Managing the Online Job Search
These days, there's no such thing as a job search that isn't online. In order to effectively seek employment, you have to be able to use the Internet to do online networking and to access employment websites. Although you shouldn't let the Internet be your only method of finding a job (we'll cover job networking in the "real world" in next week's Job Connections), you should make yourself familiar with the websites that will help find the job openings you're looking for.
Job Listing Sites:
The purpose of a job listing website is twofold. For employers, the website lets them post job openings describing the job's employer, responsibilities of the position, job requirements, and salary. For job seekers, the website is a place to find jobs that suit their background and career interests. Some job listing sites are free to use, while others charge for certain services. It's a good idea to be using more than one of these following sites in a job search -- both to actively look for job openings and to post your resume for potential employers.
Monster.com, with over 1.3 million job postings, is the one of the largest job search sites, and offers resume posting and resume advice for its users.
Careerbuilder.com is as large as Monster.com, and offers similar job search services, and lets users post resumes for potential employers. Users who wish to send resumes to job recruiters, however, must pay a $60 fee.
On Workplacediversity.com, job seekers can post resumes and search for jobs with employers actively seeking to diversify their workplaces.
DCNetworks.org lists jobs in Washington, D.C. and the D.C. Metro area, and is operated by the D.C. Department of Employment Services. In order to apply directly to the employer, you should register with the website, as some jobs do not list the employer's information.
Idealist.org specializes in jobs in the non-profit sector, with employers such as trade associations, social service programs, and environmental groups.
Craigslist.com provides a free listing of jobs by general fields, such as "general labor" or "medical," as well as by region. This site tends to be more informal, and because it's free for employers to post jobs here, there are a number of door-to-door and sales jobs listed.
Companies and organizations will often have their job openings posted on their website. Because these job openings may not be posted on job listings, it's a good idea to visit the website of an employer at which you're seeking a job. For example:
- Check usajobs.gov for jobs within the U.S. government. The job application here is long, but once you've completed it, you can use it to apply for other positions on the website.
- You can find job openings at Marriott, Verizon, or Giant Food, by visiting their websites and clicking on the "Careers" or "Employment" link at the bottom of the web page.
In your job search, it helps significantly to professionally network with prospective employers, contacts, friends, and fellow job seekers. For job networking, LinkedIn is probably the most important social networking website -- whereas Facebook is great for personal social networking, LinkedIn is professionally oriented and designed to help you find a job and advance in your career. However, the two websites are similar, in that LinkedIn allows you to build a professional network of contacts, coworkers, past supervisors, and job references. Because it's so popular -- your contacts are more likely to be on LinkedIn than any other professional networking site -- it's probably your most useful choice for a professional networking site.
LinkedIn also provides a jobs section where you can search for job openings by position or employer. You can also select employers to follow on LinkedIn, automatically receiving notices when they post jobs in your field of interest. When applying for a job at a specific company or employer, you'll have access to the contacts in your network, in case you want to use them as job references.