AS WE move into the next millennium, our approach to the job market is becoming exceedingly more sophisticated. Technologically, our options are evolving at a rather fast clip.

To find a job today, we work with the new world of career management websites, online communities, listservs, video conference interviews, virtual offices, data-mining techniques, virtual reality job simulations and newsgroups, just to name a few.

So with all of these new means of communication, how do you put your best virtual foot forward?

Take advantage of technology

A candidate in today’s marketplace cannot rely on the traditional methods of a job search.

Responding to classifieds, working with executive search firms and networking with industry associates are not the primary investigative channels that they once were.

According to Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehlin, authors of the directory CareerXRoads (a guide to the 500 best job, resumé and career management sites): “Too many professionals look to find a ‘yellow brick road’ — a straight and narrow path to the ideal job.

“When, in essence, it is a territory with ‘crossroads’, where both employer and candidates can meet and make a choice or two.”

However, even with greater communication, the job of getting a job is still an arduous task. It requires up-to-date knowledge of the new technological process of recruitment.

“Recruiters and managers prefer to scan the most candidate data in the shortest period of time,” said Crispin.

This is the quickest way that a firm can formulate a short list of applicants who meet its job criteria. So it behoves the job seeker to become familiar with the “keywords” that are needed to make their resumés the most “scan-specific”.

But even at this point, how do candidates differentiate themselves from the competition?

In other words, once at the door, how do you move beyond just having face time with the job decision-makers?

Designing your websumé

Developing a resumé website is a means to that end.

Here, for the first time, is an opportunity for candidates to make their professional background come to life and jump off the page (or screen).

If your written page of resumé data got your potential employer’s interest, think about the icing on the cake — a website that is able to stimulate the senses of sight and sound.

Here are some examples:

* When you want to highlight a point, include a photograph or jpg file.

* If you were ever filmed during an interview or a personal appearance, transfer that footage to an avi file.

* Use a camcorder to conduct your own interview and paste it on your homepage.

* Film and interview one of your references.

* Add sound (a wav file) to accent a hyperlink, or include background music to set a tone.

* Use clipart or graphics to reinforce a theme, an idea or an experience.

Once the creative process has begun, there are endless possibilities as to what you can do to make the work experience come alive.

However, coupled with this new and exciting opportunity to present oneself is the much-needed element of self-promotion.

The field of dreams analogy of “once you build it they will come” does not necessarily apply here.

You have to be tenacious in the pursuit of making a resumé site that is available to the most number of people.

Similar to the concept of networking, the more people you meet, the greater are your odds for selling the goods.

Promoting your websumé

In promoting a resumé website, you can expose your electronic advertisement in some of the following ways:

* Embed your URL or website link into your e-mail, press releases and newsgroup communications.

* Conduct an e-mail campaign to all your prospects.

* Send a separate e-mail communication to your networking associates.

* Connect to search engines with keywords.

* Link to your resumé the websites of your associates and trade organisations in your field.

* Advertise on career placement websites.

* List your site name on all your correspondence, traditional resumés and fax cover sheets.

* Get your references to give you testimonials so they can mention your site during reference checks.

* Present your website during the job interview.

Again, the possibilities of promoting yourself are endless, but they are extremely important in making sure that your website receives as much traffic as possible.

As a reinforcement to your printed resumé and your face-to-face interview presentation, a resumé website can only enhance your chances of getting that next important job.