Information Job Hunting through the Internet

By Heacox, Stephanie | Searcher, March 1996 | Go to article overview

Information Job Hunting through the Internet


Heacox, Stephanie, Searcher


"...forget those pretty-pretty, skillfully formatted, lovingly printed resumes of the past. Today's job seeker needs a nitty-gritty, itain't. pretty ASCII version of the old curriculum vitae, with a whole new approach to skill description."

As an information specialist whose short, professionally advantageous stay in New York had begun to take on an air of permanence, I resolved a couple of years back to take a more organized approach to relocating to my heart's desire, Philadelphia (no letters dissing Philadelphia, please). I noticed that some online services, such as CompuServe's E-span, had made fledgling efforts to bring classified employment listings into the Electronic Information Age. Still, pickings were slim, at least for librarians and other online professionals. With the advent of more widespread Internet access, new employment horizons became visible in the distance. As I began gingerly to surf the Net (actually, more like wallowing than surfing) I stumbled, occasionally, onto job listings. Certain newsgroups mentioned positions in the course of discussions, and a couple, like misc.jobs, were specifically designated for job seekers. A few organizations, such as the Library of Congress, had gopher servers which (somewhere in their depths) included job listings.

Still, the going was rough. Lack of functional search tools and limited listings made finding employment online a relatively formidable and time-consuming task, and most of the available listings were highly technical.

A Surfer's Surfeit

Enter the World Wide Web and the ubiquitous Home Page. In an astoundingly short period of time, the number of sites providing employment listings (as well as many related resources and services) has exploded. These days job searchers can find it difficult to choose where to spend surfing time most effectively.

Several organizations and individuals have stepped into the breach, providing guides to job hunting on the Net and evaluating sites which provide online employment offerings. Some of these resources are online, while others have taken the more traditional form of articles or books.

What follows is an attempt to review various online employment sites and services in terms of their usefulness to library and information professionals. I make allowances for the fact that technically qualified librarians may well be interested in such "non-library" positions as, for example, consultants, customer service representatives, or technical writers for information products. This list is up-to-date as of December 12, 1995. With the rapidly growing Web, the list can never truly be complete. I envision many updates to come. With rare exceptions, most of the entries are Web sites, and a few work better using Netscape than other browsers.

Several basic types of sites provide employment information. Some limit themselves to listings, while others provide the opportunity to post resumes which prospective employers can search or browse. Still others provide assistance with related job hunting tasks such as skill evaluation, interview technique, resume construction, etc. One new service, Cyberfairs, coordinates online job fairs. Listings may come from placement specialists, library schools, government entities, or employers themselves. In addition, several sites can evaluate and/or guide job seekers to other sites.

I have divided my recommendations into three charts: Where to look for listings, where to look for where to look, and newspaper classifieds. Space and time considerations prevent me from listing individual employer sites, but if you know companies for whom you'd like to work, don't neglect to check for their home pages. Company sites can also prove very useful for additional research once you discover a potentially interesting employer. They generally contain much more extensive or employmentspecific information than you will get from commercial company directories. …

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