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E-mail is better route than job boards in employment search


October 15, 2001

Here's an update on important trends in today's labor market:

>Web job searches: An increasing number of job seekers post their resumes on the Internet, which is an important tool in any job search. But there are some new warnings about the process.

"Looking at the jobs advertised on the job boards is good to do, but the problem is that many of the resumes fall into the various companies' database junk files, which have so many resumes in them that they can't find you," said Charlene Turczyn, an executive recruiter and president of CMW & Associates Inc., a Springfield, Ill.-based firm specializing in placing software engineers. The search firm has a branch office in St. Louis.

Turczyn, who has been in executive search since 1984, emphasizes that being "nameless doesn't help you get a job. You have to limit and control who sees your resume in order to preserve your brand -- you. And you lose your negotiating ability when you're one of so many."

She points out that only 4 percent of those who put their resumes on Web job boards get jobs that way.

"Don't get lost in the shuffle," Turczyn said. "Use the boards for research, but don't let your resume just sit in a job bank. E-mail your resume directly to individual companies -- and search their corporate Web sites for jobs."

>The hospitality industry: I hear often from mature workers that hotels and restaurants don't want to hire them. But that really isn't true of the hospitality industry, according to Raphael R. Kavanaugh, professor and head of hospitality at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. The professor and graduate student Doris Choy surveyed 120 senior citizens about their attitudes toward working in the hospitality industry.

"There's a perception problem among seniors about the industry, but the food and lodging industry is eager to bring them into the workplace," Kavanaugh said. He adds that " ... managers may need to use different techniques to attract seniors ... and it's the hospitality industry's job to let seniors know they're wanted and needed."

It may also be time for the industry to learn more about laws that forbid age discrimination.

>Labor update: There's a serious "disconnect between workers and the world of work around them: a separation between the larger problems faced by many and the reality some of us deal with on our jobs today," writes Stephen Franklin, author of Three Strikes: Labor's Heartland Losses and What They Mean for Working Americans (Guilford, $23.95). "Because of this disconnect ... few hear about workers snarled in endless legal battles with companies or about those coping silently with exhausting on-the-job demands."

Franklin, a veteran labor writer and my colleague at the Chicago Tribune, emphasizes that " ... there is a need for someone to speak out, because the problems workers face today are surely as important to them as their predecessors' problems were to them. The sweatshops haven't been eradicated; they have merely been hidden away at the back of small buildings. The workers ... haven't disappeared; they are simply scattered and ... have changed the tint of their collars from blue to pink, to gray and to white."

Growing job opportunities for the disabled: Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Ill., has launched a Web site for AbilityLinks, a consortium of companies and agencies formed by Marianjoy in order to expand job opportunities for people with disabilities. The new site is regional right now, but according to Vickie Austin, vice president of marketing and public relations for the hospital, it eventually will list jobs on a national basis. The job listings are at www.abilitylinks.org.

Carol Kleiman covers workplace issues for the Chicago Tribune. She can be reached by e-mail at ckleiman@tribune.com

by Carol Kleiman, Chicago Tribune. Copyright © 2001, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


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