USING THE INTERNET AS A JOB SEARCH STRATEGY


If you are not using the Internet in your job search, you are not up-to-date in looking for a job, and you will be missing out on important segments of the job market.

Many employers use the Internet to recruit candidates through employment websites, such as Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com, as well as through their own company websites. Job seekers use the Internet to find job vacancies, post their resumes to online resume databases, and research jobs, companies, and employers.

Approximately 15% of job seekers actually find jobs based upon using the Internet. This percentage has steadily increased - from just 5 percent five years ago.

Employers who might normally place classified ads for positions in newspapers find it's cheaper and more effective to post their jobs on websites. They also find resume databases useful for identifying candidates who best meet their hiring requirements.

The employment websites provide a wealth of information for job seekers about jobs, employers, and the job search in general:
  • job search tips
  • featured articles
  • career experts
  • career assessment tests
  • community forums
  • chat groups
  • salary calculators
  • resume and interview advice
  • relocation information
  • success stories
  • newsletters
  • career events
  • online job fairs
  • polls and surveys
  • contests
  • online education and training
  • company ads
  • special channels for students and other groups
Among the most popular employment websites are: You should be aware that jobs found on the Internet tend to be for individuals with at least a high school education and some college, and most jobs pay $25,000 or more a year; many lower-level jobs tend to be entry-level sales positions.

Individuals lacking a high school education, work experience, and marketable skills are unlikely to find employers on the Internet interested in their backgrounds for two reasons:
  1. They dont have such jobs.
  2. Its cheaper to recruit low-wage earners by putting a sign on a busy street corner, in a window, or at a work site; visiting day-laborer centers; or listing the job free of charge with a public employment office.
If you lack basic education, work experience, and skills, you should use the Internet to primarily educate yourself about alternative jobs and careers, assess your skills, and learn how to acquire more education and training.

If you don't have a computer or an Internet connection, contact your local public library or a One-Stop Career Center for assistance. Most of these places offer free public access to the Internet and some minimal help to get you up and running on the Internet.

Even though you may not qualify for jobs found on the Internet, learn how to use the Internet early in your job search. It will open a whole new world of employment to you as well as give you many great ideas for thinking about and planning your future.

When you are looking for a job, the Internet is best used for:
  1. Conducting research on jobs, employers, companies, and communities.
  2. Acquiring useful advice and referrals.
  3. Communicating with individuals via e-mail.
Your most productive online activities will relate to research and communication. Visiting employer websites are more likely to yield useful information, job listings, and applications than the more general and popular employment websites.

In fact, since employers are increasingly recruiting directly from their own websites, rather than use general employment websites, you are well advised to explore employer websites for employment information. Two employer websites that provide a wealth of information, even if you dont qualify for employment with these companies, are www.microsoft.com/careers (Microsoft) and www.bcg.com (Boston Consulting Group).

But your most useful online job search activity relates to research. Use the Internet to explore, for example: The Internet also is a terrific way to communicate with people, especially with employers. If you don't have an e-mail address, you can always set up a free e-mail account through such websites as www.hotmail.com, www.yahoo.com, or www.google.com.

For more information on how to wisely use the Internet in your job search, see the following books, which are available through Impact Publications:

SOURCE: Adapted from Ron and Caryl Krannich, The Ex-Offender's Job Hunting Guide (Manassas Park, VA: Impact Publications). Copyright 2005 and updated. All rights reserved.