The World's Your Oyster:
The Internet Cracks It Open for You!
Copyright © 1999 Paula Byerly. All rights reserved.
Christmas 1997 was difficult. Earlier in the spring I had taken an early retirement from IBM, and my husband Tom had a decent consulting job. In early December the ax fell and he was "downsized." (Why do companies do this at Christmas?)
Christmas 1998 was totally different. Tom has a job he loves with a company he loves, in exactly the right field for him -- corporate training in the mortgage industry. What made the difference? The Internet and its vast job resources and services!
Tom had applied all over Colorado, and although he had networked all he possibly could, he still couldn't land a job paying a living wage. Seeing his frustration, I doubled my efforts on the Internet, and we accepted the fact that we might have to move out of state.
We initially feared that jobs listed online were for only programmers, engineers, and high-tech people -- not for teachers, trainers, human resources specialists, and those with "soft" skills. To the contrary. All kinds of jobs are listed on the Internet; you just have to find them!
We tried a résumé blasting program but didn't see any results from it. I think that service works better when a person can list quantifiable technical skills that can easily be matched with technical positions listing skills. Tom's people skills were less easily defined and quantified, and had to be demonstrated.
So how did we find the job of his dreams? We harnessed the Internet and the many free job sites, and our mailbox was filled with job descriptions and easy email responses in which to apply and send a text version of his résumé.
We put several autobots to work, searching for jobs in Tom's area of expertise, in the geographical areas to which we were willing to relocate, and in the necessary salary range. The following are several sites which allow you to enlist the help of a "virtual job agent" to roam the listings and find jobs meeting any set of parameters entered:
To use job search agents, enter the parameters of the job you are seeking, along with a text version of your résumé, the geographical location(s) you prefer, and an acceptable salary range, then sit back and let the agents email job descriptions to you. With other sites, you must go to the site to search and view the applicable jobs. With yet others, you receive an email telling you when you should revisit the site to view the job openings. Many job search agents email job noticesto you daily, while others batch the notices, sending them every few days or weeks.
Tom's résumé interested several recruiters who then called and conducted telephone interviews. The most interested company flew him to Dallas, where he made a presentation and was interviewed. He was working within a few weeks! Yes, we had to move to another state, but the company paid for the move, which was a great help.
The speed of Internet job searches is a quantum leap beyond the old method: mailing résumés and cover letters, pounding the pavement, and cold-calling unresponsive personnel departments.
TCM was the source of the job Tom wanted, and the service provided by TCM's Eric Snyder is unsurpassed. Unlike sites run by an anonymous administrator, Eric is a real human with whom to interact.
Needless to say, we are enthusiastic about the power of job hunting on the Internet. Online, you can have instant access to thousands of job listings and thousands of companies, with the entire globe as your search area. In this information age, looking for a position the "old" way is difficult, and networking is critically important if you limit yourself to your immediate area. If you're willing to relocate and are flexible, you have a world to explore!
Start using online job resources now! The list shows you just a few to get you started. I've tried to avoid sites specific to one area, company, organization, or industry. When you exhaust these sites, go to a search engine like Yahoo or Mamma and search using key words such as "jobs" or "employment," as well as company names, states, industries, job categories, titles, etc.
Best of luck in your job search. The world's your oyster -- now gobble it up!
Paula Byerly and her husband Tom recently moved from Colorado to Texas and are trying to adjust to a new lifestyle and climate. After working 30 years for someone else, she has decided to work for herself at home. Her interests are music, gardening, reading, writing, walking, health, wellness…and telecommuting. Paula welcomes your correspondence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top Echelon (network of recruiters)
ExeCon Information System (six major industries; email updates)
SkillSearch (confidential résumé database)
E-Span's Job Options (sends emails on job openings)
Career Counseling and Search (relocation driven, hard industries, career counseling)
JobHunt (over 700 job resource links)
Maze Recruiters (network of 300 executive search firms)
International Staffing Partners (contingency staffing to supplement full-time staff)
The Riley Guide (A-#1 site)
Recruiters Online Network (network of 7,000 recruiters)
CareerSite.com (anonymous applications)
Careers On-Line (45 East Coast recruiters)
USAJOBS (government jobs)
JobWeb (mainly for recent graduates)