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Cyber Hire: Internet Age Job Hunting

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By Amanda Roberson

From booking a vacation to getting a date, there’s not much you can’t do using the Internet these days. Landing a job is no exception. Expert career advisors agree that for recent college graduates and anyone searching for a job, the Internet is essential.

Instead of leaping blindly into cyber space in search of your dream job, first come up with a plan, says Joe Cockrell, spokesman for Jobing.com.

He recommends asking yourself questions such as “Do I have my career goals and priorities identified? Is my resume updated? Do I have current references?”

One you’ve checked “yes” to these background questions, you’re ready to begin searching. Jobing.com, which was founded in Phoenix and has hundreds of employers, as well as other search engines such as Monster, are good places to start.

Most sites will allow you to search by entering your field or keywords and geographic area. You may get thousands of results and feel as if you’ve hit the jackpot, but be careful.

“Apply to jobs that you are truly qualified or interested in,” Cockrell advises. “It may be easy to submit your resume to many jobs that aren’t a very good fit. Resist the temptation. Applying to jobs indiscriminately sends a poor message about the focus of your search and the quality of your candidacy.”

Karen Lamb, assistant director of career advising and curriculum at Arizona State University, recommends also checking out the Web sites of local major newspapers as well as taking advantage of the resources your university has to offer.

For example, Arizona State University’s Sun Devil CareerLink is a Web-based job-listing system that links employers with the university’s graduates. Most universities have a similar program, Lamb says.

Many alumni office Web sites also have a space for alumni in the working world to search to hire upcoming graduates from their universities.

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few companies that seem to be a good match, the Internet can help you research them and tailor your resume and cover letter to fit the position you’re applying to.

Spanish-speaking job searchers have an edge in the Phoenix area, and they should make sure their language abilities are stated on their resumes.

Also, keep your eye out for video and audio clips posted on Jobing.com and other search engines. These are like online commercials about the organization and who they are.

“There is no better way to impress a recruiter than to help them easily understand why you fit their culture and the job you are applying to.  So read the job description carefully, visit the company Web site, read the company profile, watch their employment video – research pays off,” Cockrell says.

While online, keep an eye out for information about helpful events such as job fairs and career workshops.

Finally, a word on Web etiquette.

Lamb stresses the importance of having a professional e-mail address. So if hunkaburninlove@gmail.com is how your friends know you online, set up a separate account for your job search.

Same goes for social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Now’s the time to delete party pictures and anything else you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.

“This can be the kiss of death for individuals who have been very immature and likewise have been indiscreet, so I would be very, very careful,” Lamb says. “Employers now are going online to look at these kinds of social sites and using then as a recruiting tool.”

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