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Virtual Recruiting

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The only discouraging thing about the huge number of first-class job opportunities on the Net is the even bigger pool of applicants striving to win those jobs. With each passing minute, another recent graduate logs on and posts his or her resume on one or more of the myriad of online job sites, making your life that much more difficult. So what can you do to stand out from the crowd? Well, we talked to a few coveted companies about what they like to see from an online applicant - and what they don't want to see. Following their advice can give you the edge you need to get past the front door (and not end up in a desktop recycle bin)

Intel, the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors, hires between 1,600 and 1,900 students and recent graduates (who are pursuing advanced degrees) as paid interns across the United States every year. The internship, featured in The Princeton Review's Best 106 Internships, leads to a full-time position at Intel for 60% of those hired. Even though many interns are discovered at college fairs, the number of students found online, is increasing every year in a process Intel terms "virtual recruiting"

"Virtual recruiting is our way of recruiting a candidate without having to be present," says Paula Schrimsher, a member of Intel's global college recruiting group. "It's a virtual presence." Schrimsher maintains that Intel's virtual recruiting is "our way of getting in touch... with students that we didn't have access to in the past - unless they mailed in their resumes, which is kind of going by the wayside." Or, if students missed their opportunity to meet with prospective employers, "they can go online, and they always have accessibility to the corporation. At any time, they can see what's being offered at Intel."



Intel's method of recruiting is "standard with all big companies," according to Jacob Dominguez, an intern program manager with Intel. But knowing that there are terrific opportunities available online is only half the battle. What do employers look for from their faceless online applicants?

Dominguez says that 90 percent of Intel managers prefer electronic resumes to paper. "It's just so much easier," he says. In fact, Intel relies so much on online resumes that they electronically scan all of their paper resumes into their database anyway. But this means that "students need to be prepared" at college fairs with a plain-text resume that lacks any special formatting. Therefore, the properly prepared position pursuer possesses two separate resumes-"A fancy one, and a scanner-friendly one." Having a scanner-friendly resume (lacking bold, italics, underlining, or fancy fonts in general) can put your resume in the database to be passed around, "rather than sitting in one manager's office - that they might not even know is there," according to Schrimscher.

Using the web as a job-hunting tool has another advantage: It demonstrates web savvy. On the other hand, if you're not altogether comfortable with using the web, it shows, too. "It's a great screening device," says an official at USAjobs, the official source for federal jobs. Showing you can use the web capably "makes an applicant very attractive to any employer. Adds Howard Leifman, Chief People Officer at the employee resource Vault.com, "I find that those people that use the web tend to be more technologically savvy."
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