Job Hunt Online
Finding a job once meant browsing the classifieds in the local paper and asking business owners if they were hiring. But the Internet has changed that. Online job boards, social networking sites, and employment sites have replaced pounding the pavement in the search for work.A Better Way
Job hunting online has a number of advantages. First, you can search any time you like, 24/7. You're not limited by business hours or the morning print run of your newspaper.
Another useful feature is that you can broaden or narrow your search easily, looking for a job with a local business or with an international division of a multinational corporation. If you're willing to pick up and move to another city or country, the Internet opens up a world of opportunity to you.
The Internet also allows you to reach out to people in any industry and initiate a conversation. This type of networking occurs on social media sites like LinkedIn. You can make industry connections without putting on business attire. That's not to say that face-to-face meetings aren't important. But with the Internet, you have the possibility of striking up more relationships that can later be extended beyond the digital realm.
Finally, you can use the Internet to discover career opportunities that you've never considered. For example, while looking for journalism work you may discover an employer who needs a technical writer.Make a Plan
When you start your job search, have a plan of action. Many people use a search engine like Google and start sifting through the results of their query. This can be intimidating and counterproductive. A search engine is most effective when you have a very specific job that you're looking for.
In the beginning, it's better to focus on large job sites, browsing through jobs relevant to your industry or field of expertise. This gives you a general idea of what's out there. While many of the jobs may not be what you're looking for, it'll at least give you perspective.
Web sites like Career.com and Monster.com are veterans in the field of job sites, but newer sites like Craigslist.com and CareerBuilder.com have gained traction from employers. If you're not sure where to start, take a look at The Riley Guides' excellent compilation of job and recruiting sites on the Web.
This amazing resource is organized alphabetically and appears to be up-to-date. Riley gives information and opinions on each site and even warns you of privacy concerns. There is also plenty of useful job search information.Narrow Your Search
After you have a general idea of what's out there, narrow your search. Consider looking for specialist sites and trade journals tailored to your industry. For example, if you're a computer programmer who wants to work freelance, then consider going to RentACoder.com, a marketplace that specializes in that sort of talent. If you're an ESL teacher and want to teach in Western Europe, then LingoBongo.com may be a vital resource for you.
Finding these specialized online job services may be difficult. So now it's time to revisit the search engine. It can certainly help you in the end game, especially when used properly. Using relevant keywords makes your hunt easier. If you're a chemical engineer with a focus on organic chemistry and want to find jobs in Paris, a search using the terms "chemical engineer +organic +Paris +Jobs" may lead you to sites like ChemSeer.com, EuroScienceJobs.com, or che.com. Looking through these targeted results may yield great dividends for the job seeker.Make Connections Through Social Networking
Social networking is also a powerful tool for finding work. When used correctly, sites like LinkedIn.com and XING.com, which are tailored to the professional, can provide quality networking and job opportunities. Both sites feature the ability to display a full résumé that includes work history, references, and recommendations. They also allow people to set up and participate in groups.
Organizing and participating in groups that are applicable to your career and job desires can be very rewarding. Through LinkedIn or XING groups you can meet other professionals, discover new trends, and learn what's occurring in the industry. Participating in group discussions may result in the expansion of your social network, increasing job opportunity at the same time.
If you do utilize social networking, remember to keep the information in your profile up-to-date and relevant. Hiring managers are increasingly using professional social networking sites to verify references. If there are major discrepancies between your social networking profile and your physical résumé, your effort to gain the job you want may be hindered.