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Online Job Search: Job Searching In The Digital Age
Nimish Thakkar, MS, MBA, CCMC, CPRW, SaiCareers.com, New York
December 29, 2005

The Internet has become a virtual home for many of us. From dating to groceries, virtually everything is now done online, often with a much higher level of precision, efficiency, and convenience. With its web cast far and wide, the employment world has not been spared by the Internet's omnipresent reach. Job seekers are very thankful for this advancement, though; from networking to working through the net, you can do it all online. Job search chores that once required many office visits can now be done from the convenience of one's own home or office. Employers have also been very quick to embrace this new medium. Recruitment efforts that at one time required HR managers to work through stacks of papers can now be done through the push of a button. Online job searching, however, does not in any way replace the traditional job hunting strategies; it merely supplements what job seekers have been doing since the past few decades. As a matter of fact, I always request my clients to use multiple job search strategies -- both online and offline -- in order to achieve their employment goals faster.

Despite the popularity of the Internet, even the most adept online users often don’t know where to start an online job search campaign. The purpose of this article is to familiarize you with this domain.

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Online job boards
Often the first -- and most popular -- destination for online job searching, the boards provide candidates with an added level of convenience and reach. Simply posting your resume on a large job board could mean being accessible to millions of recruiters and employers. “Job Search Agents,” a popular feature offered by most job boards, automatically alert you every time an opening matching your profile is posted. Networking tools, job postings, and job search agents form a popular package fueling the popularity of these job sites.

The traditional paper versions of newspapers are now supplemented with an often free online version. Help wanted ads and detailed business and industry stories, news, and reports are popular tools that spell “convenience” for any online job search campaign. It is now much easier to browse through several newspapers and respond to multiple postings within a matter of minutes.

Employers and recruiters
The very folks you are desperately trying to reach are just a click away. Most employers and recruiters encourage candidates to submit their resume on fully-automated websites. Simply typing the company or recruiter’s name in any popular search engine will bring up hundreds of results; company or headhunter research could never have been easier.

Finding people online
If you happen to know the name of any executive or contact, simply visit one of the popular “people finding” engines. Type the name of the person and location; if the contact is listed, matching contact information will be displayed. Be careful, though; these sites sometimes provide home phone numbers. Unless you know the contact personally, avoid calling the home number. You can always visit the company's website or call them to find the contact's work number.

Online networking
For those of us who prefer to network from behind the screen only (not recommended as the only networking strategy; utilize a combination of face-to-face and online networking instead), there couldn’t be a better solution: online networking. From finding contacts and support groups to maintaining professional relationships, online networking is a popular component of almost any online job search campaign.

Online groups and forums
Online groups and forums afford the convenience of networking with several professionals at the click of a mouse. There is almost always a forum or group available for your profession. Members of such groups may be able to provide several resources for your online job search.

Government programs
Most government programs provide free information and resources on their website, making it easier for you to browse through information or even apply for benefits.

Don’t be misled by the optimistic tone of this article. Online job search is not a panacea for the unemployed; the medium is simply a supplement to the traditional job search strategies. The relative simplicity with which an online job search campaign could be executed promotes a substantial increase in competition as well. Remember, using multiple job search strategies is the key to any successful job search campaign.

A Caveat: While online, be careful with your personal information.

Related Articles:
Job Search Strategies And Tips
Common Job Search Mistakes


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