Feature: Riding the Net to Your Next Job

Feature: Riding the Net to Your Next Job

Feature: Riding the Net to Your Next Job

There are over 40,000 employment-related sites now operating on the Internet, and new sites launch every week. They include well known national job boards-such as Monster.com, Yahoo! HotJobs and CareerBuilder.com-as well as smaller, specialty sites that focus on a specific career field, industry or geographic location. Among the latter, you’ll find everything from ConstructionJobs.com, Cool Works (for jobs at dude ranches and ski resorts), jobsinthemoney (for opportunities in the finance and banking fields), and JobsinTrucks.com to MarketingJobs.com, HireHealth.com and The New York Times Job Market.

Whatever your background or level of experience, there is almost certainly a number of sites that can help you achieve your employment objective. In fact, there are so many options offering so many different features and services that it’s easy to overlook some of the sites that might be most helpful to you. To avoid this pitfall, I recommend using the simple 4-step process below. It’ll help you to make smart choices among the various sites and get the most out of those that you elect to use.

Step 1. Decide what job board services and features would be most helpful to you. There is a wide range of possibilities, including:

  • Listings of full time, part time, contract and consulting jobs from employers, staffing agencies and/or executive search firms;
  • Databases where you can store your resume or profile for employers and recruiters to see;
  • Assistance in planning a job search campaign, writing a resume, negotiating a compensation package, investigating relocation costs, and accomplishing a host of other important activities;
  • Salary surveys for your field, level of experience, and location;
  • Information about various employers, collected from third party research firms, the organizations themselves, and/or their current or former employees; and
  • Job agents, which are software programs that automatically compare the jobs posted on a site to your employment objective and notify you privately whenever a match is found.
  • Not every site has all of these resources, but many offer several of them. The key is knowing what to look for.

    Step 2. Identify 6-8 sites that might be useful to you. Look for sites that specialize in your career field, industry and/or location as well as those that provide most or all of the services and features you selected in Step 1. The easiest and fastest way to acquire such information is to use one or more of the following print publications:

  • WEDDLE’s WIZNotes: Finding a Job on the Web. The CliffsNotes of job search success online.
  • The Guide to Internet Job Searching by Margaret Riley Dikel. A particularly helpful book for recent college graduates.
  • What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles. Perhaps the most acclaimed job search reference in print and a useful guide to using job boards effectively.
  • WEDDLE’s 2005 Guide to Employment Web Sites. The “consumer’s report” of job boards.
  • All of these publications can be found in major book stores, plus the two that I’ve written are also available through the catalog at the WEDDLE’s Web-site.

    Step 3. Visit each site and see how well it measures up to your expectations and needs. Carefully evaluate the services and features you identified in Step 1 and also consider the following:

  • Is the site well designed and visually appealing?
  • Is the site well maintained (e.g., do all of its pages open, are any of its links broken)?
  • Is the site easy to use (e.g., can you get around quickly and find your way back to your starting point easily)?
  • Are the instructions on the site clear and helpful?
  • Are all of the advertised services and features actually available?
  • Do the services and features provide the caliber of assistance you expected?
  • Keep track of what you find in each of these areas for each of the sites.

    Step 4. Compare the sites using your findings from Step 3. Look for those that provide the best combination of helpful services and a pleasant user experience. Then, select at least three sites that will work for you. I suggest that you identify at least one that focuses on your career field, one that specializes in your industry, and another that serves the geographic area where you want to live and work.

    Visit these sites regularly and take full advantage of their resources. When you do, you’ll be well on your way to riding the Net to your next job.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. WEDDLE’s Newsletter grows only by word-of-mouth. So, please … tell a friend or colleague (or two) about the newsletter. We’d be very grateful, and they will be too.

    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Business and Legal Reports released its BLR 2005 Pay Budget Survey and found that employers will be holding pay increases to under 4 percent in 2005. The highest general or across-the-board increases (4.5%) were planned for nonunion plant workers in the Far West; the lowest were for nonunion plant workers in the South. The highest merit pay increases (3.9%) were planned for office workers in the Central/Rocky Mountain/Southwest area of the country; the lowest were planned for nonunion plant workers in the East Central and Far West regions. The company also polled employers on its Web-site to see how they thought workers would react to these moves. Not surprisingly 43% expected employees to be disappointed, and 6% thought they would react with anger. What else would they do given the continuing news reports about the excessive pay packages given to CEOs and other top executives, even when they are fired? Carly Fiorina, for example, was shown the door at Hewlett Packard and given $21 million as a goodbye gift; that’s a bit more than a 4% increase.

    CareerBuilder.com published the results of its latest employment survey, and the news is pretty good. According to the site, nearly 15% of hiring managers say they plan to add 200 or more workers this year. And, one-in-four say they will get off to a fast start by increasing their recruiting budgets in the first half of the year. In fact, more than one-third expected to do the majority of their hiring for the year in the first quarter. I don’t think that happened, although the pace of recruiting did certainly pick up. That being the case, if you are in an active job search or expect to make a move this year, now is the time to start using all of the Web’s resources to connect with recruiters. Where should you begin? Take a look at the four-step process I describe in my feature column above.

    The College Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University reported that hiring of recent college graduates should show strong growth this year. It found that employers are planning to hire 20% more college graduates this year than last. The hottest fields will likely be accounting, marketing and business. What should you (or your son or daughter) do to catch the eye of employers? First, know where the jobs are. There are a number of job boards and career portals that specialize in entry level positions. Take advantage of them. Second, scout out the companies that are hiring (see which companies are posting the most jobs at the college grad job boards) and visit their Web-sites. Do your homework on their culture, benefits, compensation and opportunities for advancement. For those employers that interest you, apply for their posted openings where you’re qualified and see if you or your family members and friends have a contact inside the organization. If you can make such a connection, ask them to hand-carry your resume into the HR Department. It will put you at the head of the class in the competition for employment.

    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its list of fastest growing occupations. It should come as no surprise, given the aging and technology trends in the U.S., that 16 of the 20 occupations on the list are in healthcare and computers. What may surprise you, however, is a development within many of these career fields; it’s the prevalence of assistants. Of the top five fastest growing occupations, three involve assistants: medical assistants, physician assistants, and social and human aide assistants. If you include aides as well as assistants, such occupations comprise nine of the top twenty fastest growing fields. It’s not clear what’s driving this trend, although the desire for work-life balance may be playing a big role. In many if not most cases, you can pursue a career as an assistant working part time or sporadically, whereas that is not normally the case with the primary position (e.g., physician, therapists, dentists).

    The National Online Recruitment Audience Survey (NORAS) is an annual survey of job seekers in the United Kingdom. This year, it polled 18,000 people and found that job boards are delivering some impressive results. According to the respondents, 64% obtained an interview as a result of their application to a job posting. Even better, 51% got a job as a result of the interview. Those kind of odds would put Las Vegas out of business. And, they’re yet more proof that online job search works for people who are looking for work.

    Section Three: Site Profiles

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

    1. Your employer’s not so funny announcement on April 1st set a date for a major layoff. If you’re a seasoned database administrator, which of the following sites would turn your search into yet another bad joke?

  • DevBistro.com
  • ITjobs.com
  • DBtalent.com
  • Tech-Centric.net
  • 2. You’re an experienced retail store manager looking for a new opportunity in New York City. Which of the following sites would cuase your job search in the Big Apple to turn rotten?

  • NYTimes.com/JobMarket
  • BigAppleTalent.com
  • NewYorkJobExplorer.com
  • craigslist.org
  • 3. You’re a recruiter whose company has just announced a hiring freeze. Which of the following sites would help heat up your career by connecting you with new employment opportunities?

  • RecruitPeople.com
  • RecruittheBest.com
  • TopRecruiter.com
  • RecruitersNetwork.com
  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2005 Guides and Directories

    CollegeGrad.com

    www.collegegrad.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – All

    Distribution of jobs: International – USA and Canada

    Number of jobs: 80,000

    Salary levels of jobs: $31-50K/yr, $20-30K/yr

    Offer a job agent: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    How long are resumes stored: 180 days

    Restrictions on who can post: If registered

    Other services for job seekers: Discussion forum, Assessment instruments, Career and job search information on-site, Links to other sites with job search and career management information

    Answers to Site Insite

    1. DBtalent.com, the site of a company that represents professional talent for broadcast, film, and other media productions.

    2. BigAppleTalent.com, the site of a talent scout company in New York City.

    3. Only RecruitersNetwork.com; RecruitPeople.com is a job board in the automotive industry, RecruittheBest.com is the site of a training company for real estate recruiters, and TopRecruiter.com is the site of a company that sells investment advice.

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