Feature: The 7 Employment Wonders of the Web
I’m often asked to list my favorite sites for job seekers, and it’s always a challenge. First, there’s so much happening on the Internet that it’s difficult to say that any one site or even a small number of sites is truly unique. Second, new sites launch all of the time, and old sites (if they’re any good) are continuously morphing with new features and services. As a result, the list of my online favorites today may be very different from my list tomorrow or the day after.
Those caveats notwithstanding, there are several sites that I think illustrate some of the best of what the Web can offer to job seekers and those striving to secure and advance their careers. Each offers something special-rich information, savvy insight, a dose of humor, genuine wisdom, helpful camaraderie; collectively, they are a marvel of human ingenuity, knowledge and inspiration. That’s why I call them The 7 Employment Wonders of the Web. In no particular order, they are:
Wonder #1: Nail the Interview. This online “game” created and hosted by the Dayton Daily News is part entertainment, part education and part competition. You get to select the character you want to represent you in the game and the skin and hair color of your character. (Here’s my only complaint about the game; it assumes you have hair, and some of us don’t. Admittedly, that’s a small flaw, but … well, it’s personal.) Anyway, after you select and customize your character, the game leads you through a series of situations that teach you the best practices for writing a resume, preparing for an interview, and nailing it when it occurs. Depending on how well you do with your answers to questions along the way, you earn a game score which is the salary you would be offered by the employer in the interview. Salary scores are saved so that you can challenge your friends and colleagues to see who does best and who should do some homework before they start looking for their next job.
Wonder #2: Dave’s Blog is written by Dave Opton, the founder of ExecuNet, a career management and recruiting network for executives and those who recruit them. Dave is an extremely well read guy, so you’ll find references to all kinds of books, blogs and other resources in his postings, but what’s best about his commentary is his own insights. Dave actually knows what he’s talking about. He’s been a thought leader in the HR field for many years and a successful entrepreneur for almost two decades. His company focuses on career advancement for senior managers and executives, so his musings tend to focus on their issues and challenges, but even first-time job seekers will learn a thing or two from what he has to say. This is citizen journalism at its best.
Wonder #3: Landed.fm is a “career empowerment” radio station on the Web. Its host, Peter Clayton, conducts interviews with an array of fascinating people that you can listen to either by visiting the station on its Web-site or by downloading whatever interests you to your iPod. I’m a fan of Landed.fm because it offers such an eclectic mix of thinkers and doers, movers and shakers, insiders and outsiders. For example, Peter’s most recent interviews have involved Erin Grunwell, a teacher and the author of The Freedom Writer’s Diary-How a Teacher and 150 Students Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them; Rick Myers, the CEO of TalentZoo.com, a job board that specializes in the advertising and public relations industries; and Patrick Tedjamulia, the founder of the International Mentoring Network Organization which is conducting the much heralded Get in Their Shoes Campaign for disadvantaged youth and aspiring leaders.
Wonder #4: The Discussions at CareerJournal.com are the perfect antidote for the loneliness of job search. These online commentaries connect you with witty, experienced and generally wise people who are willing to share their insights and knowledge with others. You’ll find discussions on The Best and Worst Jobs, The Job Market, The Search and other topics, but the area I like best is simply called Readers Respond. Although it is intended as a place where you can share your thoughts about the articles and columns appearing on the site, it is far and away the most popular of the discussions because people are so achingly honest in their posts. Recently, for example, there were comments about age discrimination in the job market, writing an appealing resume when you’ve been laid off five times, and trying to hold down a job while going through a divorce. I don’t know of any better slice of the real world or source of helpful comments from one’s peers for dealing with it.
Wonder #5: Student Stuff at Texas Instruments’ Web-site is a great example of what employers are doing to help students make smart job and career choices. (Why they aren’t offering the same assistance to the rest of us is beyond me.) The area provides a range of information and features, but two stand out for their originality and helpfulness: the Fit Check and Engineer Your Career. Fit Check is an interactive assessment instrument with two important benefits: it will help you pin down the organizational environment in which you will feel most comfortable (and, therefore, able to succeed) and it will tell you if you are likely to fit into the culture at Texas Instruments. That’s getting straight to the heart of the matter. Engineer Your Career is a comprehensive career planning guide that will help you lay out your employment objectives and position yourself for success. While it includes a lot of information about Texas Instruments, the process will provide personal insights and understanding that will serve you well wherever you are employed.
Wonder #6: JobHuntersBible.com is the home of Dick Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute (now in its 34th edition) and still one of the savviest writers in the career field. It’s hard to know where to begin on Dick’s site as he offers so much information and advice. It’s all organized into six sections: Take (an interactive test to learn something about yourself), Discover (the five uses of the Internet for job seekers and career changers), Create (and post your own resume), Search (for contacts), Find Out (about places, fields, companies and salaries), Look (at job openings) and Learn (how to navigate the Internet). Dick is a straight-shooter; there’s no sugar coating of his views and opinions about what works and what doesn’t in today’s job market. And, that’s what I like best about his site-you get wisdom with candor, and to my way of thinking, that’s a very special gift.
Wonder #7: The International Association of Employment Web Sites is the trade organization for job boards and career portals. Why should you care? Because there are over 40,000 of these sites now in operation, and the Association’s logo gives you a “Good Housekeeping seal” with which to identify those that adhere to the highest ethical and business standrads. In addition, the Association’s Web-site offers an array of tips for selecting the best job boards for you, given your skills and employment objectives, and for taking best advantage of the features and services offered at those sites. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m involved with the Association, but even if I weren’t, I’d recommend it. It will help you be a better consumer of job search and career self-management resources on the Web and, in the process, get the services and support you deserve.
The wondrous thing about the Web is that there are almost certainly more than just seven wonders online. Nevertheless, the sites I’ve listed are among the very best for job search and career self-management, and I’d recommend that you visit them.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!
Section Two: Site News You Can Use
Corzen, a market research and consulting firm, recently tracked the number of jobs posted online by employers in 90 U.S. markets. The top companies with jobs to fill were:
What should you do with this list? It’s one way to focus your job search online, but only if you do so efficiently. If you’re interested in any of these organizations, visit their Web-sites and sign up for the job agent (their notification of applicable openings by e-mail) provided there. In other words, let the sites’ technology do the work of looking at their opportunities, so that you can invest your time and efforts elsewhere. If some of the sites don’t offer such a feature, visit one of the search engines for jobs (e.g., Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com) and use its job agent to identify openings they’ve collected from those employers.
Fired, is a new book that was recently released about the famous and not-so-famous who have been given the Donald Trump on-the-job. The author, Annabelle Gurwitch, also operates a Web-site that will, of course, urge you to buy her book, but also provides a powerful reminder that getting fired, terminated, laid off or dismissed has happened to a lot of us, including some who have gone on to significant success. For example, she recounts the comedian Tim Allen’s story of being fired by a boss who told him, “I’m going to let you go. I hate popular people.” I haven’t read the book, but it sounds as if it might be just the thing for anyone who’s laboring under the misconception that they’re the only one who has ever been handed a pink slip.
Smart Money magazine published an interesting analysis of the compounding effect of getting a raise. If you had a $100,000 salary and received an average raise of 6%, rather than 3%, every year for 10 years, you’d earn an extra $171,000 dollars during the decade. To put it another way, you’d get paid the equivalent of almost 12 years worth of salary over 10 years. Now, I realize some of you are thinking that such information is nice to know, but not all that helpful. After all, you don’t control the raises that your employers give out. But that’s my point; you do, at least in part. Most organizations today are providing significantly larger raises to their top performers. Doing enough to get by, working away in the middle of the pack, making an average contribution is a sure fire way to earn a 3% raise or lower. If, on the other hand, you want to see your pay increase each year by more than the rate of inflation, you have to perform at a higher level than your peers and make more of a contribution. As the Smart Money article makes clear, the impact of doing so will have a real and significant impact on your standard of living.
WEDDLE’s introduced a new audio-based seminar to help you find your dream job on the Internet.
Called How to Look for a Job on the Web … and Still Look Like a Winner, the program will be presented by WEDDLE’s Publisher, Peter Weddle, on:
It begins at 11:00 a.m. EST, 8:00 a.m. PST and is one hour long.
What are the benefits of the seminar?
What’s the fee? Just $49 per person! Sure, it’s hard to spend money when you’re looking for a job. But think of this program as an investment … an investment in your future.
Registration is limited, so reserve your seat now. To sign up, please call WEDDLE’s at 203.964.1888.
Section Three: Site Profiles
Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?
1. You’re an organizational development specialist with experience in upgrading corporate productivity. Which of the following sites would help rationalize your process for finding a new employment opportunity?
2. You’re a recently graduated pharmacy technician looking for your first job. Which of the following sites would offer the right prescription for a successful search?
3. After a career change, you’ve just passed the licensing test for cosmetologists in your state. Which of the following sites would take the wrinkles out of your efforts to find a position with a local salon?
Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2005/6 Guides and Directories
Post full time jobs: Yes
Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – All
Distribution of jobs: Regional – USA: Central Pennsylvania
Number of jobs: 6,300
Salary levels of jobs: Hourly to $200K/yr
Offer a job agent: Yes
Resume database: Yes
How long are resumes stored: Indefinitely
Restrictions on who can post: None
Other services for job seekers: Career information, Links to other sites with resources
Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes
Answers to Site Insite
1. Only ODnetwork.org; OD-Online.com is an online OD consulting firm, DevelopmentJobs.info serves the field of international aid and development; and AMAnet.org does not offer a job board.
2. All but PillPoppers.com, the site of an online pharmacy based in Canada.
3. Only BehindtheChair.com; HairTalent.com is the site of a hair coloring and conditioning company, BeautyPeople.com is the site of a dating service, and SkinPeople.com is the site of a dermatology services company.