Do On-Line Services Work While Looking For Jobs?
Universities, traditionally the bastion of Internet access, post their own job openings and those of related research institutions. University alumni associations have also become active in on-line job services, including resume databases for experienced alums as well as entry-level graduates.
One of the largest and most popular private job-and-career resources accessed via the Internet is the Online Career Center (OCC). The nonprofit OCC, supported by more than 200 member companies, provides job-and-career information, company profiles, job listings, a resume database, and access to other Internet-based job-and-career resources. The OCC reports a resume database of nearly 20,000 names (free entry), growing by 160 a day, and a listing of up to 12,000 jobs. The OCC tallies more than 4 million individual visits per month. Workers and employers in the U.S., Japan, England, France, and Germany are the biggest users of this system.
Internet career resources-resume databases, job posting locations, career management resources - are now opening up on the Internet faster than can be catalogued. Many employers package job postings with other profile information or link the postings to their World Wide Web home page. Newspapers, associations, recruiters, and individuals are flocking to the Internet to prospect for jobs or clients or to sell their wares.
Success rates for on-line job search and resume databases are difficult to determine. That's because the businesses that maintain these services normally don't go beyond the employer/potential employee "handshake."
These firms are not employment brokers or placement agencies; they only match and introduce. Job-seekers express confidence in this method by renewing their resume placements in resume databases.
In what must be a reflection (or at least a perception) of effectiveness, companies large and small are subscribing to and supporting online recruiting methods. But as outplacement firms, career counselors, and veteran job-seekers will all verify, finding a new job requires a multi-faceted, proactive approach using every available resource. Searching online job postings and placing resumes in resume databases are potent high-tech tools that can augment the process.
The U.S. Government, spurred by the current pro "information highway" administration, uses online technology to help inform its citizenry. Federal job-and-career information is provided online through a series of agencies. The government has also embraced this technology as part of its military-to-civilian transition planning.
Government and industry are involved in preparations to create one-stop career centers. Here, public access to vast databases of occupational information will be sorted and delivered electronically as an aid to individual career planning. State governments, too, are currently enlisting online technology.
RESEARCHING YOUR TARGET COMPANY
Another opportunity on the online highway is for employment-related research: identifying organizations you might like to join, and finding out everything about them.
Here again, all major online services and many smaller specialized services offer resources to help you. Using these services, you could:
- Identify firms in an industry specialty within a specific geographic area
- Electronically sort and create mailing lists and labels for companies or recruiters that fit an area of interest or expertise
- Learn more about organizations to enhance interview performance
Every day more reference texts, directories, and other collections of business information are appearing in electronic (i.e. searchable, selectively printable) form, either as CD-ROM products or as a component of an online research service. Libraries play a central role in these new forms of information dissemination, and are now frequented by white-collar job-seekers performing business research.