Job Searching Tips for the Modern Economy

Job Searching Tips for the Modern Economy

Long gone are the days of beating the streets and knocking on doors to find jobs. The modern world wide economy and tough job market makes job searching a much harder task, it’s realistically a full time job in itself. While I was unemployed for about eighteen months, I developed the following strategies to find a job. Hopefully they are useful to you.

1.) Write multiple versions of your resume based on the job title you are applying for. I keep a full resume that covers everything I’ve done, which is also copied to my Profile. But I never physically give this resume to anyone. Instead I have generalized resumes for the various positions I’m qualified for that each emphasize the skills related to that job. So in my case, I have a Desktop Support/Help Desk resume, one for System Administration, and another for Project Management/Business Analyst. As I apply for jobs, I modify one of these resumes to the specific position. For instance if the job calls for certain skills I move them to the top of the skills list portion of my resume.

Make 100% sure that your resume is free of errors. Have friends or family proof read it. Read it outloud to yourself to be sure that it flows right. Be sure to use industry keywords. You’ll likely be surprised at how many errors there may be, even by English Majors. Utilize your software’s built in Dictionary!

Lastly, do not be afraid to ask the recruiter if there are any changes they can suggest to your resume for the specific job they are hiring for. Remember, they get paid when they place you into a position, so they’re invested in getting you hired and will gladly make suggestions.

2.) Track your resume submissions. I use an excel spread sheet (Job Search Template) to keep track of all jobs I’ve applied for. For those who are drawing unemployment, this is a good thing to give to your advisor when they ask how your job searches are going. More importantly though, it helps keep you keep track of what jobs you’ve submitted yourself for. In the IT industry, multiple recruiters frequently contact you about the same job. But the HR departments of many companies will toss resumes if they’re submitted twice.

This sheet also helps me remember what recruiters I’ve talked to before, and identifies those who were helpful to me before. If I haven’t talked to them in a while, it’s a chance to reconnect with that specific recruiter to let them know I’m still looking.

I tend to go a step further, and store each resume I’ve submitted with the name of the job title and date submitted in the file name so that if I do get contacted on specific job, I can pull up that resume and talk to the specific experience they are looking for.

3.) Post your resume on each of the major job boards, Monster, Dice,, Create a calendar reminder to change the basic resume once every two weeks on all the Job Boards you submit it too. You should make at least one full sentence of changes. The goal is to keep your resume “new” so that it filter towards the top of the search results. Recruiters aren’t bothering to look at any resumes older then two to four weeks because they have so many choices.

Some of these job boards allow you to post multiple resumes with different keywords, take advantage of that. Upload each of your job specific resumes to the board and be sure to describe accurately it with targeted keywords. If the job board doesn’t allow multiple resumes, get a new email address and start a second, third, fourth account as needed.

4.) Most of these job sites allow you to crease RSS Feeds out of their Job Search Strings. These can be imported into Google Reader, Thunderbird Email Reader or any other RSS aggregator you wish to use.

While this may seem overwhelming at first, by setting up RSS feeds you can automate job searching, and will get jobs sent to you almost as soon as they are posted. This frees up a ton of time allowing the job searcher to concentrate on networking, custom tailoring resumes, and doing job searches with keywords that are atypical.

You can also use the same trick for Twitter Users who frequently repost jobs and Craiglist Ads. Many company specific Job Boards are based on the Taleo software, which also has the functionality to create RSS feeds off of job searches.

5.) Even if you are not drawing unemployment, take advantage of the services your local employment office offers. These are usually low cost or free. They frequently have a board of jobs that are only posted to the employment office. They have classes for lots of things from resume tips to basic keyboarding skills, job fairs, etc. They also frequently have a list of local professional groups in your field, which are great opportunities for networking with others. Sometimes large companies give discounted or free training vouchers to the Employment Office.

If they have a group for interview skills practice, take full advantage of this! You may think you did good in an interview, but there is likely something you said or did unconsciously that may have turned off the interviewer. Practicing with an impartial person is invaluable, will help polish your answers, and pose, and will get you used to the process.

6.) Apply to temp agencies and take every single job offered to you. This is another great way to network, as a manager who is sufficiently impressed with your work is more likely to offer you a full time job. Or they are likely to hand your resume over to someone they may know who is hiring.

If the Temp Agency gets good feedback on you, they’re more likely to place you into positions that can lead to full time work late on. They do know where and who has these jobs! Treat Temp agencies as you would any other recruiter. They have just as many and sometimes more insight into the Employment industry as a whole.

7.) Take every bit of contract work that comes your way. Even if it’s for a day or a week. This helps fill in the unemployment gaps, shows recruiters and hiring managers that you’re willing to do whatever is needed, and likely adds valuable skills and experience to your resume.

8.) Volunteer. Even if you’re not making any money, you’ll still be learning skills. Most cities have a listing of local non-profits looking for volunteers. There are likely major opportunities that desperately need any skill you may have.

9.) Check out the local Young Professionals Chapter in your city. These groups are great for networking, and frequently have a few non-profit of the month activities. This gives you a chance to find non-profits that you would be interested in, and give you a chance to meet and talk with people in diverse industries. Your skills may translate into another industry very easily.

10.) If you do not have a profile – create one! Take at least a full day to do this. This is just as important as your resume! Get a friend to take a good picture of you in professional attire for your profile photo. Include your full work history, and all job skills you might have. Be sure to snag the LinkedIn URL with your name in it. Do not link your profile to your Facebook Profile, unless it’s very professional. If you have a blog that is industry specific, do link it to your LinkedIn profile.

Be sure to add all your own professional contacts. Give and ask for recommendations from everyone.

11.) Get business cards printed up with your custom LinkedIn profile URL on it, including all your contact info. Have at least two phone numbers (Google Voice works here.) You can also print up your own cards, but this is one area where the money spent is well worth it. Hand these out at every opportunity. Likely they’ll be stashed away, but they’re an invaluable asset to show your professionalism.

12.) Scrub the heck out of your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr profiles!!!! Anything that you’re less then proud of, or shows you in a negative light, get rid of it! Or just delete your profile totally and create a new one. Recruiters and HR people do check these resources before hiring and will use it to heavily influence their decisions on you.

13.) Prove that you have experience and knowledge of your specific industry. Join a large public forum and start posting. Use your real name so that Google Searches by HR people and recruiters finds it. Be polite and be helpful to others. Learn and teach as much as possible. Ask well informed and direct questions. If the forum is geared towards your dream job in some way, even better.

14.) Get your own domain name and create your own blog. This takes a lot of time to setup initially, but once it’s done you can cruise along with occasional posts, two to three a week is a good pace. If you link this with Google Adsense, it’s a good way to make a few extra bucks. Scape other sites for news articles related to your industry, comment and deeply analyze them. You want to show potential employers that you know the industry well.

I realize that the bulk of these tips sound pretty daunting, and there is a huge amount of up front work. It’s possible that it’ll take two weeks just to get the basics going. But don’t feel overwhelmed, once you do most of these processes they pretty much take care of themselves and will help make your job search better.

IT Recruiting Company Reviews

IT Recruiting Company Reviews

It feels like the economy is turning around – or recruiters are getting desperate. Over the past two years I’ve been getting a lot of hits for jobs that are way out of my skill range, or have two or less keywords on my resume match the job description. It’s obvious that these companies are using the shotgun approach to finding workers in hopes that something will stick.

While I’m not calling any of these companies* scammers, I’d be extremely wary in dealing with them at all. Such an approach to recruiting means that these people are trying to fill a quota and don’t care about either the people they’re recruiting, or the Companies they’re recruiting for.

adroIT Software & Consulting, Inc;
– Contact #1, August 9th, 2011, one keyword match

American Cyber System;
– Contact #1, June 28th, 2011, no keyword matches
– Contact #2, October 12th, 2011, one keyword match

Apex Systems; These people have been on my radar for a while, but have skirted being put on this page for a variety of reasons. I usually get an email from them at least once a month, but here is the problem, they have never contacted me back about any job I tried to apply for that they sent me.
– Contact #xxx, September 01, 2012 – One keyword match – off of former company name!

Atlantic Partners Corporation
– Contact #1, February 1st, 2012 – One Keyword match

Bellsoft Inc;
– Contact #1, August 1, 2011. Job request was not even in my industry!
– Contact #2, September 17th, 2011. Short term contract, 2500 miles away, one keyword match

inSync Staffing;
– Contact #1, October 03, 2012 – One keyword match – MICROSOFT Office! Job was for an architect position.

– Contact #1, Oct 21, 2011. One keyword match on resume

National Executive Recruiting, “division of a national Medical Diagnostics Company” (their words)
– Contact #1, Jun 12, 2012. No keywords, not at one of my usual emails, position was for Medical Technology Sales. And email started out “Greetings xxx” but not my name.

Paladin Inc;
– Contact #4, Jan 13th, 2012 – Position was minimum wage, entry level copy room. No keyword matches.
– Contact #7, Oct 20th, 2012 – Not in industry. Continue to disregard “unsubscribe” request via link posted in all their emails.

Ramy Infotech; These guys seem to hire Indian recruiters who just spam out jobs to random people. Every email I’ve ever sent them, including ones asking for more information about the position, or the one time I was really interested in the position has been ignored.
– Contact #8, June 28, 2011. One keyword match
– Contact #9, August 31, 2011. Two keyword matches
– Contact #10, October 21, 2011. One keyword match
– Contact #11, October 24, 2011. One keyword match, outside of area
– Contact #12, October 24, 2011. Same as above, even the same recruiter.

*Recruiting Companies; You are on this list because you either;

A.) Declined to mark me in your contact system as unavailable after the third request or do not provide a way to remove myself out of your system
B.) Continue to send Job Descriptions that match two or less keywords out of the 40+ that are on my resume
C.) Are an insurance company recruiting way outside of your industry and using questionable tactics to do so
D.) Repeatedly do not contact me back about jobs that I am interested in, even to say “Thanks! I’ll submit your resume!”

Craiglist “Job” Scam

Craiglist “Job” Scam

This is a new one on me, but apparently has been going on since 2008 in one form or another.

I responded to a Craiglist Job Posting looking for a desktop support person. Most of these just end up in a black hole of some sort since most job posters are getting slammed with resumes right now.

This time I got a reply:
from: Ronald Lang (

Thanks for responding to the AD and I’m Ronald Lang, The new director of works at Mission Australia (USA), we have gone through
your resume and feel your are competent for the job so we need to know if you are capable of repairing computers in large volumes
(6-10 computers for trials), the organization distributed few computers to a missionary home in Lima, Peru, and there objectives was to
hold a free computer training section for the kids at the Mission Home, we got information that the computers all malfunctioned and
they are shipping the computers back to us, we need to fix them and have it returned in time, are you available for this job? we need
your urgent response to this ad.
The Director of Works.
Ronald Lang
Mission Australia (USA)

Note Mission Australia exists, but I can not find that they have any US offices. Also, the email address he sent it from is which is missing an ‘s’. is a Google Apps Hosted domain and is registered via:

Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States

Registered through:, Inc. (
Created on: 10-Jul-10
Expires on: 10-Jul-11
Last Updated on: 10-Jul-10

Administrative Contact:
Private, Registration
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States
+1.4806242599 Fax — +1.4806242598

Technical Contact:
Private, Registration
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States
+1.4806242599 Fax — +1.4806242598

Domain servers in listed order:

I replied to this not knowing exactly where the scam was. The reply:

Thanks for the swift response, Here are some few details you need for the job, We supplied 30 Pentium IV dell laptops to the mission training home, after some couple of months we got an information that 7 of the systems malfunctioned and results into crashing, first we made enquiries about how they all malfunctioned and we found out that Below are the things needed to be done on the laptops;

(1.) Format Hard Drive
(2.) Install Win Xp or Vista with Service Pack 2 or 3
(3.) Microsoft Office Package
(4.) Recent Anti Virus Software with (Free Lifetime Updates)
(5.) Adobe Acrobat
(6.) Diagnostics of the entire system after to check hard drive, CD & DVD ROM, floppy Disk.

Get back to me with your total cost for the services of 7 units ( Labour Only). We would Include all the necessary software’s and licenses (Original) needed for the service installations and would be paying you with a Certified Company Check, and i want you to know that the Laptops will all be shipped to your location by our shipping agents, we will give you a totality of one week to finish up with the repairs after which it will also be picked up by the shippers. This is a Contract Job which might lead to a full time position with the company after you have successfully completed the first task within the specified time. Kindly send me the following information’s to have the payment mailed out to you;

Full Name:
Physical Address:
Zip code:
Cell phone #:

I am currently in Remote area in Lima and the phone service is very poor here, I’m online most of the time as I am hard of hearing so I prefer we contact each other through E-mails, but if there is need for me to call, I will be glad to do that by using a hearing device. I await your urgent response so we can make moving arrangements and delivery of payment as soon as possible.
Very Respectfully,
Ronald Lang.

After some negotiated costs (pretty much an “OK, that sounds good.”) “Ronald” says he’s going to send me a check and the laptops. Simply cash the check, keep my fee, send the rest of the money to another address, and then fix the laptops when they arrive.

Of course there are no laptops, and even if there were, sending them from Peru to Oregon would be cost prohibitive just to get fixed.

Note, the real Mission Australia is not associated with this scam at all

Portland Oregon Temp Agencies list

Portland Oregon Temp Agencies list

This is a list of Temp Agencies and Employment Agencies with offices in the Portland, Oregon area. I do not have experience with most of these companies, nor do I endorse any. But I would be interested in your opinions on them. Please leave any comments (good or bad,) below.

Please also comment below on any companies that should be added to this list!

Portland Oregon Temp Agencies list

Accountemps (Accounting, bookkeeping, collections, general office) 503-244-9311

Accounting Connections (Accounting, bookkeeping, CPA’s, Administrative) 503-228-2335

Adecco Employment (Clerical, light industrial, data entry, drafters, engineers, production) 503-645-5938

Aerotek (Skilled light industrial, general labor, clerical, engineering) 503-403-1900

Ajilon (Accounting, finance) 503.228.0300

All’s Well (Most health care suport positions (no physicians)) 503-265-0542

Apple One (Administrative, sales, management, customer service, technical, call center) (503) 279-8893

Aquent (Creative and Marketing) 503-797-6600

Arrive Staffing Resources (Office, Accounting, Finance) 503-227-2211

ATSI Group (All IT Technical positions) 503-684-9100

Barrett Business Services (Clerical, Light Industrial, Technical) 503-234-2444

BDI Staffing (Heavy Industrial, Production, Assembly) 503.364.5189

BEGINRIGHT Employment Services (Warehouse, light industrial, clerical, production) 503-254-5959

Boly:Welch (Administrative, clerical, legal accounting support) 503-242-1300

Brooks Staffing (General Office, Administrative, Production, Light Industrial) 503-284-7930

CDI Professional Services (Electronics, IT, Administrative, Clerical, Call Center, Management) 503-629-7100

CLP Resources (Skilled Trades people for construction) 503-408-5730

Contractors Employment Service (Construction Industry Only, Commercial, residential, general labor) 503-654-0021

Crdentia Staffing (Finance, Credit, Accounting, Collections, General office) 503-246-8952

Creative Financial Staffing (Accounting, Finance) (503) 552-6717

CSR Personnel (Administrative, clerical, customer service, engineering, technical, production, healthcare) 503-287-4428

De Paul Industries (office, clerical, general labor, warehouse, manufacturing, janitorial, medical production) 503-281-1289

Dental Medical Staffing, Inc (Dentist, hygenist, assistant, office manager, xRay technician, receptionist, veterinary technician) 503-641-1176

Edgelink (technical) 503-246-3989

Edwards Enterprises (Construction, Assembly/Fabrication) 503-466-2171

Emerald Staffing (secretarial, clerical, accounting, word processing, sales, warehouse, customer service) 503-941-4788

Employers Overload (clerical, light industrial, technical) 503-624-8000

Experience Works (Staffing for mature workers 55 and over) 503-526-2761
Filter/Talent (Creative, advertising, design, marketing, public relations) 503-228-6892

Generator Group (exclusive high-end professional positions in apparel, footwear, sporting goods, retail, insurance, banking, IT, risk management) 503-224-4811

Goodwill Personnel Services (office suppport positions for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment) 503-239-1734

HR Extra (HR Executive, manager, HR support staff, recruiter, benefit administrator) 503-885-9875

Instant Labor (general labor, construction, assembly, production, moving, janitorial, warehouse, painting) 503-643-7028

Insurance Overload Services (Insurance, Administration) (503) 293-7650

Integrity Staffing (labor, warehouse, material handling) 503-692-1300

Interim Healthcare (Hospice, Health Care,) (503) 761-6050

Jones Partners (technology) 360-693-0181

Kelly Services (clerical, administrative, technical, light industrial, healthcare, management, engineering, sales) 503-643-1614

KForce (accounting, finance, technical) 503-244-2700

Labor Ready (light industrial, unskilled construction, assembly, freight handling, maintenance, warehouse) 503-641-7858

Legal Northwest (paralegal, legal secretary, legal administrator, records manager) 503-242-2514

Madden Industrial Craftsmen, Inc. (carpenter, welder (certified and non-certified), machinist, laborer, mechanic) 503-690-0641

Mainz Brady Group (Information Technology, Human Resources, Sales & Marketing and Accounting,) 503-688-1900

Management Recruiters (Management) (503) 287-8701

Manpower (light industrial, production, general labor, administrative, clerical) 503-641-6992

Maxim Staffing Solutions – (Admin, Healthcare including physicians) 503-452-7979

Medical Placement Services (nurse, front office, billing, medical records, CNA, CMA, customer service, affiliated with the medical society of metropolitan portland) 503-222-9977

Medical Staffing Network (nurse, medical technician, radiology, pharmacy, rehabilitation) 503-295-7828

Medical Society Staffing (Healthcare) 503-227-2737

Northwest Staffing Resources (administrative, customer service, light industrial, accounting, IT, medical, legal) 503-323-9190

Office Team (administrative, receptionist, customer service, data entry, clerical, executive assistant) 503-594-2000

OPTI Staffing Group (light industrial, clerical, office skilled trades, customer service, data entry, office manager, administrative assistant) 503-594-2000

The Personnel Department (office , clerical, technical, marketing, technical) 503-626-0311

Portland Habilitation Center (provides education, training and employment for people with disabilities) 503-261-1266

Resource Staffing Services (Logistics, Commercial Transportation, Production, Admin, Call Center) – (503) 261.8822

Randstad (office, executive office, industraial, call center, creative, technical, finance and accounting) 503-246-5342

Remedy Intelligent Staffing (light industrial, assembly, customer service, clerical, warehouse, forklift driver, administrative, data entry) 503-646-0400

Resources in Food (Hospitality) 407.248.1066 x105

Rose City Personnel (administrative, financial, legal, management, clerical, marketing, technical) 503-968-1100

Securitas Security Service (security) 503-243-1620

Sedona Group (office Support, light industrial, clerical, engineering, IT, medical, production) 503-466-9999

SFI Staff Finders Inc (Technology) 503-617-2979

Spark Pro (Technology) 503-684-9100

Staffing Partners (all types) 503-644-1945

Staffmark (Professional, administrative, Assembly, Warehouse, technical, customer service, skilled trades) 503-251-0004

Summit Staffing (production, light industrial, office, technical, medical) 503-639-9292

Today’s Office Staffing (office, legal, customer service, accounting and finance) 503-452-8400

Ultimate Staffing (Clerical, Customer Service) (503) 227-5582

Uniforce/Labforce (Medical, scientific, technical, clerical) 503-968-1311

Vanderhouwen & Associates (IT, Engineering, Accounting) (503) 299-6811

Volt Services Group (light industrial, reception, manufacturing, clerical) 503-221-8797

Westaff (Entry level clerical, light industrial, customer service, call center) 503-224-2401

Job Searching in Portland

Job Searching in Portland

As I now find myself the latest victim of the poor economy, here is a list of job searches via Twitter that are specific to Portland Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest in general.

There is the twitter user name first, then the RSS feed of that user.