Use the Internet to Find a Job
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Using the Internet to Find a Job

Looking for a job on the Internet? If so, you are not alone-the Internet has quickly become one of the most popular job search methods. As a link to the global universe, it has revolutionized the way prospective employees search for jobs. Still, it's not magic; the Internet will not automatically find a job for you. Like any other job-hunting strategy, using the Internet successfully requires effort.

The key to being successful using the Internet is knowing what you want and how to get it. New Internet search technology includes job search agents and mega-search tools. Job search agents, such as www.nationjob.com and www.diversityworking.com are automated programs or services that search job databases and notify users when listings match their requirements. Mega-search tools, such as www.careerbuilder.com, and employment911.com, are sites or software programs that allow users to search more than one online site at a time and combine all the results on one list to review.

Think Before You Act

Before using the Internet tools described above, job seekers should ask themselves some key questions:
  • What do I want to do? What skills do I have and what are my interests? (Identifying general activities/tasks rather than job titles can be helpful.)

  • Who do I want to work for? What industry interests me? (Target specific companies if possible. Otherwise, consider whether you'd like to work for a Fortune 500 firm, high-tech company, startup, family-friendly company, etc.)

  • Where do I want to live? Is there a specific city, state, region or country that interests me? (Think about weather conditions, recreation and other things that are important to you.) In addition, when looking at various sites, question the information you are viewing. Are the job listings current? Who runs the service? Is there a fee for use? Do you know anyone who has used the service in the past?
Don't Waste Your Time

Managing time online can be very important during the job search. Here are some tips to help you use your time wisely:
  • Begin your online job search by visiting large information databases. (Do this every few days; daily visits may be too frequent to turn up new information.)

  • Use links from the large information databases to take you to smaller sites where you can investigate specific employers or find networking contacts. Again, visit these sites every few days.

  • Use search engines to locate new resources specific to the job you want. Realistically, your Internet job search strategies should be limited to about 25% of the total time used to look for a job. Don't neglect conventional job search strategies, such as on-campus interviewing, perusing newspaper want ads or conducting informational interviews.

    One recent graduate unwisely spent all his time on the Internet looking for jobs; he was unemployed for six months. One day while talking with a friend, he learned about a job opening in his town that had been available for over two months. He hadn't heard of the opening because it wasn't posted on the Internet.
The Internet is a tool, and like all tools it is only as good as the skill and diligence of the user. Many new users of this technology become frustrated or overwhelmed by the size and constantly changing nature of Internet job search sites. But patience and dedication can pay big rewards when you find the job of your dreams.

Written by Dr. Juan I. Vigil. Dr. Vigil runs a consulting firm,
The Vigilant Group, Inc., in Hawaii.
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