Monday, April 5, 2010

New Directions' Guide to Finding a Job in the Internet Age

Times have changed. Just about everyone uses the Internet today. It has streamlined the job search. Since we are living in a recessionary age, employers are in the driver’s seat and have their choice of many job applicants per each job. The rule of thumb used to be, “Apply for the job if you have 70 percent of the listed qualifications.” Today you need just about all the qualifications due to tough competition.

Take heart. There is definitely a job waiting for you out there. Relax and get ready to do the necessary work to write your winning resume and post it online. It’s all free and potential employers will carefully read your resume.

1 – Create a profile and develop your network on

This site is essential for job hunting nowadays. It has many useful capabilities.

Note: The book "LinkedIn for Dummies" is fairly inexpensive (about $15 on Amazon from seller Paperback_books) and is an excellent guide to the site. Another book, published in 2009, is "How to REALLY Use LinkedIn" by Jay Vermeiren, is also available (about $22 on Amazon from seller wmboothsbookssf).

2 – Post your resume on at least these two websites: and There are many other job sites. Put keywords for the job title you want in Google (such as "electrical engineer ASIC design"), review the results to find other relevant job sites for your field, and post your resume on those sites also.

3- Get email job alerts from This comprehensive website, called an “aggregator,” pulls job listings from just about every available website on the Internet, including job sites such as Monster and Career Builder (and many others), company websites, professional associated websites, etc.

You can limit the search to a certain geographical area. Register for their Email job alert service by scrolling to the bottom of the home page and clicking on “Tools.” Then list your keywords and geographical location. You’ll be amazed by all the job listings they’ll send you.

The above are the ways I have found jobs in my field of electrical engineering. My son who graduated with a B.S. in physics this summer also found his job this way (after 7 months), as did a friend who had been an IBM programmer (10 months).

Interestingly, none of us were helped by networking, which is commonly thought to be the best way to find a job. I have heard of people obtaining jobs through networking, but the other party involved is almost always a friend from before unemployment, not a networking "contact" developed only during the job search. Real friends have more of a motivation to help you.

What about job fairs, you may ask. Job fairs are most helpful for people who want an entry-level position or are willing to take a relatively low-paid job. It’s certainly possible to move up in, say, the banking world or retail field through an entry-level job. As we know, however, education is the key to a good job and a good wage. A job as secretary or sales manager is a good stepping-stone if you wish to go to school part-time to get a degree which will eventually land you a responsible, well-paying job.

Be sure, if you attend a job fair, to investigate which companies will be attending. There’s nothing more demoralizing than attending a job fair with high expectations and then finding a lack of interesting companies there. Note: The attending companies may not be announced until a few days before the job fair.

Regarding geography: In general, the wider geographical area you search in, the faster you will find a job. Many people take a job far away, stay in an apartment near the job during the week (possibly rented with other employees, to reduce the cost), and come home on the weekends.

Some companies also allow telecommuting at least part of the time. I know of one person who lives in New Jersey and works in California. He is allowed to telecommute some days each week, and the other days he flies out to California to be at the job site. These are not ideal arrangements, but the scarcity of jobs in this recession can require these kinds of working arrangements, at least for a while.

Another approach is to take a series of temporary jobs, sometimes called "contract jobs," until the economy improves. Contract jobs might be easier to find in your local area. Many job sites allow you to specify that you are looking for temporary work, and most allow you to specify the geographical area.

One final word of warning about the Internet job search. Nowadays employers receive so many applications for the jobs they post, that they can barely handle the volume. The result is that if you are not an excellent fit for the job, they will most likely never get back to you. They cannot afford the time to answer the applications of all the candidates who were not accepted. Expect this impersonal treatment, and move on to your next possibility.

Keep trying! Schedule several hours a day for your search, and you will finally be rewarded for your persistence and your skills.

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