In the past, job seekers have been forced to rely on newspaper classifieds and word of mouth to locate jobs. Hours have been spent printing up resumes and sending them through the mail, often resulting in weeks or even months of waiting for a response. Driving all over town looking for ‘Help Wanted’ signs is time consuming – and often fruitless – and unemployment can be frustrating.
Now, searching for jobs is easy, and takes far less time. Websites dedicated to employers and job seekers have popped up all over the net, offering convenience both to those seeking employees and those searching for employment. One can design a resume and send it to scores of employers with the simple click of a button, and companies can post detailed job descriptions in their quest for just the right candidate.
Despite convenience, however, there are good and bad ways to go about Internet job searches. Some sites require monthly and annual fees; others are magnets for illegitimate employment opportunities; and still others impose contracts which bind you to monetary agreements. One must be careful when using the Internet for any purpose, but extra caution should be utilized when using it to find a job or career.
One of the most popular sites for employment searches is Monster.com. Monster is an excellent search engine for categorized job opportunities, and also offers resources for creating resumes and cover letters. They provide tips for first and second interviews, as well as first impressions for prospective employers, including how to dress and what to say and not say. I would even go so far as to say that Monster.com is the definitive resource for job opportunities nationwide. It is well-organized and easily navigated, as well as appealing to the eye. There are no costs associated with using this service as long as you are a job seeker; employers posting job descriptions must pay a nominal fee.
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The second most notable site is CareerBuilder.com, which is primarily dedicated to finding long-term careers, and not just jobs. Career Builder offers an easy-to-use lay-out that guides you through the application process, allowing you to search by job location or category. Like Monster, they offer an e-mail service which notifies you when jobs arise that match your search criteria, and also provides advise on finding the right career and surviving the interview process. As far as employers go, Career Builder has special sections for Small Businesses, Staffing Firms, and Enterprise Solutions.
Dice.com is a premier site for technology-based careers. They currently have a contest running for the most touching Dice.com success story, which offers a $1,000 reward to the winner. Dice is well-organized, but can be difficult to search when narrowing your category. Also, if you don’t live near a major metropolis, you are unlikely to find any results.
An offshoot of the print version, EmploymentGuide.com offers an excellent source of information for job fairs and staffing agencies. They are less easily navigated than some of the larger sites, but definitely have some excellent search capabilities. It seems, however, that they base quite a bit of their revenue on advertisements, and your search is therefore likely to be obstructed by pop-up ads and other offers.
One of the lesser-known search sites – JobWeb.com – is one to be avoided. This is a site devoted to recent graduates of high school, college, and technology schools, and provides little assistance for those who have been in the working world for several years. Their site is cluttered by advertisements of their sponsors, and it seems they are more concerned about advertising than about helping job-seekers. Those who live in less-populated areas will find little of interest here; you are better off with one of the larger sites.
Another to avoid, Job-Hunt.org is a cluttred, uninformative site that attempts to crowd too much information onto one page. The only valuable thing they offer is a list of other career sites that might hold some value; don’t bother trying to find your dream job here.