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A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO
GETTING A JOB ON THE NET
by Bob Brooke

For decades, people hunted for jobs by scouring classified ads to clip all possible listings. They addressed envelopes, stuffed them with copies of their resumes, drove to the nearest mailbox, and waited up to a month for a reply. While Email and the Internet haven’t killed off that time-honored process, they’ve dramatically changed the rules. Electronically, job-seekers can hunt for a new position anytime. And in a single afternoon of enthusiastic E-mailing, they can offer their skills and experience to dozens, perhaps hundreds, of firms.

While the Sunday newspaper can show how to contact several dozen local companies that are hiring, E-mail and Internet capabilities enable job-seekers to reach more than 30 million potential employers. With this new technology, job-seekers are now able to seek out and pursue jobs before they’re advertised in the newspaper.

Equally important, these new electronic maneuvering skills enable job-seekers to find organizations and individuals who may be able to steer them toward the careers or geographic areas they desire.

While many people today tout the Internet as the best way to find jobs, for certain job categories, especially high-tech, online certainly has its advantages. But is online job hunting the be-all and end-all as it is often portrayed?

Job-seekers with little knowledge of the Internet might think of an online job site as one central site offering access to millions of job postings listed by employer, arranged by geographical area and searchable by a variety of criteria or key words. But more often than not, online job listings aren’t gathered together on one site, but spread out over hundreds, if not thousands, of sites.

It can be pretty overwhelming. Job-hunters need to focus their efforts on sites that seem to offer them the best chance of scoring a job offer, but how can they tell which sites are best? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. A site that paid off for a friend or coworker might not yield even a single job to someone else. Asking questions about which sites have worked and which haven*t from fellow job-seekers is the best plan. Those sites which make it onto listings recommended by legitimate job counselors should also be good.

However, according to Dick Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Guide for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers only a fraction of the 16 million employers in the U.S. job market are on the Web. Even the top five sites—Monster.com, CareerPath.com, CareerMosaic.com, Jobsearch.org, and HeadHunter.neteach give access to only .06 percent of all U.S. employers and 6 percent of all vacancies. And only a fraction of the 20,000 existing job titles are on the Web. And the majority of online job listings* are only for job titles in the computer, engineering, electronic, technological, health care, financial and academic fields. Few vacancies in the rest of the 20,000 job titles are listed on the Web.

The hardest part of looking for a job online is knowing where to start. The best advice is to seek out an online listing site or two—or three. One place to begin is JobHuntersBible.com a comprehensive Web site created by Bolles. This is, by far, the best introduction to job hunting on the Internet, offering information on search engines, gateway job sites, and much more.

Another site is JobWeb (http;//www.jobWeb.org), which offers a list of links to nearly a hundred other job sites, broken down by region. The experts who successfully guide actual job-hunters in their search through job listings on the Internet increasingly are finding that the key to a successful search is found on the regional sites more often than on the big national sites.

For the global job-seekers, Wide Web Employment Office has links to countries around the world. Also, its employment opportunities are organized by occupation rather than by industry. There are so many sites that it*s wise for job-seekers to create a strategy for locating the right site for their job-searching needs. The following sites may hold important clues:

Within Yahoo!  job-hunters can go to Business and Economy/ Employment/Jobs, where they’ll find more than 500 job site listings under six major categories. Yahoo! also provides users with Yahoo.Careers. Yahoo.Careers lists over 500,000 jobs. Users can search for work using a keyword index, by geographic area or by job category. The geographic area and job category are selected using a listing box. After performing a search, Yahoo.Careers enables users to further refine their search by keyword, company name or job title.

Yahoo! also lists a variety of job-related resources. In the moving resources, there*s a salary calculator, a city comparison, rentals and houses for sale. Other features include a daily column, industry research reports, guides for job-seekers, company profiles, industry research, salaries and benefits information, as well as advice on interviews, negotiating, and entrepreneurship.

While Monster.com doesn*t sound like an employment resources Internet site, one quick glance will quash any doubts. As of September, Monster.com contained nearly 239,000 job listings and a variety of other information. Here, users can search for a job, post a job, research companies, create a customized job search, and access similar kinds of employment matters. One of the nicest features is the customized search, which enables users to create an account that will track their employment interests against new postings on the site.

For those working on their careers, CareerMagazine  is an excellent site, with plenty of front-end information to assist with a career search. Job-seekers can read a feature of the week, choose from any one of several daily topics, post to a resume bank or look for jobs, employers and employment articles.

Career Relocation Corp.of America, an outplacement and job-finding assistance company, developed America’s Employers. The site builds on the company*s years of experience in the field, providing job-seekers with plenty of employment choices. Some of these include job search essentials, a resume bank, advertised positions, a company database, relocation resources and a job-posting center, plus links to job information sites and recruiters.

The Web also contains several sites with tailored employment classifications. One of these is The Riley Guide, supported by Drake, Beam, Morin, Inc. a national outplacement consulting and career transition services firm. It provides an excellent approach for finding the right Internet employment site. The Guide lists a huge variety of Internet job resources under major categories and includes an executive job search, help on researching careers, salary surveys and resume help.

Networking on the Internet often means logging onto newsgroups and other online forums. Newsgroups on almost any topic can be found and viewed with Internet search engines such as Yahoo!, Excite, and Infoseek. By letting others know they’re looking for jobs, job-seekers just may make contact with just the right person.

CyberFiber claims to have "the most comprehensive directory of Usenet and alt.newsgroups." Its search tool allows job-seekers to hunt through more than 40,000 newsgroups by subject.

Yet another approach to electronic networking is for job-hunters to read magazines and electronic newsletters that focus on the field, region, or company where they’re seeking employment. Often, the published contact information includes E-mail addresses of authors and other experts. But this technique shouldn’t be overused—no phony praises, no wheedling information with incessant questions.

With all these resources plus the thousands more not listed here, a job seeker may never have to look at the Sunday paper again.

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