Herald/CATRINA RAWSON - Diego Cruz and Sabino Pena, employees at Patriot Furniture in Killeen, help with clean-up efforts Thursday after Wednesday’s flooding caused by remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine.

By Andrew D. Brosig

Killeen Daily Herald

The way people look for a new or different job is changing.

With the current economic woes, accompanied by a shift in how human resource managers of major companies are finding future staff, it's a new world out there, said Jerry Haisler, director of Workforce Solutions for Central Texas at the Texas Workforce Center in Killeen.

"It's not exclusive, but with almost any major employer, (online applications) is all they're using," Haisler said. "(Applicants) may at some point have to fill out a paper application, but most of the connections to work these days is done through the Internet."

And the World Wide Web has become something of a morass, with the plethora of job-search websites available serving to muddy the waters. But a new web portal launched recently by the U.S. Department of Labor aims to help job-seekers match skills with careers or training.

"Americans deserve good jobs and mySkills myFuture is one of the ways we're ensuring they can find and access them," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in a press release announcing the website. "It allows people to explore work possibilities based on their experience, strengths and interests. It also connects them with high-quality training programs and provides localized job postings."

A central clearing house for jobs around the country has been lacking, said Haisler and Kim Patterson, business service manager at the Texas Workforce Center. TWC has operated its own online jobs website for about seven years which has helped streamline the process of connecting job seekers with employees, Haisler said.

The TWC website, www.workintexas.com, highlights in-state job availability. The new website, www.myskillsmyfuture.org, does the same thing on the national level.

"We've seen a huge change in the job search," Patterson said. "Now, you can search from the comfort of your home.

"Is the number of job search sites overwhelming? I don't think it can be," she said. "We do have differences between the states and the way their workforce services are provided and their center set up."

Texas has perhaps fared better in jobless numbers than other states, Haisler and Patterson said. That's in part due to the way the state works with people looking for jobs.

"We've been very fortunate we haven't experienced the high unemployment rates like other portions of the county have," Patterson said. "I think we're seeing the Department of Labor look at providing other services to assist those states that have double-digit unemployment.

"I don't think this is anything new," she said. "The tools to enhance the job search (on the Department of Labor site), I think that's something new. It kind of gives a person an opportunity nationally versus what ever state they're in."

Just logging in and registering with different job-search websites isn't enough, they said, adding a few basic recommendations to help individual resumes rise above the tide.

"Be sure to be extremely thorough," Haisler said. "We live in a day and age when we want everything to be fast. But, when you're doing a job search, you're competing with literally hundreds of people at any point in time."

Perhaps of equal importance is accuracy, Patterson said. But relevance tops the list of important tips when filling out an online profile. And knowing the needs of the company is the first step in showing your skills and background are the best fit for a specific job or company.

"Be to the point," she said. "Employers don't want to know who your first-grade teacher was. You need to be sure your resume is geared toward the company you're applying for.

"There's lots of ways to adapt a resume so it fits the needs of a company," Patterson said. "Do your homework so you know what they're looking for."

Contact Andrew D. Brosig at abrosig@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7469.

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