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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CAREERS / YOUR NEXT JOB

A Wealth of Sources on the Net

The Internet's efficiency at bringing job hunters and employers together makes it an indispensable tool.

June 24, 1996|JENNIFER OLDHAM | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Greg Thomas found a job at Oracle Systems Corp. in San Francisco after logging on to the Internet on his laptop from his parents' home 3,000 miles away in New Jersey.

Unlike many his age, Thomas, 25, wasn't interested in the Internet or electronic mail until he realized they could broaden his job search. A Stanford graduate with a degree in psychology, Thomas used career resources on the Internet to transform himself from a freelance writer into a legal assistant in Oracle's software division.

He is one of thousands of twentysomethings and other job seekers going online to find work. Every aspect of a job search, from mock interviews to resume templates to personality surveys to job banks are available on the Internet.

Career resources are one of the fastest-growing portions of the Internet, where there are more than 1,000 sites devoted to the subject, said Michael Wolff, publisher of NetJobs, an online career resource guide.

With more than 75% of colleges now online, the use of these sites has soared, Wolff said. His company site, Your Personal Network (http://ypn.com), was inundated by more than 10,000 requests for help when its free resume-design service, Resume-O-Matic, was launched in February. An electronic version of NetJobs also is available at the site.

Setting up a Web site on the Internet to list job openings has become the rule at most colleges nationwide, said Kathy Sims, director of the UCLA Career Center.

But career counselors urge job seekers to keep in mind that although the Internet provides advantages such as 24-hour access and the ability to easily send resumes to thousands of companies, it does not replace face-to-face networking. They also caution job seekers to resist the temptation to be more informal when applying for jobs online.

Think of the job search as a two-part process, said Margaret Riley, an Internet job search consultant and author of the Riley Guide (http://www.careermag.com/newsarts/jobsearch/1036.html), a well-known clearinghouse for career information on the Internet.

First, determine what skills one has and what jobs best fit those skills, she said. To assess skills and personality traits, visit the University of Waterloo's site at http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infocecs/CRC/manual-home.html and complete a self-assessment.

To match these skills with jobs, review the Occupational Outlook Handbook at http://www.espan.com/docs/oohand.html. The handbook, compiled by the Labor Department, lists more than 250 occupations, which make up about 85% of the jobs nationwide. It also details education requirements, earning potential and job conditions for each occupation.

The second step in a job search involves figuring out what one wants to do and in what industry one wants to work. The Internet can be used to research target industries and companies.

Once a list of potential companies has been put together, visit their Web sites, Riley said. He also suggests that job seekers log on to electronic newspapers and look for articles about potential employers.

Jobtrak is a service geared specifically for college students and alumni and only available to them through a password secured from their career center, This Los Angeles-based service, online at http://jobtrak.com, is available at more than 400 universities and colleges nationwide. Jobtrak lists jobs from more than 200,000 companies and can save employers time by allowing them to target candidates they are interested in, said Ken Ramberg, one of Jobtrak's three founders.

With so many career resources online, experts agree the Internet will increase in importance for job seekers. Some think it will replace more traditional avenues altogether.

"Because of the Net's efficiency in terms of how it brings together employees and employers," NetJobs' Wolff said, "within a few years, there will be no other way to get a job except by this medium."

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Other Sites

Yahoo's business library: http://www.yahoo.com

Trade journals and professional associations: http://www.yahoo.com/Business and Economy/Organization/Professional/

Electronic trade journals: http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/discipline/More resources/journals/subject.html

Listing of newspapers online: http://www.yahoo.com/News/Newspapers/Regional/

Online classified job ads of major newspapers: http://www.careerpath.com

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