Whether you already have a job or you’re unemployed, chances are good you’re still applying places and keeping your options open. With the job market as it is, it’s important to utilize all of the tools at your disposal. Luckily, you have a Windows-enabled PC that you’re probably viewing this on right now. First of all, pat yourself on the back for making an excellent decision. Then, start your job search using these tools.
Brush up your résumé
Everyone knows that you need a great résumé to find a job. One of the easiest ways to get one, though, is sitting right on your PC. Microsoft Word has a great selection of fill-in-the-blank résumés that will look as good as a professionally resume if you follow a few guidelines.
First of all, choose your template wisely. If there’s any clip art at all on the page, pick a different one. You’re also going to look for an example that’s mostly black and white if not entirely colorless. And you want a simple design. The focus shouldn’t be on the graphics themselves (unless you’re a graphic designer, in which case you should be designing your résumé as if it were a piece of your portfolio). Finally, legibility is key. If there’s too much on one line and the eye can’t read it, just tab down and start a new line.
Build your portfolio
If your line of work requires a trail of papers, gather them up. Whether it’s support tickets you’ve filled out for interesting cases or reports you’ve done, they’ll be the building blocks of your portfolio. The main thing you’ll need, of course, are examples of your work. But you’ll also need a way to display them attractively. This is where Microsoft Publisher comes in. Publisher will allow you to make everything look uniform and appealing.
If you don’t have Publisher on your PC, you can use Microsoft PowerPoint. It has much of the same design flexibility as Publisher, so it’s a decent choice when you need to design things. If you have any certificates or online training, here’s a great place to include examples from them. Slip in any papers you’ve written or information about any project you’ve completed.
Post a website
Another great use for Microsoft Word is that it will let you publish your content straight to the web. When you’re job searching, any advantage you have could be enough to set you apart. One of the best ways to get that advantage is by starting a blog where you write about your industry. Be sure to not complain about clients or co-workers on it, though, as you’ll want to keep it upbeat and insightful. To create a website, visit WordPress or Blogger. From there, you can use one of their templates to set everything up. When you update it on a daily or weekly basis, you can simply hit “Publish as a Blog Post” under the file menu to send it straight to your site. Streamlining the process will hopefully make it easy enough for you to regularly maintain your blog.
Start a database
When you’re searching for a job through Monster or any of the online sites, trying to remember which jobs you’ve applied for already is sometimes a daunting task. Start a spreadsheet in Excel with the company name on Row A, the job position on Row B, the date on Row C and any notes you need to make in Row D. Consult the list and hit Ctl+F to search for a term any time you’re uncertain if you’ve applied somewhere or not. Remember that it’s not a bad thing to reapply places, but you don’t want to use different versions of your résumé or reapply on a nightly basis. There’s definitely a thick line between persistent and annoying, and you want to be in control of where you’re standing.
Jesse Langley lives near Chicago. He divides his time among work, writing and family life.