A short tour of job hunting in the early 21st century
This is currently a no-fee ONLINE course that I offer as a courtesy to the many job seekers in Massachusetts and beyond who have approached me over the years. People figured if I knew so much about Internet recruiting, I'd know something about Internet job hunting, too. Based on the raves I used to get when I present this in person, apparently I do! (Due to time demands, I'm afraid I cannot do live presentations anymore.)
How to Research the Internet for the Hidden Job Market: This includes solid resources for outplaced executives who aren't looking for job postings, but rather research tools on how to identify the right companies, divisions, hiring managers, etc., and what to avoid.
Each of the links below launches a new window (turn off your popup blocker if you have one). When you are finished reviewing what's in the new window, close it and you'll be back here. Then you can review the next link. If you like what you see here, this is just scratching the surface! You should consider using our one-on-one career service.
Good general resources for job seekers (just a few of many)
Top Job Sites
- Consolidated meta search: Starting in 2005, multi-site job search tools ("job aggregators") became popular, which search across most major job boards and many niche ones. You can do a very targeted search, and set the results to come to you on an ongoing basis (many use RSS feeds to accomplish this). These are free tools: Indeed, Just-Posted, RSS Jobs or Simply Hired
- Larger ones: CareerBuilder (also owns other former top sites Headhunter.net and CareerPath), Monster (which bought former top site FlipDog which was sort of a meta search pioneer -- it spidered the job postings on many corporations' career websites, and now many sites do this "job scraping"), HotJobs (owned by Yahoo!), Jobs, JobsOnline, America's Job Bank (most jobs overall), CareerShop, Vault.
- Boston area: BostonWorks.com, Jobfind.com, BostonJobs.com, Employment News
- To find niche sites by industry, location, etc., visit job directory portal Job-Hunt.org (owned and run by my old friend, Massachusetts' own Susan Joyce)
- What to watch out for: Bostonjob.com is currently weak; many national sites which create local sections aren't necessarily marketing the site heavily here (e.g., boston.techies.com or Computer Jobs Boston).
Search Newsgroups, Listservs & the Web using Boolean queries
- Newsgroups: Google Newsgroups
- Listservs: Catalist
- Web: (the 4 biggies; use the advanced search option if you don't know how to put together a targeted Boolean query) Google, MSN Search, Yahoo!,
Ask. (Also consider metasearch tools that let you search across multiple search engines like Dogpile or Mamma because the percentage of overlapping results between the major search engines is surprisingly low!)
Industry Associations - professional networking in your desired industry niche is the best way to break through doors, especially when applying for jobs the normal way isn't yielding much results
- American Society of Association Executives - association search: over 6,000 groups in this database, including foreign countries, US city and/or state, partial association name, and industry/professional category. (FYI, ASAE's regional affiliates each have their own sites, such as New England's, which are linked from ASAE's job board)
- IPL Associations on the Net- the Internet Public Library's search supports Booleans and finds subject matches even if keyword is not in association name (e.g., biolog* also picks up American Peptide Society)
- Yahoo Directory of Professional Organizations
- Weddles' Association Directory - A comprehensive list they acquired and are slowly updating, categorized by industry, from the recruiter's perspective.
- Virtual Community of Associations - a service of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives (GWSAE). Established in 1927, GWSAE is the country's largest regional association for association executives, with 3,500 members representing more than 1,000 national and international associations in the Greater Washington, DC area.
- Good list of trade associations and labor organizations by name, acronym and country
- Another decent list grouped by industry category
Find the right industry events to attend
You can also attend many events for free if you indicate your unemployed status. While you could go through each association for their national and regional conference listings, if you want to efficiently find where and when many kinds of events are happening, try:
- Trade Show Central - Biggest free database of its kind: you can search by industry, location, date range, etc.
- GroupsandMeetings.com - Founded in 2001, this startup firm is building a big database of business and professional events by industry, etc.
- Join career networking groups like WIND
- Another great way to network without travelling is via your computer: The surge in social networking portals in the early 21st century lets you find people with certain job titles, companies, etc., and network to them through people you find online. LinkedIn is one of the biggest and best for professional networking, but there are many others listed here.
- Sample 1 - note these points:
1) I don't list my address, middle initial or home tel (just cellphone). You want to list the minimum required for a recruiter or employer to easily reach you, but adding more detail just makes identity theft easier for criminals who realize that resumes contain a lot of detail about a person, and can be misused!
2) Add a detailed "Keywords" section at bottom (can rename it "Skills" if you like) - makes it easier for your name to appear in recruiters' search results once your resume has been spidered into their database. It's important to include synonyms and variant spellings for terms they may use to find you -- remember, there's no one single form of jargon that everybody uses.
- If you want more help, there are plenty of fee-based resume-writing services such as TheRESUMEAdvantage. They also have an e-course on job hunting.
Learning about companies: If you send the same cover letter for every company to which you apply (other than who it's addressed to), you're shooting yourself in the foot. Use free online information by visiting their websites to make it look like you did your homework about a company. Work in references to their products, how you could contribute to their success, etc., to make your cover letter sizzle. And when they call back, you'll be more prepared for the phone/live interview. These searchable resources also have information about specific businesses.
- ZoomInfo's free company search (click "Find Companies" tab, then type a keyword/phrase likely to appear on the homepage or "About Us" page of the website for the type of company you seek, such as cell biology. Results reveal relevant companies based on how they describe themselves, not some rigid government categorization like SIC or NAICS codes, which aren't changed as often as a company may switch its lines of business. Use the Advanced Search link to narrow results by location, company size, etc.
- LinkedIn Company Search gives you many of the same advantages of ZoomInfo, plus details on the people who work there.
- Jigsaw lets you search for, and download info on up to 50,000 companies, free (click "Search Companies")
- Find a Recruiter - an online directory
- Online Recruiters Directory - ditto
- CompaniesOnline - from Lycos and Dun & Bradstreet
- Hoovers - free membership required for some good information; premium (paid subscription) gets you more
- SEC Filings at FreeEDGAR.com The Securities & Exchange Commission has indexed public companies' EDGAR filings
- Vault - has over 3000 profiles of top employers and popular online 'watercoolers' where people talk candidly about companies
- WetFeet - similar to Vault
Alternative: Working from Home - telecommuting continues to increase in popularity
Recruiting firms (note that unless you're at executive level or your skillset is in very high demand, most recruiters will not meet with you when you approach them -- they will happily add your resume to their database, but they're only likely to call you when one of their employer customers has a hiring need that matches your skillset)
- BrassRing: became the biggest firm in this niche after some mergers. They do other things in Internet recruiting, too.
- Carousel Job Fairs: All their career fairs are all in Mass. and NH.
- 1-Jobs.com is a career portal that also runs live job fairs. Don't be surprised if you see more sites (e.g., Monster) doing this.
- Professional Exchange: Runs the career fairs for the Boston Globe, New York Times, etc.
- Check your local newspapers and trade publications/associations for more.
- Don't expect too much from "virtual job fairs" yet: better technology and interfaces are needed.
Copyright 1997-1998 Glenn Gutmacher. Copyright 1999 -
Recruiting-Online.com. All rights reserved. No copying or redistribution without written permission. Email