Bad Thing: Smallpox

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Melinda Sherwood were published in U.S. 1

Newspaper on October 27, 1999. All rights reserved.

Resumes Online: Words, Not Looks

A beautifully designed resume on heavy-stock paper is

becoming an anachronism today because of E-mail, but Sree

Yedavalli,

a young biologist and Internet expert, says that electronic media

are dictating more than just style points — it’s changing the

content of resumes as well. "It used to be a person was judged

by how nice it looked, how professional it was, but now it is the

details of that person’s history."

The kind of details that would overburden a paper resume are currency

in today’s electronic environment, explains Yedavalli, because human

resource managers convert print resumes to a database and then search

on key words. "It’s become a play on words, rather than a play

on visual cues," says Yedavalli, who leads "Job Search on

the Internet," a seminar on Friday, October 29, at 5 p.m., offered

by Business Express Inc. at 660 Plainsboro Road. Offered every other

Friday, the course costs $50. Call 609-799-3580.

The seminar covers the efficacy of job searching the traditional way

versus job searching on the Net. Yedavalli helps attendees revise

their resume for online use. "They can look at their resume and

see where the faults are for an Internet setting, and it could be

reformatted and streamlined," he says.

Yedavalli, who received his BS in biology from Knox College, Class

of 1993, is teaching computer courses while waiting for the next job

to appear. "Since I’ve been out of school I’ve been using the

Internet to get jobs — there’s nothing permanent about molecular

biology — and I have an interview next week based strictly on

the Internet," he says.

The turnaround time for resumes received online is quicker because

it makes the job of human resource reps easier. "Usually the human

resource rep has to take the physical resume and put it into a

database,"

says Yedavalli. "They have to scan the paper into a digital

format,

edit out all the text, and apply it to the database. Through E-Mail,

the rep has much of the work done."

Among Yedavalli’s favorite job sites: Careerpath.com and Monster.com.

Both offer the ability to modify the resume and cover letter online

to fit the job. "By fax or hand you would have to retype it every

time," he says. "It makes your search a lot more

adaptable."

The sites also offer privacy protection, so if an employer is scanning

resumes online, he or she can’t see a resume of someone in the same

office. When conducting a job search using the Internet, Yedavalli

stresses the following:

Develop a separate resume for online use. "The online

resume is actually pretty text oriented," says Yedavalli.

"There’s

no changes in font or style. It’s content you’re looking for."

Use buzz words. Use the kind of jargon appropriate to

the job so when the company searches on a particular skill your resume

rises to the top. "Details about what you do are good — years,

company names. You’re writing so that the database can find you online

fast.

Continue to follow leads. "I never advocate doing

your job search solely online," Yedavalli says. "Then you’ve

shot yourself in the foot. The advantages of online job searching

is that you may direct your search and you may actually get people

to help you out in your endeavors."

At Monster.com, a "virtual agent" searches the website

each day for ads that fit the parameters of jobseekers. "These

are electronic recruiters in essence," says Yedavalli. "You

give the location, your position and what you seek, and they E-mail

you every day saying there’s X number of jobs. It’s very proactive

in that all of the looking part is given to you."

That naturally increases the volume of resumes sent in on any given

job, but Yedavalli insists that the heightened competition doesn’t

dilute the impact of a resume sent online. "You are putting

yourself

in the same pool as everyone else, yes, but that’s why what you put

in the resume makes a difference," he says. Besides, he adds,

you may get some pleasant surprises. "The Internet makes the job

search fun because, wow, you get hits that you never knew you might

have skills for! All of a sudden you get a chance to reexamine what

you really know and what you can do."

Top Of Page
Bad Thing: Smallpox

Could the smallpox virus be alive and well and waiting

to attack innocent citizens in Princeton? According to Richard

Preston, author of "The Hot Zone" and "The Cobra

Event,"

there is a growing suspicion that the smallpox virus may live in

clandestine

laboratories in a number of countries around the world. The U.S.

Government

maintains a classified list of nations and groups with unauthorized

interests in smallpox. The list is said to include governments and

suspected extremist organizations in Russia, China, India, Pakistan,

Israel, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, and Serbia.

Preston is a featured speaker in a free seminar sponsored by the

Medical

Center at Princeton on Wednesday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m. at

Richardson

Auditorium. Call 609-497-4190 for information.

The seminar, entitled "Bad Things Come in Small Packages:

Bioterror

and Public Health at the New Millennium," also features Donald

A. Henderson, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and director

Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies; Christine M. Grant,

commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services;

and Michael Lemonick, Time Magazine, who will moderate.

Henderson and Preston are standard-bearers in a growing national

concern

about the real possibilities of a bioterrorist attack. The seminar

marks the 80th anniversary of the Medical Center at Princeton, which

was conceived in 1918 during the great "flu" epidemic that

killed 20 million people worldwide.

Smallpox was eliminated from the human species in 1979 following a

12-year effort by a World Health Organization team led by Henderson.

At the present time, smallpox lives officially in only two secure

repositories on the planet — at the Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, and at the State Research

Institute

of Virology and Biotechnology — also known as Vector — in

Novosibirsk, Siberia.

In an article in the July 12 New Yorker, "The Demon in the

Freezer,"

Preston points out that smallpox is a perfect bioterror agent. During

the 10-day incubation period following exposure, the victim feels

completely normal but is transmitting the disease through the air

to anyone nearby. It is explosively contagious, and some smallpox

outbreaks have been more than 50 percent fatal. People, even those

vaccinated during the final eradication effort 25 years ago, retain

no immunity to the disease. There is very little smallpox vaccine

on hand in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world, and that which

is available may have lost its effectiveness.


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