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Need Occupational Advice? Try the Web

June 10, 1996|Karen Kaplan

Career advice comes in all shapes and sizes. And now it comes on the World Wide Web.

Granted, public forums such as the Web--the colorful, easy-to-use portion of the Internet global computer network--can't offer the personalized guidance of a human career counselor. But computer networks are ideally suited for storing volumes of information that can be helpful to your career.

The Smart Business Supersite has plenty of both. Located at, this 3-month-old site is full of free career advice and provides links to even more Web resources. The site's easy-to-use nature should make it all the more valuable to anyone seeking a career edge.

So far, the Smart Business Supersite has garnered awards from the Internet search engine Magellan, PC Magazine and other arbiters of Internet excellence, and its producers say they are welcoming an average of nearly 1,000 visitors a day. The career offerings are the second-most popular area of the site, said Publisher Irv Brechner.

For general career advice, go to the site's "News/Columns" section, which features a digest of the day's events and about a dozen features that change monthly, including columns focusing on career-related issues. This section includes articles full of advice on sharpening job search skills and the importance of clearly identifying career goals.

More articles, reports and checklists are available under the "Jobs/Careers" heading. On a recent visit, many of them had practical titles like "Five Top Career Skills You Can Work On Right Now" and "How to Advance Your Career--Independently." Other topics include overcoming job burnout, negotiating a better salary and making a favorable impression on one's superiors.

The "Jobs/Careers" section also has a lengthy list of related sites on the World Wide Web. Some of the links specialize in online job listings; others distribute electronic resumes to employers and have calendars of job fairs. About five sites are devoted to career advice on topics ranging from telecommuting to preparing an effective resume to becoming your own headhunter.

In the site's "People Finder" area, users can connect to National Consultant Referrals and find counselors and other experts to help with career management. They can also jump to the New Market Forum for an online directory of more than 10,000 professional associations and membership groups.

The Small Business Supersite also features a daily piece of advice in its "Hot Tips" section. Some days the tip involves information on computer equipment or a money-saving strategy. Sometimes it's about improving one's telephone technique or public speaking skills.

This area also has a database of more than 8,800 trade shows, which are helpful for making business contacts. Users can search the database by industry, location or date. There is also a directory of electronic mailing lists and Usenet newsgroups specializing in various career topics.

And if you're still looking for more advice, go to the "Feedback/Interact" center to post messages and receive comments from other Smart Business Supersite users.

Karen Kaplan, who writes about technology and careers, can be reached via e-mail at

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