Finding a Writing-Related Job Onlineby Greg Knollenberg
The Internet Writing Journal, December 1997 Note: Be sure to also check out our jobs site for the latest writing jobs.
The Internet has become a valuable tool for researching and finding employment opportunities. People regularly search online databases for listings placed by potential employers, email their resumes to the human resource departments of employers and post their own resumes in online resume databases. More and more companies are training their human resource personnel to use the Internet and there are a great many resources available, covering everything from building your career to online articles about how to write or improve your resume writing and interviewing skills.
There are numerous online resources. Major resources are job databases with enormous listings of employment opportunities. In most cases, employers list their job opportunities and jobseekers can post their resumes. They are open to the kinds of jobs they list, but the databases are searchable by categories and key words. You will also find sites that focus on a specific type of employment, such as technical writing or journalism. Also, there are a plethora of sites with articles related to job searching, interviewing skills and resume writing. This article will cover some of the best online resources available and where to find them.
Major resources do not focus on a specific area of employment. Instead, they list hundreds of thousands of job listings in their database, which the user can browse by category or search by keywords such as type of job, state or even country. Some sites like this are: The Monster Board, Career City, Career Site and JobSite. There is no charge to the job seeker as the sites are primarily advertising supported.
The Monster Board boasts listings of over 50,000 jobs, articles on employment topics ranging from resume-writing to relocation tips, information on career fairs, and employer profiles. After searching and finding the job you are interested in, you have the option of submitting a resume or completing an online resume form which will be submitted directly to the employer.
Career Site allows you to place a profile online (a resume) and allows you to respond to online job listings, or you can choose to be contacted by email when new listings are posted. Career Site will allow employers to search through the resume collection, but does not reveal names or addresses. If an employer is interested, you are contacted and invited to submit more information. You can also submit your profile to listed opportunities that you select. Career Site will then forward your resume to the listings you selected.
USAJobs.com is a job database provided by the federal government. A search for a keyword like "writing" will bring up thousands of listings nationwide. You can narrow your search by location, salary, department, job category and more.
JobSite is a job resource for the UK and Europe which features a searchable jobs database as well as a journal with useful articles and tips.
Some other major online job resources include Glassdoor, SimplyHired and Career Builder.
Internet Access Providers also may offer job resource areas that are either independent services or services combined with listings offered from web resources. For example, at Keyword: AboutWork on AOL you can find listings from The Monster Board in addition to chat rooms, message boards and advice. AOL users can also find a vast amount of information at Keyword: Career.
Specific Writing-related Resources for Jobs
You should also consider resources that specifically apply to writing, with listings of employment possibilities for writers, technical writers, editors and journalists.
Editor & Publisher offers a large listing of jobs, with a focus on newspaper jobs on its jobs site. The listings are frequently updated.
The Write Jobs lists general writing-related jobs, newspaper and editorial jobs and has a technical writing job section. The site also contains links to other resources that contain writing-related job information or job listings. This site is published by Writers Write, Inc., the parent company of writerswrite.com.
MediaBistro provides a job board with media-related postings. The site also has a freelance marketplace.
MediaJobs.net is is a job board focused on media, marketing, advertising and PR jobs. You can browse the listings by the type of position you are seeking.
Another excellent resource for job opportunities is the same resource that exists offline -- newspapers. Online newspapers often have the entire want ads listings on the Internet, occasionally with direct links to the employer's website and email links. For example try The Seattle Times Online or The Dallas Morning News, or if you reside in England, try The Guardian's online job listings at jobs.theguardian.com.
The Company's Site
Finally, a resource that is often overlooked is the company's page itself. For example, if you are looking for an employment opportunity with Microsoft or Yahoo, these companies (like many others) list their current employment needs on their websites. This information is current, regularly updated and expresses the direct needs of the company. Reviewing the corporate websites of companies which offer jobs in your field is one of the best ways to find out what that company's hiring needs are and how to apply, especially if you know where you want to work. Typically, these listings are slanted towards people with internet experience. You will also learn more about the company itself and its corporate culture by examining its website.
If you are interested in finding job listings at the company's site, you may want to visit 1st Steps in the Hunt, which is an interesting site with daily news for online job hunters and an extensive collection of direct links to thousands of company job pages.
The posting of resumes into a bank of resumes so that an employer can search through them is a practice which has grown with the rise of the Internet. It really depends on the kind of job and field as to how many human resource managers will see your resume if it is posted on such a resume bank. This method is most useful for high-demand, high-tech fields such as computers and engineering. If you decide to post your resume on a resume bank, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, don't post an unprofessional or sloppy resume. Instead, take the time to post a professionally written resume, which has no typographical errors. The main risk in posting you resume in a job bank is the risk that your current employer will see it. Systems to guard confidentiality of the posters are not fool-proof. Keep in mind that if you really need a job, posting a resume and then sitting back and waiting is not going to be effective. Post your resume, but also take active steps such as networking and submitting your resume to potential employers you find through want ads and from corporate job listings you find from the various resources. You are much more likely to get the attention of the employers this way.
Some resources that allow you to post resumes include: Monster, Career Site and Career Builder.
There is no question that the online listing and posting of jobs will continue to develop and change. You can expect even the major resources to continue to update and upgrade to make the job listing and job posting methods easier and more effective. Even if you are happily employed, you might want to keep pace with the use of the online job banks, just so you are ready to use them if your circumstances should change. Because using the Internet to find human resources is considerably cheaper for a company than some other, more traditional methods of finding employees, more and more offerings will be listed online. So keep searching -- your next job might be one you land on the Net.
**Greg Knollenberg is the CEO of Writers Write, Inc.