Feature: Always “Shop Smart” When Picking a Job Board

Feature: Always “Shop Smart” When Picking a Job Board

Feature: Always “Shop Smart” When Picking a Job Board

Let’s face it; finding the Web-sites that can best support your specific employment objective is no easy task. In essence, you have two choices:

  • You can follow the herd and apply for the jobs posted at the same sites that everyone else is using,
  • or

  • You can “shop” for employment sites with the same consumer savvy you use when looking for any other important service or product.

If your choice is to be a smart consumer, the following process will help you get the job done!

The SmartSearch process is based on a very simple premise: You can be an expert in job search and even in using the Internet and still NOT connect with your dream job IF you look for that job on the wrong Web-sites. Indeed, selecting the best sites for your employment objective is a prerequisite for successfully using the Internet to find a new or better job.

SmartSearch is a 5-step “job seeker friendly” process for making smart Web-site selections. It draws on the experience and lessons-learned of successful online job seekers and the rich array of site information that is now available to you.

Step 1: Check out the Field.

There are 40,000 employment-related sites on the Internet, so the first step is designed to limit your research to a reasonable number-I suggest about a dozen-that are likely to be helpful to you. There are a range of sources you can use to identify those sites that focus on your career field, your industry and/or your geographic location. These include:

  • Work colleagues and friends
  • “The Guide to Internet Job Searching” by Margaret Riley Dikel et. al.
  • “WEDDLE’s Job Seeker’s Guide to Employment Web Sites” (see the link in the toolbar to your left)
  • “WEDDLE’s Directory of Employment-Related Internet Sites” (see the link in the toolbar to your left)
  • Step 2: Evaluate the Possibilities.

    The purpose of this step is to reduce your options from the dozen or so sites you selected in Step 1 to a group of 5-8 finalists. The best way to do that is to “comparison shop” the sites. In other words, collect the same information about each of their services, features and fess, compare them to one another and then select the best.

    What information should you collect? Well, the Internet is known as the Information Superhighway, so I’ve developed a list of key data that will speed you on your way. It forms the acronym NASCAR:

    N–Number and kinds of jobs (e.g., full time, part time) posted on the site

    Do they match your employment objective?

    A–Availability of a job agent (This feature will automatically and continuously compare your job objective to openings posted on the site and notify you privately whenever a match occurs.)

    Can you sign up a job agent at no charge?

    S–Salary ranges of the posted jobs

    Do they match your employment objective?

    C–Costs to you for using the site

    Are there any fees you must pay? If so, what are they?

    A–Aids for job search and career management

    Does the site provide information about job search and career management or links to sites that do?

    R–Resume database with a confidentiality feature

    Does the site offer a database for storing a resume or profile online? If so, does it protect the confidentiality of those who post their resume/profile in the database?

    Where can you find this information? It’s available in the print guides listed above or from the sites themselves.

    Step 3: Visit the Sites Online.

    The best way to assess your options further is to pay each of the 5-8 sites a visit online. Sites that seem all but identical on paper often have a very different look and feel on the Internet. The key is to find those sites that provide the best experience for you: they are easy for you to use and they provide the specific kind of support and assistance you need. Or, to put it another way, the best sites are those that provide the optimum return on your investment of time and effort when using them.

    What features should you evaluate? I suggest that you look at the following:

  • How easy is it to open the door? Is the site designed for speedy access with your kind of modem and Internet service?
  • How easy is it to figure out what’s there? Is the layout of the site’s Home Page intuitively obvious and is there a Table of Contents or “site map” so that you can quickly determine what’s available on the site?
  • How easy is it to get where you want to go? Is the site designed for easy navigation? How many mouse clicks does it take to get to the information and services that you want?
  • How “job seeker friendly” is the site? Does the site require you to register before you can use any of its services? Does it provide information and insights that you find helpful? And, is the site well maintained (e.g., are there grammatical errors and misspellings in the content, do pages not open or do hypertext links not work)?
  • Step 4: Make Your Selections and Track Your Results.

    Just as you would with a traditional job search campaign, the best way to look for a job online is to select and use several venues or sites simultaneously. Each will provide you with a different “access road” into the employer population; that’s important because it’s impossible to know, in advance, where organizations will be posting their jobs on the Web. To give yourself the best coverage among prospective employers, I suggest that you select and use at least 3 sites-one each for your career field, industry focus (if you have one) and geographic preference (if that’s applicable). Then, keep track of each site’s performance to see if they actually deliver the opportunities you want.

    Step 5: Continually Reassess and Fine Tune Your Selections.

    It’s easy to become creatures of habit and return to the same sites over and over again when looking for a new or better job online. The Internet, however, is an ever-changing medium, and successful online job search depends upon a continuous reassessment and updating of your site selections. To conduct your evaluation, repeat the steps in the SmartSearch™ process monthly, if you are an active job seeker, and quarterly, if you are a passive job seeker or career activist (interested in advancing your career, but not really looking to move right away). Use both the lessons you’ve learned from previous site experiences and the new site information we publish in the Free Book Updates area at the WEDDLE’s Web-site (www.weddles.com). That way, you’ll always be using the sites that work best for you.

    Section Two: Site News

    HotJobs.com released two new features for job seekers designed to match them more accurately with the job openings for which they are best qualified. The “proposed jobs” function automatically suggests employment opportunities you may want to consider based on job titles found in your resume and any searches you have saved on the site. The “suggested search” function identifies other possibilities you may want to consider if your initial search for openings on the site does not produce results. It lists up to three additional options and tells you the number of posted openings on the site for each one.

    Korn/Ferry International has released recent survey results that suggest senior level candidates are increasingly reluctant to change positions. According to the poll, which was conducted among the firm’s own executive recruiters, 70% say it is either somewhat or significantly harder to lure executives to new positions. In addition, 87% say that those candidates who are willing to move now want positions with larger, “blue chip” companies, and 68% say that candidates are looking for more cash and less equity in their compensation packages.

    Mercer Human Resources Consulting released the findings of a study of corporate performance management programs. According to its poll of employees, 61% felt that they understood their employer’s performance management system, but less than half said their last review provided the information they needed to improve. Worse, less than a third had even had a performance review in the previous twelve months. Not surprisingly, the study concluded that such high levels of dissatisfaction with a company’s performance management system can cause employee apathy and lack of commitment.

    The Society for Human Resource Management profiled a recent court decision regarding telecommuters. In the case, an employee, who had worked from home in Florida rather than in her employer’s workplace in New York, sued for unemployment insurance benefits from New York when she was terminated. She argued that, because she was linked electronically to her employer, her work actually took place on its mainframe computer in that state and, therefore, she was eligible for benefits from it. The court, however, ruled otherwise, declaring that physical presence determines whether or not a person is working within a state and thus eligible for its unemployment insurance benefit.

    WorldatWork.com, formerly the American Compensation Association, released the results of its 30th annual Salary Budget Survey. According to its findings, company projections for 2004 salary increases (at 3.7%) are slightly ahead of increases this year (which are running at 3.5%, down from projections of 4.1%). However, respondents also said that slightly fewer employees would actually qualify for raises (83% in 2004, down from 85% in 2003). Although one could look at such findings and call the salary glass half empty, the fact that inflation increased just 2.2% in the 12-months ending April 2003 suggests that it may actually be half full.

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?

    If you were heading out onto the Web to look for aviation jobs, which of the following sites would delay your departure?

  • AVjobs.com
  • FindaPilot.com
  • SoloGig.com
  • Landings.com
  • Which destination would you visit if you were an executive who knew had to turnaround a company after a painful business downturn?

  • www.ache.org
  • www.bluesteps.com
  • www.execunet.com
  • www.cfo.com
  • When searching for a position in the transportation field, which of the following sites would be a dead end?

  • StreetJobs.com
  • SpaceJobs.com
  • Layover.com
  • TruckDriver.com
  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2003 Guides and Directories

    EcoEmploy: Environmental Jobs and Careers



      Post full time jobs: Yes

      Post part time/consulting jobs: Yes

      Distribution of jobs: International: USA & Canada

      Number of jobs: 56

      Salary levels of jobs: $21-30K, $31-40K

      Offer a job agent: No

      Resume database: No

      How long are resumes stored: N/A

      Restrictions on who can post: N/A

      Other services for job seekers: Career/job search information, links to off-site resources

      Answers to Site Insite:

      4. Sologig.com, a site for freelancers and contractors

      5. All of them

      6. StreetJobs.com, a site for those in the investment banking, sales and trading professions