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Key Job-Hunting Strategies for Finding Employment on the Internet
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
Internet-based job search has become the standard way to hunt for employment. The focus of this article is to provide you with a roadmap to guide you through the maze of Websites related to career development and job-hunting and give you directions to the best resources currently available to job-seekers.
Before we begin this journey, one caveat: Job-hunting on the Internet should, in no way, be your sole means of looking for a new job. The traditional methods of networking, job boards, and targeted job searches should still be part of your overall job-hunting plan.
For those unsure of their career direction, the first step might be to one of several Websites that offer Career Assessment Tools, which score results from online questionnaires and provide suggestions of appropriate careers for your type.
Most others will start the journey by going to one of several career development Websites, such as Quintessential Careers or Job-Hunt.org, which can provide assistance with developing or honing your resume and cover letter writing, finding the best sources for researching companies, strengthening your interviewing skills, learning how to network, mastering salary negotiation, as well as perfecting other key career and job-hunting skills.
Once you've honed your skills in these areas, the next step is to develop a strategy for job-hunting on the Internet. If you're a college student or recent college graduate, your approach will be much broader than if you are a seasoned veteran, partly because of the need for confidentiality of people currently in the workplace, partly because of the availability of Websites at different career levels, and partly because a less developed network.
Keeping these issues in mind, there are four different types of job-hunting Web resources -- strategies -- for job-seekers looking online for jobs:
- Social media, networking Websites, and discussion lists. Social-media tools and networking communities provide endless opportunities to connect with employers and prospective network contacts; see a listing of these venues. For a more old-school but certainly useful approach, thousands of Internet-based discussion lists focus on almost every subject and profession imaginable. Join one or more of these lists and network with people in your field; employers sometimes subscribe to these lists to screen potential candidates. Finally, many professional organizations have Websites that have forums to facilitate networking. Visit The Art of Networking for more information and links.
- General job boards and resume sites. Websites such as Monster.com have large databases of job openings where you can search by profession or keywords. A complete list of the best of these site can be found at Quintessential Careers: General Job Resources. College students should visit College Recruiter in addition to those mentioned previously. A complete list of the best of these site can be found at Quintessential Careers: College Grad Resources. Many of these sites allow you to post your resume for free, and some even offer job and applicant matching services. Some of these sites allow you to post your resume without revealing your name for the sake of confidentiality.
- Specialized job board sites. The Internet is home to thousands of specialized job Websites -- from employment recruiters of all types to specialized job boards that focus on a specific industry. Here's a tiny sampling: If you're an executive, you might want to go to 6FigureJobs. If you're an accountant, you might want to go to Accounting Jobs Today. And if you're a marketer, you might want to go to Marketing Jobs. A list of the best of these specialized job sites can be found at Quintessential Careers: Career and Job-Hunting Resources by Industry.
- Company career sites. If you have a specific set of companies you would most like to work for, the best solution might simply be to go the each company's Website and review job postings. Many of these companies allow you to apply online, and they often list the contact person so you should be able to easily follow-up, as you would if you sent a cover letter and resume to an employer. We link directly to the career centers of hundreds of firms in our Quintessential Directory of Company Career Centers.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker's Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He's often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
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