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CUTTING-EDGE CAREERS

Job Hunters Cast Wide Net Online

The Internet and the commercial online services offer careers bulletin boards as well as help wanted sections.

February 26, 1996|LAWRENCE J. MAGID | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Looking for work? If so, your search ought to take you online.

Although the Internet and the commercial online services are in their infancy when it comes to helping people find jobs, they can be a viable part of a job search. They're also a good way for employers to seek out candidates, especially in high-tech fields.

Each of the major online services--America Online, CompuServe and Prodigy--have areas for job seekers.

Prodigy maintains a careers bulletin board where members exchange job-hunting tips as well as a classified advertising department with a help wanted section.

America Online users can type in the keyword "jobs" to locate job search tools that offer information from employers on several thousand jobs. Jobs are listed by category, skill area and location. And, unlike the old-fashioned classified ads, you can use sophisticated search techniques such as "chef and Los Angeles" to broaden or narrow your search.

The Internet's World Wide Web, which can be accessed from any online service, campus computers and Internet service providers, has information from companies seeking workers as well as a place for job seekers to post their resumes. Some resume services, such as Hyper Media Resumes, charge job seekers. Others, including 1 Stop Job Service, will post your resume for free. Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com), a popular Internet search feature, lists resume service providers.

Internet Executive Professionals of Palmyra, N.Y., operates a resume service (http://www.webcom.com/resumes) on the World Wide Web. You send in the text of your resume on paper, by e-mail or on a floppy disk and, for $25, the company will post it on the World Wide Web after first converting it into HTML--the language used to create web pages. Each client gets his or her own page with a unique Web address (called a URL, short for Universal Resource Locator). You can include a photograph (which they will scan) for an additional $10.

Employers and recruiters can search this and other sites to locate a candidate but, as Elias Padilla of Miami discovered, posting an online resume is not an automatic ticket to employment.

"So far it's gone badly," Padilla said of his efforts to find employment online.

He's put classified ads on America Online and posted his resume on the IEP service, yet hasn't gotten a single call from a prospective employer. Padilla, who is looking for work with a government or nonprofit agency involved in Latin American affairs, had the same experience as a number of others I spoke with who are looking for jobs in nontechnical fields. On the other hand, Daniel Hawthorne, a technical writer and high-tech systems analyst from Fairfield, Iowa, also posted his resume on IEP and, though he hasn't been offered a job, has received several calls from recruiters and potential employers.

Pamela Nagle, who owns IEP, acknowledges that people in a high tech field are more likely to find employment online, but says she has helped place professionals and executives in a variety of nontechnical fields. She cautions clients that posting a resume online should be only part of an online job search strategy.

"I urge my clients to be active on the newsgroups," she said. Newsgroups--the Internet's version of interactive bulletin boards--are areas where people can exchange information, resumes, tips and anything else.

You'll also get tips and commiseration from other job seekers and may even find a posting or two from an employer. Newsgroups to search include alt.jobs.offered, biz.jobs.offered and ba.jobs.offered.

Other web sites to check out include the Online Career Center (http://www.occ.com), which lets you search for jobs by city, state or industry. This site, which is funded by employers, also maintains a resume database that can only be read by its member companies.

CareerPath (http://www.careerpath.com) provides employment ads from the pages of six major newspapers: Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, San Jose Mercury News and Washington Post. The service, when we checked, listed more than 48,000 jobs in the metropolitan areas served by those newspapers. Job seekers need to register with their real name and e-mail address. Once you register, at no charge, you can search by newspaper or job classification.

Career Mosaic (http://www.careermosaic.com) lets you post your resume for free and provides links to employers seeking applicants. Most of the companies listed are in high tech fields, but there are several notable exceptions such as Noah's Bagels, Ross, PetsMart and, for those who are anxious to get out of town, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Saudi Aramco.

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