Anyone who’s conducted a job search in the last 15 or so years can tell you that the Internet is full of career resources. Whether you’re looking to make a change or looking for a place to start, there are nearly countless websites dedicated to your purpose. Increasingly, online is becoming the only way to search and apply for jobs. Not to mention it’s one of the best ways to network, get resume-writing tips and find practice interview questions. Sifting through the information out there can be more work than you’re reasonably able to take on. Fortunately, there are a select few websites on which you can zero in to help make things easier when it comes time to looking for work.
Social Media, etc.
Think “common sense” websites - those sites where you can easily be found. In the digital age, employers can look up who you are beyond your resume. Carefully review these sites and make sure you’re represented exceptionally well.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – Make sure you adjust your privacy settings. Then, just for good measure, clean up any inappropriate pictures or posts.
Google – Google yourself. What are the results? If what you see makes you cringe or brings up bad memories, think what it would do to a hiring manager (who will almost assuredly Google you). While you may not be able change some of your Google results, you can be one step ahead on things you can change.
LinkedIn – Headhunters as well as individual employers are using LinkedIn. Set up a profile and fill out as much information as you can, and provide your most professional-looking headshot.
Blogs and Advice
There is no shortage of blog sites, ranging in topics and author expertise. In 2012, renowned magazine Forbes compiled a list of the 75 best sites for job seekers. The Forbes list is in alphabetical order and includes many job search engines, but it also points readers to what it finds to be the best and most reliable career advice blogs, some of which include:
About.com/Careers – About.com holds itself out as one of the largest publishers of expert content. Almost anyone who’s searched “how to …” has read an accurate About.com article, so it should come as no surprise when Forbes put it on the list.
Career Change Central – This subscription service embraces the idea that people don’t stick with one company or profession for their entire working lives. Don’t let the name fool you – no matter where you are in your career path, you can find useful resume and cover letter writing tips, among other info.
Evil HR Lady – How could anyone resist that name? This blog tackles reader questions and issues from a human resources/management perspective, giving sarcastic yet honest answers to myriad corporate problems.
Interviewing.com – Perhaps one of the trickiest aspects of finding/getting a job is the interview. This site is dedicated to tips and technology suggestions to help both job seekers and employers.
Payscale – One of the most interesting sites on the Forbes list, Payscale provides free salary data to subscribers in return for information about their salaries. It’s for both employers and employees who want to make sure pay rates are fairly priced. In addition, Payscale provides articles such as a salary negotiation guide and a best compensation practices report.
The Government Can Help
Privately-run blogs and job boards are great, but don’t forget resources provided by the government.
United States Department of Labor – It’s not just about improving poor working conditions. The DoL is also here to improve the lives of “wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States.” Its website allows visitors to subscribe to email updates on a variety of topics. It also provides information on the rules and regulations surrounding working in this country.
Nebraska Department of Labor – On the local level, the NE DoL provides important information for both job seekers and employers. And just in case you’re wondering what Nebraska’s unemployment rate is versus the national, you can find that here too.
Whatever online resource you choose, try to vet the content. Many pages have an “About Us” or “Our Story” page that explains who’s providing the info and how qualified he or she may be. Not all job sites are created equal.