Key Resources in Your Online Job Search

The modern job search has changed dramatically from only a few years ago. With the explosion of the internet most job searches typically now start online. As such, there's a ton of information available on the web for the prospective job seeker. So much so, that it can be difficult to navigate and use in an effective manner. Let's go though the big areas that should be used and explored in any quality search.

1. Search Engines: Mention the words "internet job search" and 9 out of 10 of us will probably think of online job search engines. These sites are almost always free (though most encourage users to register) and have a searchable jobs database to find jobs by location, keywords, salary etc.

Because of their popularity, these websites are often kept current and are easy to use and navigate. Additionally, they'll often have a bunch of other free resources like salary surveys, resume posting, and company research. For many people, they're truly becoming a one-stop shop for their job search.

There are several different types of online job search sites. The most popular and well-known are the big national websites (these are the Monsters and CareerBuilders). With all their resources they usually present a user-friendly website that also draws in the most job postings.

There are also the national niche' sites. These websites are focused on a certain industry (i.e. technical or sales jobs), or a particular group or job type. While these sites certainly will have fewer available jobs, for the particular job-seeker they cater to they are often an excellent resource and help to find potential "matching" jobs quickly.

Regional websites are important because they offer the "next level" of job postings. Typically, it's less expensive for an employer to post jobs on these sites (occasionally it's free) so they can post a wider variety of openings. The sites also have the advantage of being Area-focused and can offer regional specific services and content.

2. Employer Websites: The most accurate, complete, and timely job information for an employer is available on their own website. Almost all large to medium sized employers (and many small employers as well) have a "Careers" or "Employment" section on their internet site.

Typically, these websites have the most current and accurate job information as they are maintained directly by the employer. Since there is little or no cost to add jobs to their own website (as opposed to placing ads on job search engines) all the available jobs are usually posted instead of only the high-profile position. Employers want you to find their job postings on their website instead of some search engine because it doesn't cost them anything. As a result, it's often the best place to find all the jobs for a particular employer.

3. Newspapers: Newspapers are the traditional source for job postings. Prior to the internet, job hunters frequently scanned the "want ads" in the classified sections of their newspapers. For many of the largest regional or national newspapers the want ad scanning has evolved into online posting of jobs that are searchable by the website user. These postings may also be the same that appear in the print version of the paper.

Many local or smaller newspapers many not have the resources to build and maintain a searchable website. Often, local newspapers are owned by a single company and have pooled their job search resources into a single site for all their newspapers.

While small newspaper websites may not have all the jobs on some of the larger more popular sites, they are an excellent resource for strictly local or part time work that wouldn't warrant the employer placing (and paying for) an ad in a regional paper or search engine. If you want to find part-time work in Apple Valley, for example, the local Apple Valley newspaper is a great resource.

The job resources in the larger newspapers often can rival and compete with the big national job search engines. They usually have advanced search capabilities, resume posting, and employer/company research. The smaller newspaper sites can be more difficult to navigate and use and will often be solely listings of job openings that may need to be scanned manually.

4. Social Networking: One of the most effective means of find jobs is by networking with family, friends, and former co-workers. In the past, this was accomplished by each person maintaining their own manual "network" of people to communicate with. This too has changed (dramatically!) with the advancement of web based social networking websites where people can collaborate and communicate with others anywhere in the world.

Along with some of the more well known sites such as Facebook, there are also sites that focus exclusively on business networking. On these sites, networking with people who work in the industry or even at the company you'd like to work for can be a valuable advantage over other applicants.

These websites can offer you experience and insights that would be difficult to gather on your own, especially if you are making a career switch and have little or no experience in your new industry.

As with other web sites, be cautious about where you go and who to interact with. There are plenty of news stories recently about the misuse and true dangers that can occur with social networking websites. Just because the other individual says who they are and where they work doesn't mean it's true. Always be cautious and protect your privacy!

There you have it - use all of these resources for an effective online job search!

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