Like so many other types of information on the Internet, there is simply so much job information out there it can be bewildering to the user. There are literally dozens of job boards and thousands of sites containing job search information. A simple search using any search engine such as Google will yield more results than the average job hunter could hope to make use of in two or three lifetimes. Finding the information is no problem; deciding which to use can be baffling.
A single article such as this could never present a review of all Internet job-hunting resources. There are simply too many sites to effectively visit, evaluate, and write a description of each one. Therefore, this article will focus on the power of the Internet as a tool for the job seeker, rather than attempt to catalog individual Internet resources. There are already plenty of sites on the Internet itself that do that. In fact, if there is good news in the glut of information out there, it is that the Internet also contains a number of sites which explain how to use it in a job search.
The growth of the Internet as a job-hunting tool has been phenomenal. One author states that today there are more than 100,000 sites with job-related information, compared to only 500 in 1995. How does one make use of all this information? Most experts agree that the Internet should be used as a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, conventional job-hunting activities. These most often include reviewing job leads, researching occupations and employers, networking, and resume preparation and distribution. Your job search should include these elements, whether it is conducted on or off line.
A good place to start is any site that explains the job search as a process, and describes Internet resources available to help the job seeker at each step. Any first time user of the Internet in a job search would be wise to fully review one of these sites in order to get a feel for the full capabilities of the Internet as a job-seeking tool, before plunging into job listings.
There are many such sites, but one of the best, most comprehensive and thoroughly researched, is still The Riley Guide ( www.rileyguide.com). It contains how-to information as well as links to resources to help the job hunter at all stages of the job search process. An outstanding feature of this site is its A to Z index of Internet job-hunting resources, with links to hundreds of sites containing all sorts of pertinent information.
Two others are the Job Hunter's Bible ( www.jobhuntersbible.com) and Quintessential Careers Guide to Job-Hunting on the Internet ( www.quintcareers.com). No doubt there are many others. But what these sites all share are help with the job-hunting process in general as well as extensive links to Internet resources for each step. Job Hunter's Bible in particular contains a very good introductory piece on Internet job hunting, with links to many examples. The user can find tips and links to tools for self-assessment, career exploration, resume preparation, interviewing, negotiating job offers, and more.
Ultimately, though, what everyone wants to know is "Where are the job listings?" The Oregon Employment Department has an on-line job matching system at ( www.iMatchSkills.org). This revolutionary web site uses an innovative approach to job matching. After building a personal skill profile, the job seeker is matched to listings based on employer-specified skill requirements. The use of skills rather than occupational titles for job matching ensures that job seekers are notified of the broadest range of openings for which they may be qualified. Employers can also submit job listings electronically through the site.
For those who still prefer to search the "old fashioned" way (at least as far as the Internet is concerned), or those who don't want to go through the registration process immediately, the Employment Department also maintains www.workinginoregon.org). Job seekers can search for jobs in Oregon by job title, job description, or by geographic location, without registration. In addition, there are links to sites containing state and federal job listings.
In addition to workinginoregon.org, the Employment Department's JobNET tool allows users to browse all Employment Department job listings and thousands of job listings pulled from Internet and business job boards. You will find JobNET at http://www.qualityinfo.org/olmisj/OlmisZine?zineid=00000008.
There are also numerous private job boards. There are both general job boards containing all types of listings, as well as specialized job banks based on a particular industry, geographic area, or other criteria. Some of the oldest, largest, and best known are Career.com ( www.career.com), Career Builder ( www.careerbuilder.com), and Monster ( www.monster.com). A good list of general recruiters and job banks can be found on The Riley Guide at ( www.rileyguide.com). This alphabetical list contains descriptions of each job bank and its features.
Job seekers should also not overlook on line classified ads such as Craig's List ( http://portland.craigslist.org/jjj). This site has proved to be one of the most effective on line mediums for both employers and job seekers.
A good approach is for the job seeker to begin with a small number of sites and explore them in depth, becoming fully acquainted with all of their features. Those which do not yield results can be replaced by other sites. There is no shortage of help for the job seeker on the Internet.
The main advantage of using the Internet as a job-hunting tool is greatly increased access to information. It literally puts a world of jobs at your finger tips. Although it doesn't necessarily make your job search easier, it provides quick access to extensive tools that improve the quality of your effort. And, in using the Internet, the job seeker develops and demonstrates technological skills that are attractive to employers.