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Is Your Dream Job Online?

ComputerUser rates the tech job sites.

If you want to find a job in today’s information technology market, it’s almost essential to at least be familiar with all of the IT tech job sites on the Web. Often, jobs are posted on the Web before they’re posted elsewhere, if they’re even posted outside the Web at all. And much like professional headhunters, job sites are almost all universally free to the job seekers. Signing up costs you nothing more than a few hours of your time and might benefit you in the form of a new job.

But beware. Stories abound of companies firing employees upon finding their resumes online, and of job ads that are nothing more than lead generators for headhunters and temporary agencies. This guide to online tech job sites will help you stay ahead of the curve and find the Web site that works best for you. And, with a little luck and a killer resume, you might even land the job of your dreams.

ITcareers.com

Partnered with ComputerWorld, this is one of the big two tech job sites (receiving over 10 million job queries a month) and one of the first you should check out when beginning your search. Registering on the site is easy; it just takes a few clicks. And once you’re registered, you can cut-and-paste your resume into your profile, or use the built-in resume builder to create a brand new resume.

Though you’re probably better off using your own resume if you have one, the resume builder is simple enough to use and creates a passable if cookie cutter-looking end product. All you have to do is answer a series of questions (are you willing to relocate? what languages do you speak? What are your salary requirements?) and you’re done.

Once you’ve uploaded your resume, you can choose to make it available to everyone or just to companies you specify. What you can’t do, however, is specify certain companies to which you specifically don’t want to make it available, so if you’re already working and don’t want your boss to know you’re looking for a new job, watch out.

“I might be one of the lucky ones,” says Andre Rankin, 47, a computer engineer in Dallas, “but I found my current job within a week of posting my resume on the [ITcareers.com] Web site. I sent them my resume, they replied, and three interviews later I was hired.”

Jobs: A-

Privacy: B

Tools: B

Ease of Use: B

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Overall Grade: B

Monster.com

Like ITCareers.com, Monster.com is one of the granddaddies of the tech job listing sites. The attractively-designed site boasts over a million job listings and nearly 41 million resumes, making it a boon for employers as well as potential employees. Similar to ITCareer.com in scope, it also offers career advice on resumes, interviewing, and salary information. And Monster Networking hooks up people in the same industry to provide possible leads. Members of the network also rate each other via eBay-like feedback scores, giving newbies to the site an idea of what to expect.

Compared to some of the other resume builder programs, however, Monster’s isn’t quite up to snuff. It only lets you list former jobs and training in chronological order, but will allow you to upload a Microsoft Word document to use instead. The career advice section, however, more than makes up for any shortcomings. You can find pointers on almost any aspect of job hunting, including what to wear to an interview, what salary to expect for your field and area, and even how to negotiate. Be prepared to spend several hours here, exploring all the different aspects on how best to land the job you desire.

“There’s a large chaff-to-wheat ratio,” says Brian Dent, 26, a consultant in Los Angeles, “but if you take the time to learn the system, you can do really well with Monster.com. Because there’s so much there, it takes a while to navigate.” Dent recently landed a job in New York, for which he’ll soon relocate, through the site.

Jobs: A

Privacy: B+

Tools: B+

Ease of Use: A-

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Overall Grade: B+

Dice.com

Though it boasts less than 80,000 jobs, Dice.com is one of the most often recommended sites for positions in the IT industry. It offers a straightforward, easy-to-use interface, and is more targeted to tech jobs than many of its bigger competitors. And though there aren’t a lot of extras here (a la Monster’s career advice) everything is streamlined toward the IT professional and getting you a job.

One nice thing about this site is that you can decide which companies are able to view your resume. If you don’t want, say, company X to view your specifics, you’ll be invisible to them but visible to all other companies. You can, of course, also send your resumes directly to any of the employer’s advertising on the Web site.

“I was able to land a great contract position which was advertised on Dice earlier this year,” says Steve Weintraub, 32, of Fayetteville, Ark. “There was a lot of competition for the job, but, based on my resume, I managed to win a phone interview with the client. Immediately after the interview, they made me an offer. I’d never have even known about the job if it wasn’t for Dice.”

Jobs: B+

Privacy: A

Tools: B

Ease of Use: A

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Overall Grade: B+

Hotjobs.com

Purchased by Yahoo in 2001 after a failed bid from Monster.com, Hot Jobs is nearly as big as Monster but offers many features found only in more streamlined job sites. For example, like Dice, you can specify that certain companies not be allowed to view your resume, and, using the status bar at the top of the screen, you can easily see how many times your resume has been viewed. And while the interface isn’t as easy to use as Dice, the Web site offers a lot more–almost as much as Monster–in terms of career advice and resume help.

As of this writing, over 200,000 jobs were added to the site in the last fourteen days alone, bringing the total jobs online to just under a million. And because Hot Jobs is now part of Yahoo and thus has access to Yahoo’s huge networking relationships, the Web site has used that connection to enhance what it offers by forming partnerships with other companies such as 4jobs.com and Real Resume. The former company helps expand Hot Jobs into smaller markets, while the latter enables you to create the very best resume possible through expert advice and examples.

“I used Hot Jobs to find my current position as an analyst,” says Lisa Stevens, 31, of Kansas City, Mo. “The resume advice was really valuable and helped me to enhance my strong points. I joined the site in February of 2005 and had landed a job through them by that May.”

Jobs: A

Privacy: A

Tools: A

Ease of Use: B

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Overall Grade: A-

Joe DeRouen writes Windows Advisor monthly for ComputerUser.

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