If you haven't already starting using the internet to assist you in the job search, then you are missing out on a huge employment trend. There are numerous reasons to take advantage of this powerful tool, the most important one being that employers are using the internet more than ever to find candidates. If recent internet usage studies are accurate, nearly 48 percent of businesses do at least some of their recruiting online. Not utilizing the internet in your job search means that you are flying under the radar for many potential job opportunities.
The internet is useful for a number of job search-related activities including:
• Searching for Jobs Online
• Posting your Resume Online
• Company Research
Searching for Jobs Online
Million of job openings are posted online each year, many times more openings that you could possibly access on your own outside of the internet. There are a number of general employment sites that allow postings in all professions, industries, and experience levels. These sites are very large in both size and scope, but are popular with employers and job seekers alike.
If you are able to narrow your job search to a specific profession or industry, niche sites will be incredibly valuable. Niche sites are those websites that specialize in a particular industry or profession, as opposed to allowing for the postings of any position imaginable.
The advantages of using a niche site are (1) that you will not need to sort through nearly as many job openings to find those that fit your qualifications, and (2) that traffic is much less at niche sites. As a result, the competition for these positions is not nearly as fierce.
Examples of niche sites in particular fields include:
• For Human Resource Professionals: SHRM
• For Teaching Professionals: Teaching Jobs
• For Accounting Professionals: Accounting Job Search
In addition to standard online job boards, many government agencies (from the local to federal level) now list all available positions online. Companies with corporate websites also frequently post any job openings on the company's job announcement board. You can use any major internet search engine such as Google or Yahoo to find a specific government or company website.
A final note on online job searches: a large majority of newspapers with widespread circulation publish classified ads, including job openings, on the internet now. These ads can be accessed for free in most cases, and will give you direct access to any local position openings.
Posting your Resume Online
Resume banks are large online databases that allow you to post your resume to be accessed by recruiters and potential employers. The advantage to keeping a copy (or copies) of your resume online in a visible location is that allows employers actively seeking candidates to consider your credentials without you having to submit your resume directly to the company. Individuals worried about confidentiality can opt to leave personal identifying information off of the resume and simply provide an anonymous email address at which interested employers can reach them.
Many job boards also have resume banks, so take the time to browse around your favorite job sites to determine your options for posting your resume. Resumes can frequently be uploaded directly to the site or cut and pasted for quick posting. In the event that the site does not support this technology (or if you only have a hard copy of your resume), you will need to manually enter your resume into the site by filling out a form or typing into a pre-designated text box.
Technically-savvy job seekers may also choose to post their resume on their own hosted website, on a free personal site provided by your Internet Service Provider, or on a company website for a small fee.
Networking is one of the most successful ways to find a new job, since personal relationships often lead to opportunities that you might have otherwise never knew existed. The internet offers innumerable opportunities to network with other professionals in your field. Online forums, newsgroups, and professional journals/blogs allow you to connect with professionals who may be able to point you (and your job search) in the right direction. You may even be able to find a mentor to help guide you in your career development.
The internet is a powerful tool for conducting research on a specific company in which you are interested. Using a major search engine to scour the web for information on a company will turn up a company's corporate webpage (if they have one) as well as a variety of other web sources disclosing information that may be highly pertinent to your job search. Use the internet, for example, to research the company's products and services, industry, competitors, financial information, history, and reputation.
Laura Adams is a qualified careers advisor with 11 years experience. [www.teaching-job.info domain redirected].
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