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Magazines > Searcher > April 2009
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Vol. 17 No. 4 — April 2009
New Improved Internet Job Search
Now With Social Networking
by Irene E. McDermott
Reference Librarian/System Manager
San Marino Public Library

There have been periods in my library career when I have felt discontented, underappreciated, and even bored. But with news reports showing unemployment running higher than it has in 50 years, my former “daily grind” now gleams like a golden ticket, a precious jewel, a shiny blessing. I am so happy to be working as a public reference librarian.

My joy is not just Schadenfreude engendered by job security. The fact that 21 million of my fellow Americans are without work looks to me like a call to service, a renewal of mission, an opportunity for public libraries to prove their worth. We can serve as a lifeline to our communities in crisis by teaching our patrons to find new jobs using the latest technologies available on the web, along with providing internet access itself.

The First Step

Most people start a job search by scanning the classified ads. Online classifieds are almost as old as the graphical web, having been around for about 15 years. By now, there are so many employment websites, it often seems like they might outnumber the actual jobs available. Therefore, it is most efficient to search blocks of them at once with employment metasearch engines. It may also help to slap a resume on a site where employers might find it.

Simply Hired
In return for free registration, use this job search engine to scour the web for classifieds in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, or India. Simply Hired also offers statistics about salaries, city demographics, and hiring trends. Search for known job titles or browse listings by industry, category, or location. A “Special Search” looks for jobs friendly to moms, seniors, and dog lovers, among other categories. Use the site’s widgets to track job announcements on iGoogle, blogs, MySpace, Facebook, and on mobile phones.
Create a free account to search and capture jobs collated from all the major job boards, professional associations, newspapers, and the employment pages of major corporations. Search for employment by job title or browse by employment categories or cities. See hiring trends for specific jobs and join in discussions about them. also has sites for Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, and India.

Jobster pulls in classifieds from a variety of sites. These are not de-duped, so often the same offering appears several times. This hybrid site allows users to upload resumes it makes available for employer searches.

On this site, you play the coy damsel-in-waiting. Fill in the title of the job you want, enter your search radius, and upload your resume, all for free. Now, you wait for anonymous evaluation by prospective employers. It’s just like online dating! One difference: You can block yourself from being searched by your current employer. On a dating site, you’re on your own.

Career Toolbox: 100+ Places to Find Jobs
Don’t trust metasearch and can’t wait around to be discovered? Start plowing through this massive collection of employment sites, roughly categorized by industry or applicant type. There are international job search sites listed here too.

Never neglect to peruse the classifieds on Craigslist. There may be jewels among the freely posted dross. As these are not paid ads, they won’t show up on the metasearch sites.

Where the Jobs Are and Aren’t

Our patrons need jobs and they are not going to find them in the financial services industry. Here is some guidance on where to look … and what to avoid.

The 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs Overall,8599,1858773,00.html
In November 2008, Time magazine published this list of 150 occupations that will always be in demand, no matter the state of the economy, e.g., law enforcement, healthcare, and teaching. And, of course, we will always need funeral directors.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
When one feels down in the dumps, it’s hard to generate ideas about what to do next. Fortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics steps in with its lists of occupational titles, along with prospects for each and the kind of training needed to do them. Read essays about occupation types classified by industry or browse specific jobs titles by alphabet. (Let’s see … “arborist,” “archivist”… oh, here we go: “asbestos abatement worker.”)

Vault Layoff Tracker
In return for free registration, keep apprised of the latest news about which companies are shedding employees. Note to self: Avoid these. The Vault also offers positive employment advice.

U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Jobs
If worse comes to worse, one can always pick up a little cash as a census worker for the federal government. Apply to help with the 2010 census on this site. El Censo is also looking for workers fluent in Spanish:


When starting a job hunt, let the experts help you brush up your resume and thank-you card writing skills. Here are some tried-and-true job-seeking advice portals.

He’s a preacher. He’s a career counselor. He’s a warm washcloth over the eyes of the desperately unemployed. Dick Bolles is the author of the best-selling job-hunting book, What Color Is Your Parachute? This site supplements that volume. As always, Bolles encourages a thorough technique: to understand oneself and what one wants out of life before running off and blindly applying for a job. On this note, he offers links to self-assessment sites and advice about how to use them. Bolles underscores the need to research employers and make personal connections in the job search. This approach, Bolles asserts, will lead not only to new jobs, but personal satisfaction and growth.

The Riley Guide: Employment Opportunities and Job Resources on the Internet
Librarian and author Margaret F. Dikel (formerly Margaret F. Riley) compiled and maintains this comprehensive job search portal. Dikel starts off with preparation, the hardest part of any job hunt. She offers coping links for those who’ve lost their jobs. Self-assessment approaches are here, too, along with access to training, certification, and internship resources. Dikel also links to resume advice, company research, salary guides, and, most importantly, job listings of every sort.

JobStar: California Job Search Guide
Lucky job seekers in California should instantly point their browser to librarian Mary-Ellen Mort’s JobStar. Mort understands that most people do not want to have to move when they take a new job, particularly if they already live in the Sunbelt. So, she provides employment resources clustered by region. Search local resources in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Sacramento. Users anywhere will profit from a visit to JobStar Central for advice about resumes, hidden jobs, and salary information.

Social Networking for Jobs

We can search through the classifieds and sometimes get lucky. Still, the word on the street is overwhelming: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. The big new story of job searching lies with the social networking sites, specifically the triumvirate of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. As new users flock to these sites, they are now reaching the critical mass that makes them useful as job resources.

Connections on the social networking sites can be the ticket to finding a job in this stinky economy. But a network doesn’t happen overnight. Sign up on all three of these now and start hooking up with old friends. Then, if the time ever comes when you need them, they’ll be in place.

Play Six Degrees of Separation to land a job! Join LinkedIn for free and then post your resume. Then, invite everyone you know (who is already a member) to join your network. Search through ready-made lists of classmates and colleagues. Scour your web-based email contacts for network-bait. Then, look for jobs. LinkedIn will tell you who knows whom in your network that might give you an inside edge.

A free Twitter account lets users “microblog,” that is, publish short (140 characters tops) advice, aphorisms, and status updates (known as “Tweets”) to others who have subscribed to their feed. It is considered polite to reciprocate by following other’s feeds. The result should be an ever-changing stream of news flowing between you and those in your network. The application has shown promise as a kind of emergency broadcast system, as subscribers can send and receive updates from mobile phones. The flow of news should allow users to broadcast the need for a job and receive quick responses from friends.

Twittering Tips for Beginners
David Pogue of The New York Times describes his experience with Twitter and how he thinks it can be used. He explains about adjuvant programs that can monitor Twitter feeds without actually requiring you to logon to the site.

Remember when Facebook was for university students only? Now, it’s open to everyone. I joined late last year and caught up with three dozen people I hadn’t seen for decades. In one case, I reconciled with a fellow with whom I had a traumatic falling out 20 years ago. Just a few exchanged notes remedied the regrets that have dogged me for a generation.

I find myself using Facebook as a blog/Twitter hybrid. It facilitates notes that persist on one’s profile. But the ephemeral status statements flow past like the Twitter’s Tweets. It’s a compelling mix … and it’s got me hooked.

Facebook is an ideal way to establish and maintain an effective business network. If I needed a job, I’m sure that one of my newly found old friends would jump to help. These folks are spread all over the country. Surely one of them would know someone who is hiring and could get me an interview.

You Have No Friends: Everyone Else Is On Facebook. Why Aren’t You?
Farhad Manjoo explains the pleasures of Facebook and how it has grown so popular that it has become a choice not to use it.

7 Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media
Author Dan Schawbel schools us on how exactly to use Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to sell our “brand” and connect to real people within companies. He finishes off by advising job seekers to make videos of themselves for uploading to YouTube.

HOW TO: Build the Ultimate Social Media Resume
Schawbel advises seekers of technology jobs or other advanced positions to set up blogs and websites to attract potential employers.

Empleo in Español

The unemployment crisis affects our Spanish-speaking patrons as much or more than those whose native language is English. Here are some resources to help them buscar trabajo en la red (look for work on the net!).

Buscando Empleo en los Estados Unidos Usando el Internet y Otros Recursos
The New York Public Library has assembled this set of resources to help Spanish-speaking patrons find work in the U.S. Explore the directory of job sites geared to Hispanics. Find a discussion of what documents are needed to work legally in the U.S. The site also links to resume advice.
Bilingual professionals with at least a B.A. can post a resume and find a job.

EmpleosCB offers this Spanish-language portal that hosts resumes and lists job opportunities for Hispanic workers.

Are you a professional who is bilingual in English and Spanish or Portuguese? Post your resume here to find jobs with major companies. Also, search through posted job notices.

Let’s Get to Work!

The economy looks like it is going to stay in the dumps for a while. Entire industries are collapsing and effectively disappearing. Recently, so many people filed for unemployment benefits at the same time that government computers crashed. We may not be able to guarantee our unemployed patrons new jobs. But we can introduce them to the web tools that they can use to transition to a renewed life.

C’mon, fellow information professionals. Roll up your sleeves and your computers. Let’s get to work!

As she gets ready for work at her home in Pasadena, Calif., Irene McDermott hums the traditional Chinese children’s tune “Labor Is the Most Glorious.”
Her e-mail address is

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