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For job seekers who remember when getting the Sunday newspaper, circling help-wanted ads, typing cover letters and resumes and buying postage stamps was the most efficient way to look for a job, an online job search is a technological marvel. However, an online job search isn't always the best way to look for a job, and there are pros and cons to using the Internet to find employment.
Given that most jobs aren't advertised, you're missing out on a large percentage of opportunities by job searching online. Up to 80 percent of jobs are never advertised or posted, according to Matt Youngquist, career coach and president of Career Horizons, a Bellevue, Washington, placement firm. In an NPR segment titled "A Successful Job Search: It's All About Networking," Youngquist suggests that professional networking is an effective technique for marketing your skills and qualifications. Job searching online provides social and professional networking opportunities, but nothing like the face-to-face interaction that's often needed to make a lasting impression.
There's no doubt that an online job search can save you money. You needn't buy high-grade resume paper and postage stamps; you can dispatch dozens of e-mails to which you attach your resume, and you complete online applications in a flash. Using the Internet to search for jobs appeals to job seekers who are interested in applying for as many jobs as possible.If you already have a computer and Internet access, your only expense is transportation to in-person interviews. In addition, you can search for a job any time of the day or night, without worrying about filing an application with an employer only during business hours.
Information is enormously helpful in your job search. But, having too many options and too much information about possible openings can be confusing. Many online job boards contain thousands of jobs in every field imaginable; however, if you're faced with too many available openings, organizing your job search can be another job in itself. The Internet is helpful for researching job opportunities, but it can be a pain when you have to make layers and layers of files just to keep track of applications, e-mailed resumes and jobs you read about and intend to apply for but never do.
An online job search gives you access to information about jobs you may have never known was available. And, if you're looking to relocate across the state or across the country, you can search in any geographic area. In addition, an online job search for jobs in different cities and states enables salary and cost-of-living information comparisons. Job searching online also gives you access to job descriptions and even quizzes and tests to determine which jobs are best suited for your aptitudes and personality.
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.