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Job hunting: let your modem be your guide

September 12, 1996
Web posted at: 8:30 a.m. EDT

From CNN Interactive Writer Kristin Lemmerman

(CNN) -- It seems that in this age of rapid business change and corporate downsizing, even people who say they love their jobs are on the lookout for a better opportunity.

There are now a countless number of sites on the World Wide Web which compile job openings, useful whether you're "just looking" or in hot pursuit. For those of you who have a computer and a modem, the days of "pounding the pavement" during times of extreme need may be over -- unless your job hunt is so frustrating that you feel you need to pummel your driveway.


Job Hunt

This site, according to its developer, started out as a set of sites he bookmarked while he was a Stanford University graduate student conducting his own job hunt. It now includes over 600 links to different job information sites, and is still growing. Any sites that were deemed especially useful are marked with a little yellow smiley-face. This is a good place to check when you're first getting started on your job hunt, particularly if you are looking for a job in academia or new technology.

The Monster Board

Monster Board

What a beautiful, organized, informative site the Monster Board is, providing job hunters the ability to seek jobs, post their resumes for the perusal of potential employers, and post questions on finding employment to the site's job- hunting experts!

That is, in theory. The site's capacity is badly wanting. If its sister site, "The Monster Board UK," is any indication, the site provides information on a lot of jobs -- it says 55,000 openings worldwide are posted there -- and an easy way to track down the ones you're interested.

Unfortunately, in six hours of trying to use the search engine on this site (between 4 p.m. EDT and 10 p.m. EDT) I failed to get a response even once. (Maybe the search engine was just down for the day. Your results may vary.)

Smaller but faster: The Monster Board UK

As on the larger Monster Board, the Monster Board UK indexes all 500 or so of its available jobs by specific job categories.

While time-outs were my main source of frustration on the U.S.-based Monster Board, the slim offerings on the UK version were its most frustrating point. It is as though the United Kingdom has yet to discover job hunting on the Web! There about 200 different job categories listed, but most of the categories are now empty, or only have one or two jobs posted.

Hint: to search several categories at once, highlight the ones you want by holding down the SHIFT key on your keyboard while choosing the categories with your mouse. And before you have to ask, when the site refers to a CV, or "curricula vitae," what it means is "resume."

America's Job Bank

America's Job Bank

America's Job Bank, which is paid for with U.S. unemployment insurance taxes paid by employers, is run by the U.S. Department of Labor and is free. Unlike the Monster Board, it focuses specifically on jobs within the United States. (Although it is a government-run site, most of the jobs listed are private.)

While it doesn't have as many of the extras that the Monster Board does -- no question and answer board, no place to post a resume -- the America's Job Bank site boasts a search engine that is much faster at finding jobs once a search has been posted.

Once you have a list of job openings in your field, you can also sort them according to job title, salary, location, and how long ago the job was posted.

America's Job Bank also outshines the Monster Board in its database -- there is currently information on about 250,000 jobs available through this site. According to a recent CNNfn report, America's Job Bank has been credited with helping 70,000 people in New Jersey alone find a new job.


Career Mosaic

If you aren't in the job market right this second, but still want to know what's available, a better option for you might be to post your resume and see what kind of response you get from potential employers.

You do not have to pay to get your resume posted on the Web! In fact, many sites will post your resume for free; most of them make their money from companies that subscribe to the service for the privilege of searching their resume database to find new employees.

One of several sites on which you can post a resume is CareerMosaic, which hosts resumes from job-seekers all over the world. It will keep your text-only resume in its database, which is open to any employer who asks, for three months. You may want to post your resume to a site that specializes in your field, or to one to which employers pay a fee, thus ensuring that your resume remains relatively private. For a list of other sites that specialize in posting resumes, see the Riley Guide.

College Grad Job Hunter

College Grad Job Hunter

Finding a job as your impending graduation hangs over your head can seem like an insurmountable task, but with early preparation (college seniors, start NOW) it can be easier.

The College Grad Job Hunter could be one of your best tools to start your search. The site includes a search engine into which you can type the career that you are interested in, and it will spit back the names of companies that are looking for you.

It does seem to be heavily biased towards technical jobs openings -- e.g., when I posted a search for writers, all the openings were for technical writers, and for marketing, most employers were computer-related businesses looking for people who could market software or hardware.

However, even for the not-so-technically inclined this site offers help, including advice on writing your resume and getting it passed around, how to write a good cover letter, a regular column on how to get ready for entry into the job market, and a forum where graduates can post questions about job hunting. It even suggests how you should dress for your first interview, and questions to ask your potential employer before and after you get a job offer.

The site's purpose is mostly to plug the book "The College Grad Job Hunter," so most of the advice is excerpted from the book. However, it is still useful. College students unfortunately do not always get frank talk of this type from their campus career planning department.

There are also a number of sites that focus on jobs for specific fields, and companies often post job openings on their own web sites. For example, the Experimental Particle Physics Jobs Rumor Mill is only truly of use to physicists, although it is interesting and sometimes comical.

If all else fails and you just aren't finding what you want, try doing an AltaVista search, typing in words describing the job you want, your preferred location and/or company, and the word "opening." If you're proficient at manipulating search engines, you might even try using AltaVista's advanced search, which allows you to use Boolean operators, and can give you responses more in line with your wants.

Good luck!


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Related stories:

  • CNNfn - Expert gives job-hunting tips - Aug. 8, 1996
  • CNNfn - Pounding the pavement on the Web - June 7, 1996
  • Trading in resumes for Web pages - May 17, 1996
  • CNNfn - Headhunters becoming job hunt tool for the masses - Feb. 27, 1996
  • Internet growth makes webmasters hot commodity - Feb. 16, 1996


    Related sites:

  • JobHunt
  • The Monster Board
  • The Monster Board UK
  • America's Job Bank
  • CareerMosaic
  • Riley Guide
  • College Grad Job Hunter
  • Eurojobs on-line - (mostly Belgium now, potential for growth)
  • Experimental Particle Physics Jobs Rumor Mill
  • AltaVista Search Engine
  • Site Seer Archives
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