6 March, 1997
Careers on the Internet
THERE ARE OVER 11,000 Internet sites dealing with jobs, careers or job-hunting — a growing avalanche of information for the jobless. The Parachute author Dick Bolles (see below) says that there are five main ways in which the internet can be helpful to job hunters or career changers:
1. As a place for people to search for vacancies, listed by employers (often called joblistings);
2. As a place to post your cv or resume;
3. As a place to get some job-hunting help or career counselling;
4. As a place to make contacts with people who can help you find information or help you get in for an interview at a particular place; and
5. As a place to find information or do research on fields, occupations, companies, cities, etc.
IF YOU HAVE access to the internet, here are four key sites to check out ...
Kiwi Careers Online
Keep an eye on this. KiwiCareers is an site sponsored by Career Services and will focus on jobs and training in New Zealand. At present, it is still in its pilot phase focussing only the NZ forestry industry. But it will eventually include detailed descriptions of over 700 jobs, as well as information about New Zealand's industry sectors, including activities and products, and labour market information. There are plans for sections about organisations that can give you advice on career planning, searching for a job or running a business. A What's New section will contain the latest information on career-related events and newsgroups, and a list of relevant articles.
USA Occupational Handbook Online
A good example of a comprehensive career guide and information about occupational and job market trends is the American Occupational Outlook Handbook, now available online. It is widely respected as a standard reference for career counsellors and is available in nearly all major US libraries and career centers. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does continual research on employment and unemployment levels in the US, collating them into the Handbook. In it you will find some of the best and most current information available on the nature of various occupations in the US economy, the levels and types of education required, whether growth is projected to be slower, or faster than for all occupations, and so on. The online version has search capabilities if you have particular occupations in mind that you want to research.
What Color Is Your Parachute?
The career guide What Color Is Your Parachute? has been a standard resource for NZ career advisers and job seekers for over two decades. The book is the best-selling job-hunting book in the world, with 5,600,000 copies in print, and it is revised and updated annually. The author Dick Bolles — who recently spoke in NZ — has now developed a Net Guide to his favourite career sites on the world wide web, and it is here presented in conjunction with the Washington Post.
A Virtual Job Centre? This site includes job seeker discussion and chat groups, job-hunting and career planning, resume help, help with interview skills, advice for people who work from home, support and information for the self-employed and new business start-ups (including how to write a sample business plan), and even job-focussed horoscopes.
It is one of a series of prototype online "communities" being sponsored by the US company iVillage. The company says their goal is "to humanise cyberspace by building targeted communities online that help people with the real issues of their real lives." The communities come to life in chat and on the message boards as people "enhance their online and real-world lives through the unconditional support, shared wisdom, comic relief and camaraderie they find in talking with others who share similar interests and life challenges."
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