The Internet: A Necessary Resource for Career Development
Technology within the last century has shaped how U.S. citizens travel, entertain, and communicate. Technology is now shaping how the U.S. society is preparing and searching for employment. For example, the Internet now has hundreds of career development resources that have sprung up within the last two years. Career development web sites have the potential to become the resource for all persons developing and maintaining their careers. For this reason, it is important for job seekers and career counselors to be aware of these on-line resources, to know where to find them, and to know how to use them. This article attempts to take a comprehensive look at the on-line expansion of career development resources and to provide brief listings and descriptions of these on-line resources. This information should be applicable to both career counselors and their clients.
The research reported here was conducted on the Internet using Alta Vista (1996), Excite (1996), Infoseek (1996), Lycos (1996), Yahoo! (1996), and Webcrawler (1996) search engines, and through connecting hypertext links found on other web sites. The researcher selected the best and most appropriate career resources for review. The main categories discussed in this research were adapted from the Yahoo! (1996) web site. Those categories are Books, Employment Agencies, Job Fairs, Job Matching Services, Magazines, Newsletters, Newspapers, Regional, and Resume Services. Each category contains related web sites, reviews, and commentary. A list of on-line career development resources can be found in the Appendix.
Career Development Resources
There have been many books published that help job seekers prepare their resumes, learn interview skills, and search for jobs. Equally so, career counselors have used published information like the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) (1991) and the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) (1996) to help assist job seekers in choosing the right career. Unfortunately, some printed publications may be hard to find and obtain. They may not be available at local libraries or even career service departments. The Internet solves this problem. Now persons with Internet access can easily search for books on employment and order them within seconds.
The Amazon.com Books (1996) web site carries a plentiful amount of publications about career development, employment, and resume writing. Amazon.com's books are usually discounted and are shipped to the home or business within 2-3 days.
Search engines, like the ones described in the introduction, contain hypertext links to web sites containing information on books about employment. An example of one of the linked sites is the World Almanac Job Finder's Guide (1996). Web sites like this generally offer a synopsis of the book, information about the author, the content of the book, and ordering information. Surprisingly, the DOT index and OOH can also be found on the Internet. Information Technology Associates (1996) has published the DOT index, and E-Span (1996) has published the complete OOH.
Most cities have employment agencies, and job seekers are usually limited to using the agencies in their geographic area. If a job seeker wants to use an employment agency in a different city and state, the search could be a tedious and time-consuming process. The Internet, with its employment agency web sites, dramatically decreases time and cost in gathering such information. One of the best examples of employment agencies on the Internet is the Management Recruiters International (MRI) (1996) web site. Their content includes job openings, resume submissions, career advice, divisions of MRI, and directory offices across the nation. A visitor to the MRI web site using the job opening section can search for jobs by skill, classification, type, salary, and location. MRI makes it easy for job seekers to contact them, and they set an example for other employment agencies on the Internet.
Job fairs are events that often don't get much publicity. Most people hear about them through a career counselor or by spotting an ad in the newspaper. Job fairs may also be frustrating for the people sponsoring them. Sponsors have trouble finding proficient job fair promoters and many times have to settle for mediocre promotion companies. However, job fair web sites on the Internet can now benefit both the job fair attendant and job fair sponsor. Many career networking groups have Internet web sites that contain up-to-date information on national job fairs and information for sponsors who want to host job fairs in the community. Career Expo (1996) of Cincinnati, Ohio, not only gives information about their national expos, but also sells program books from past expos for persons who were unable to attend.
Job Matching Services
Job matching services have now moved into the on-line territory as well. Although there are only a few on-line job matching services, the ones that do exist have impressive web sites. Hoffman Recruiters (1996) has an attractive web site that has some very useful and easy-to-use features. They have one on-line form where students and job seekers can input their resume information, and another on-line form where companies can request resumes from students and job seekers. JobCenter (1996) has a feature that allows a job seeker to post a job ad or a resume on-line for employers to view. There are other on-line web sites that offer similar resources as JobCenter. These resources are called On-line Resume and Job Banks, which will be discussed later in this paper.
Magazines and Newsletters
Most job seekers wouldn't think about subscribing to an employment magazine or newsletter, but they may be interested in reading one if it was available free on the Internet. In fact, they do exist on the Internet. Career Magazine has many resources. It offers news articles, a list of job openings, employer profiles, a resume bank, a career forum, information on job fairs, a recruiter directory, a consultant directory, products and services, relocation services, and career links. Career Magazine may be one of the useful career resources on the Internet.
Newspapers (Classified Ads)
It was only a matter of time before the newspapers became digital. Digital newspapers not only mean paperless news, but also mean on-line job ads that have a global audience. CareerPath (1996) is a premiere web site that specializes in hosting job ads for very reputable newspapers around the U.S. Some of the newspapers included are the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, the Denver Rocky Mountain News, The Detroit News and Free Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many more. The job ads are easy to search through and are updated frequently.
A couple of years ago if a job seeker wanted to look for employment in another country or continent it could have an expensive and difficult ordeal. Today, job seekers have Internet resources that make seeking distant employment a petty task. Yahoo! (1996) has a regional section that links a job seeker to Asian, Australian, Brazilian, Canadian, European, Irish, Mexican, South African, English and American employment services on the Internet. The regional employment information should become such more diverse as Internet use increases across the globe.
Resume and Job Banks
There are many ways to send a resume to companies. One way is to call each company, many times long distance, and ask for a mailing address. After the address is received, one can then proceed to place a resume into an envelope and pay 32 cents for each. Another way is to send resumes to companies using the Internet. Most companies with web sites now have job availability lists on-line. If the company has a job that fits the job seeker's talents, the job seeker can send the resume through an e-mail address provided by the job listing web page. Nabisco (1996) has a simple but effective job listing web site. Nabisco lists available positions as hypertext links, and if a job seeker is interested in a particular position he or she can click on it for a detailed description. At the end of the description, Nabisco has an e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) where job seekers can send their resumes.
Job seekers can also use what are called job banks. Job banks are web sites where employers leave job opening descriptions. Job seekers can search job banks by occupation, location, and employer. Some of the most popular job banks are America's Job Bank (1996), Career Magazine's job bank, and 4work (1996). 4work allows a job seeker to search through one or all of the following databases: Job, Internship, Volunteer, or Part Time.
In the past 2 years many Internet access providers have given free space on their networks for their customers to host their own web sites. Many customers, who have also been job seekers, have taken advantage of this opportunity by placing their resumes on-line. In doing this, job seekers are given their web site addresses and e-mail addresses to potential employers when placed in networking situations. Also, employers can search some of the most popular search engines and find hundreds of individual resumes in any particular profession.
If a seeker didn't want to find and drive to a resume service in a geographical area, he or she could easily contact one of the many resume services on the Internet. An example of an on-line resume service is Advanced Resume Services (1996). This web site's services included resume services, job search, interview and resume tips, job vacancies, and career links.
The Future of Career Development and the Internet
The Internet has dramatically changed how job seekers will search, prepare, and find employment. The future will bring more comprehensive and interactive resume and job bank web sites as a result of new technology and faster Internet access (bandwidth). One improvement will be the use of streamed video and audio. VDOnew (1996) is a company that is already using and experimenting with streamed video and audio over the Internet. Streamed video and audio will enable job seekers and employers to express their talents and communication skills visibly and audibly. There is their illegal right to discriminate against race and gender when viewing videos of job seekers.
There are many career development resources now available on the Internet. Job seekers should use these resources to save time, money, and frustration, and career counselors should consider these resources whenever they work with clients. The Internet will continue to become the way society communicates with one another. If job seekers or career counselors choose not to participate in using the Internet as a key tool in career development, they may be cheating themselves and their clients.
- Alta Vista. (1996). Alta vista search. Digital equipment corporation [On-Line]. Available: http://www.altavista.digital.com
- Amazon.com books. (1996). Amazon.com books: Earth's biggest book store. Amazon.com, Inc. [On-Line]. Available: http://www.amazon.com/
- America's job bank. (1996). America's job bank. America's job bank [On-Line]. Available: http://www.ajb.dni.us/
- Career Expo. (1996). Career expo job fairs. Career Expo [On-line]. Available: http://www.eos.net/careerex/
- Career magazine. (1996). Front page-Career magazine. Career magazine [On-Line]. Available: http://www.careermag.com/
- Dictionary of occupational titles (4th ed.). (1991). Washington, DC: U.S. Department Of Labor
- E-Span. (1996). Occupational outlook handbook. E-Span, Inc. [On-Line]. Available: http://www.espan.com/docs/oohand.html [defunct]
- Excite. (1996). Excite home. Excite Inc. [On-Line]. Available: http://www.excite.com/
- Hoffman Recruiters. (1996). Hoffman Recruiters. Hoffman Recruiters [On-Line]. Available: http://www.hoffmanrecruiters.com/
- Information Technology Associates. (1996). DOT Dictionary of Occupational Titles Index. Infoseek. (1996). Infoseek. Infoseek Corporation [On-Line]. Available: http://guide-p.infoseek.com/
- Job Search USA . (1996). Find your future at Job Search USA. Job Search USA [On-Line]. Available: http://www.jobsearchusa.org
- JobCenter. (1996). JobCenter employment services. JobCenter employment services, Inc. [On-Line]. Available: http://www.jobcenter.com/
- Lycos. (1996). Welcome to Lycos. Lycos Inc. [On-Line]. Available: http://guide-p.infoseek.com/
- Management Recruiters International. (1996). Management recruiters, Inc., home page. Management Recruiters, Inc. [On-Line]. Available: http://www.mrinet.com/
- Nabisco. (1996). Nabisco's town hall: Now hiring. Nabisco [On-Line]. Avalable: http://www.nabisco.com/townhall jobs/
- Occupational outlook handbook. (1996). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor.
VDOnet. (1996). VDOnet: Real-time video and audio over the Internet. VDOnet corp. [On-Line]. Available: http://www.vdo.net
- Webcrawler. (1996). Webcrawler searching. American Online, Inc. [On-Line]. Available: http://www.vdo.net
- Yahoo! (1996). Top:Business and economy:Companies:Career and job search services. Yahoo! [On-Line]. Available: http://www.yahoo.com/ Business and Economy/ Companies/Career and Job Search Services/
- Yahoo! (1996). Top:Business and Economy:Companies:Career and Job Search Services:Regional. Yahoo! [On-Line]. Available: http://www.yahoo.com/ Business and Economy/Companies/Career and Job Search Services/Regional
- Alta Vista-www.altavista.digital.com
- Amazon.com Books-www.amazon.com
- America's Job Bank-www.ajb.dni.us
- Career Expo-www.eos.net/careerex/
- Career Magazine-www.careermag.com
- E-Span-www.espan.com/docs/oohand.html [defunct]
- Hoffman Recruiters-www.hoffmanrecruiters.com
- Dictionary of Occupational Titles Index- www.wave.net/upg/immigration/
- Job Search USA-www.jobsearchusa.org
- Management Recruiters International-www.mrinet.com
Jon Henshaw is research assistant and Graduate Student, Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education, University of Colorado at Denver. Director and Founder of Family Resource Online (www.familyresource.org), he can be reached at 303/780-6004 or e-mail email@example.com.