Unleashing the Power of the Internet in Your Job Search

job search“Come on everybody now, everybody’s learning how . . . Surfing!” Surfing the Internet, that is. You’ve heard all the hype, seen all the ads where the company lists their new website, overheard geeky teenagers discussing the really cool sites they’ve found. You’ve heard about the pornography, the bomb building sites, and spouses who run off with someone they meet in a chat room. You’ve heard about Bill Gates and Microsoft fighting the government and other web browser companies for even more market dominance in the computer industry. Is this where Joe Average Job Seeker should be spending time? Is it worth the time, money, and effort? Will it get results? ABSOLUTELY!

The Internet is a veritable gold mine of career opportunities.

What types of resources are on the Internet?

A broad variety of resources and services await job seekers at all levels and in every conceivable industry—it’s not just for propeller-heads anymore! No single resource will have everything for everybody, and the sheer number of sites out there can make the whole process seem utterly daunting. So, the savvy surfer will want to learn about the Internet resources that guide you through the cyber maze: online resource guides, virtual libraries, and search engines.

You’ll want to visit online recruiting sites, resume databases, and electronic journals and newspapers to uncover promising job leads and research interesting companies. If you plan your online sessions wisely, you can save an unbelievable amount of time, money, and shoe leather in your job search. You can land your dream job in record time, learn valuable and marketable computer skills, and you might even have a little fun, too!

Preparing for Your Job Search

Before you go online, you should carefully plan your job search strategy. You might read some of the better books on the subject such as Job-search Secrets, by Kate Wendelton, The 1999 What Color Is Your Parachute?, by Richard Bolles, The Only Job Hunting Guide You’ll Ever Need, by Kathryn and Ross Petras, Knock-Em Dead 1999, by Martin Yate, Job Hunting for Dummies, by Max Messmer, Portfolio Power, by Martin Kimmeldorf, and Networking for Everyone, by J. Michael Farr. You might also consider working with a career counselor or coach. At the very least, you must answer the following questions:

What do you want to do? List your skills, interests, experience, and education. Write down job titles that fit your ambitions (dream a little here, but be realistic, too!)

Who do you want to work for? List the industries and types of companies that interest you. Would you like to work for a huge conglomerate, or do you prefer a small, start-up organization? Will your colleagues be workaholics, or are you looking for a family-friendly environment?

Where do you want to live and work? Do you want to remain where you are, or are you open to relocation? Do you wish to go into the office everyday, or would you like to telecommute full or part time?

“Pounding the Virtual Pavement”

Let’s examine the different types of Internet resources in more detail. What are some of the best sites and how should you utilize them in your job search?

On-line Resource Guides

These sites are the online equivalent of a table of contents. They contain lists of links to Internet resources (also called a meta-list or clearing house) for job seekers such as job listings, resume databases, or full service career centers. Just click on the Internet address listed (also known as a URL or Uniform Resource Locator) and you’ll zip right over to the site.

On-line Job Listings

There are dozens of sites with thousands of job listings. You can search these job databases by industry, job title, location, company name, salary level, and years of experience. Some sites will give you direct access to a company’s recruiters – click and you can Email them your electronic resume and cover letter, tailored to the position advertised! Job listings may also include links to the company’s web site. With just a click you have access to loads of company information including press releases, product and service information, and annual reports.

Sites for Posting Your Resume

Recruiters and employers are using the Internet as part of their search for new talent. The following are well-established Internet sites that are most recommended for posting your resume – they are many others, including industry-specific sites.

Remember, there are hundreds of job search sites on the Internet – these are just a select few to get you started. Happy surfing!