Job Loss...it just bites.
I know I was pretty much in shock the first few days (weeks according to my wife). I took some time to get my ducks in a row and know what my options were. I was let go with about 700 others and my former employer had contracted Right Management to do some counseling classes to help us get re-acquainted with the whole interviewing process. Things had changed dramatically in the past 12 years since I last looked for a job.
Luckily I had worked with our HR folks with implementing several of their job search/management tools, so I had some clue as to what I was up against. One major thing that had change was the "filtering" process. HR recruiters no longer read each resume coming in. They simply do a keyword search for the terms that they are looking for...very Google like. Keywords like iSeries, PHP, Java, Blackberry, etc. were the only words that they had to see for me to get noticed. The fact that I have no degree, just experience working with certain products or languages, these were the only qualifications I needed. Suddenly my webmaster skills of web page promotion became a very valuable asset to my job search.
Today's recruiters are, as with any other corporate department, utilizing the tools that their budgets afford them. Luckily there are many widely used and popular job search tools available that are free to use...and they use them too.
LinkedIn - is one of the most utilized tools for job search and leads...it's free to use, but some companies do pay to do the advanced searches. I found my latest job through LinkedIn.
At first I added many of the co-workers that had gotten laid off with me as contacts. I had all kinds of recruiters requesting to be one of my contacts. At first I denied them, I felt they were just probably just trying to see who my contacts were. After some thought, I realized that one of these recruiters could be looking for someone with just the right qualifications that happen to know...why deny my friends of the opportunity. So I started letting these folks in, which happened to be how I was contacted as well for the job I have today. It's about networking...either use it or you may be passing something good up.
Career Builder - is another great tool for job searches. It allows you to create multiple resumes that can be tailored to the jobs that you are applying for, which you should do. The site allows you to setup keyword searches of your own and receive notifications when new jobs matching your search become available to post for.
Resumes - They changed a lot in the 12 years since I last looked. Used to be that you were to keep to one page. Now they afford you the opportunity to do a better layout and larger font (12pt.) to make them easier to scan. Start with a quick summary, List bullet points of your areas of expertise, then list your work history. Work history should contain Accomplishments and brief descriptions of what expertise was used to achieve the accomplishment, very important to answer the what and how of each accomplishment.
Be sure to use job posting descriptions to tailor the resume that you submit for each job, there really isn't a catch-all resume. The list of keywords that are in the job description need to be in your resume. I'm not saying to lie about anything, most recruiters don't know the technical aspects of a job, they are just looking for the matching keywords to select resumes to begin their search. Sometimes you have to just get your foot in the door and make a good impression. That right impression can take you a long way.
One other note, there are different types of resumes. If you're an educator or executive, you may have one that is much more in depth, but this is one of the basic styles
Your info on LinkedIn may have to be updated or tweaked to match much of the same info you're providing in the submitted resumes. Consistency is key with recruiters, everything needs to mesh or they won't get warm and fuzzy about you.
Social Networking - Companies today are even asking for if you have a website or a facebook page. Warning...The recruiters will check out these pages just to see what you've been up to on your personal time. This is great if you haven't posted recent pictures of you puking at your buddies bachelor party the night before the interview...know someone that got bit by this. So be careful also what info you provide if it's not something you would normally share with them.
This information is mostly of my opinion, observations, and such...so take it for what it's worth...but all my sleep deprived brain can muster tonight otherwise probably could rant on a lot longer. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or want more ranting.