Creative Job-Hunting tactics.(FAMILY TIMES)

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Goldberg Goff, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Washington area's economy has been hit hard, from troubled giants such as WorldCom to small start-ups that ran out of money. With thousands of people recently laid off, competition for jobs is heavy. That is why it is important to get creative when it comes to resume writing and job hunting.

Here's some advice from job seekers and career counselors:

*Absolutely post your resume on an online career board, such as Careerbuilder.com or Monster.com. But remember, thousands of other people are doing the same thing.

To make a resume stand out online, post several versions of it, says Dawn Haden, senior career adviser for Careerbuilder.com. Her site allows prospective employees to post five versions of their resume.

"In today's market, you may need several versions to target different areas with different keywords," Ms. Haden says. "You may need to look outside of your areas of expertise. This is a longer process than it was a year ago. I would say 18 months ago it might have taken three or four weeks to find a new job. Now you can substitute months for weeks."

The best resumes "focus on telling their corporate story" concisely, she says.

"Be specific and concrete," Ms. Haden says. "Use adjectives that paint the whole picture. Many people forget that the person reading the resume does not know your whole story."

Still, don't take too long to tell that story. Keep resumes to no longer than two pages, unless you are looking at a CEO-level job, she says.

It is very important to tell the truth as many companies will do a personal background check, Ms. Haden says. If you were laid off, there is no shame in mentioning the restructuring, she says.

"You are not alone," Ms. Haden says. "There are a lot of great candidates in the same boat."

Competition on online job sites has been extremely stiff, says Alan Carter, a pseudonym for a Northern Virginia man who was laid off from a high-tech job in June. …