must use the URL .com or whatever the appropriate web suffix is (.gov, .org, .ca, .biz, etc.).

To exclude certain words from your results put a space and a minus sign - at the beginning of your search term:  -export sales manager will give you results that include sales manager but that exclude the word exports. You must put a space and minus sign and no space between the minus sign and the term to be excluded, as noted above.

One important point, do not put your business email address as the email to send your alerts to as you don't want to have to explain to your boss why you are having all of these attractive job postings directed to your inbox or desktop!

Companies can and do frequently monitor employee in and outbound
mail, don't jeopardize your present position by being indiscrete.

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