What is a Job Aggregator Site?

Applying to jobs online can be a time consuming process. First, you have to search for the jobs. Then you have to tailor your resume to each job and be sure to follow all instructions. Some ads will even put a certain phrase such as “Put copyeditor #3675 position in the subject line” to make sure you are reading thoroughly and can follow instructions.

A job aggregator site is one website that collects job postings from all over the web in one place. Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com are two examples of a job aggregator. It cuts down on the time you spend searching out job ads. An aggregator site may also give you the option of setting up email alerts to let you know when new jobs in your area of interest have been posted.

While a job aggregator can save you time, there are a few other things you need to know about using them. Not all of the jobs are current. Some can be from 30+ days ago. Check the job description’s date before you apply. It’s very discouraging to get to the end of an application process only to get a screen telling you “This job is no longer available.”

Email alerts you set up on a job aggregator site may not exactly match your job alert criteria. Be exact as you can when you set up an alert, focusing on which criteria is most important to you such as location, hours, title, etc. Don’t skip through the email list of jobs sent to you by a job aggregator if the first few jobs aren’t exactly what you are looking for. There may still be some viable jobs on the list.

A job aggregator site may list jobs that sound exactly alike, but have different company and contact people specified. This happens when several recruiting firms receive the same job requisition to work on. How do you choose which ad to respond to? You don’t. Respond to them all. You increase your chances of getting your resume in front of a hiring manager. If you are put in for a position by a recruiter, and other recruiters contact you for the same position, clarify that it is exactly the same position. Then let the recruiter know your resume has already been submitted. If other recruiters submit your resume without telling you after it was already submitted for a position by someone else, that is their problem. It is their responsibility to check with you first to determine that you really are a fit for a position and that you still want to be considered for the position.

Lastly, job aggregators can take you only so far. Your resume may not even get looked at even if you are the best candidate for a position. The job search has become a numbers game, which means if your resume isn’t in the first few that are submitted, chances are it stays buried in the applicant tracking systems that recruiters and HR use to hire. Use the job aggregator to submit your cover letters and resumes. Keep networking so that you can find someone who can also drop a copy of your resume on the hiring manager’s desk and recommend you for the position.

Dodging A Bullet: Acing the Phone Interview

The Internet has made applying for a job a very easy process, which means recruiters are getting a plethora of resumes for each job they advertise. One tool that recruiters use is the phone interview, and it is used for one of three reasons: 1) to eliminate you as a candidate for a position, 2) to further assess your fit for a position if you aren’t eliminated, or 3) to find out more about you in case you are a fit for other positions.

Be prepared. Some interviewers will call you out of the blue and start asking you questions — usually to try and eliminate you and cut the pool of applicants down to two or three candidates to interview. Others will schedule a phone interview in advance. Keep your job descriptions in one file and your tailored resumes (yes, you need an individual, tailored resume for each position) in another file. Research the company using Google, Yahoo, Hoover’s or other databases so you do not have to ask questions about the company during the interview. If your contact number is a cell phone, make sure you keep it constantly charged and that you can hear well on it.

If a recruiter catches you off-guard and calls you unexpectedly, try to politely put that person on hold and grab your laptop or your paper file with your resume and the job description. Try to talk to the recruiter at that time if at all possible. Delaying the phone interview may mean you just lost your chance to make an impact and to find out more about the position. There is no shortage of candidates these days, and the recruiter may just move on to the next one.

If you have a scheduled phone interview, make sure you are in a quiet place. Keep your phone and files nearby. If your interview is on Skype or is a videoconference, look around beforehand to ensure that the background view is not of your messy utility room or your refrigerator covered with magnets and papers. Find a blank, neutral-colored wall and position yourself in front of it. Dress as if you are going to an in-person interview if it makes you feel more professional. Be prepared to smile while you talk. It relaxes you and makes you sound friendly.

Write out your key words beforehand. What makes you unique? What can you bring to the job? Write out questions that will give you information that you did not get from the job description. Why is the job open? How soon do they expect to fill the position? What are some of the most difficult tasks of this position? Be prepared to give the recruiter information tailored to these question’s answers. For example, “Yes, I would be available to start on your target date,” or “those tasks can be difficult; however, I have performed x,y and z tasks with success.”

This sounds like a no-brainer, but when you are talking with the recruiter, make sure you are talking about the SAME position. Some recruiters are under pressure to fill several positions at once, and some of these positions have similar titles. Ask about the hiring process and the next step after the phone interview is completed. Ask if you will be one of the candidates moving on to that next step. The recruiter may not be able to tell you that during the phone call. Other candidates may still need to be phone interviewed, but that does not necessarily mean you have been eliminated. Reiterate your interest in the position and why you would be a good fit. Let the recruiter know you are looking forward to the next step, and send them a thank you note right away. Your follow up thank you note is acceptable in either email or snail mail format.

Take notes during the phone interview, and fill in anything you did not have time to write down. Keep these notes. You may have a second phone interview or get an in-person interview where you can use this information to build rapport and knowledge in that second interview.

Keep in touch with your recruiter. You may not get chosen for this position. However, you can always ask the recruiter if you would be a good candidate for any of the other jobs this person has or is likely to get. Some recruiters may honestly tell you no, that this position was a “one-off,” an unusual position type that they hardly ever get. If this is the case, ask if they have a recruiting network or other recruiter colleagues with whom they can share your resume.

Green Careers: Engineering

If you like to solve problems and develop new ways of, well, doing almost anything, an engineering career may be for you. Increasingly, the focus has been on “green careers,” ways to sustain the planet and to strive to keep our global economy healthy. These kinds of jobs are about more than just math and science, and they do not necessarily promote more expensive processes to get the job done. Green engineering jobs exist in almost all areas of the economy. These include:

Waste Management: Some engineers create the infrastructure such as large pipes and valves that handle waste water and sludge, while others examine how to keep waste moving through the system while detoxifying it. Recycling engineers create ways to move recycled materials through the recycling facility, sorting, baling and preparing materials for reuse. Hazardous waste management engineers develop the processes to safely dispose of hazardous waste such as chemicals and waste water that are the products of mining. Specialties include structural, chemical, environmental and mechanical engineering.

Energy: Engineers interested in energy conservation are interested in finding ways to use energy more efficiently. For example, an engineer can look at ways to alter electrical appliance parts such as a refrigerator’s insulation to make it use less energy. Engineers involved in finding green, renewable energy sources are also looking to contain costs of harnessing that energy and of disposing of any waste created by that energy source. For example, hydrofracturing of shale can produce natural gas. It can also contaminate ground water which is very difficult and expensive to decontaminate once polluted. Engineers try to come up with the least expensive process that will not lead to ground water contamination. Specialties include chemical, environmental and mechanical engineering.

infrastructure: Civil engineers figure out the best ways to build roads, bridges, dams tunnels, sewage systems and buildings while minimizing the negative impact on the environment. Specialties in this area include structural, environmental, geotechnical and transportation engineering.

Health and Safety: Air, water and food controls are put into place because engineers find ways to test them for safety. This includes developing the tests and test kits to determine whether air is safe to breathe, water is safe to drink and food is safe to ingest. Specialties in this include: mechanical, chemical and environmental engineering.

Check out these resources to learn more about green engineering careers: Green Career Links at Green Career Transitions.