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Job sites with might

Here is just a sampling of the many stellar resources on the Web for career guidance, technology insight, and job training tips.

Usually this column is a place for me to share the wisdom I’ve culled from my numerous chats with IT managers, HR folks, technology consultants, and tech support gurus. But sometimes, it’s just not worth going through an intermediary. There are so many stellar resources on the Web for career guidance, technology insight, and job training tips that I’d rather send you out the door and directly to the source.

Here are some of the sites I find especially helpful while musing on career issues:

Monster.com

Arguably the daddy of all career sites, Monster.com has its drawbacks. It’s too big, it has too many listings, and those multiple entries from recruiters can be a pain to wade through. But in the last year, Monster has come a long way in making itself into a truly useful site. First it added a career advice section, and now it offers networking. The advice section in particular is getting fairly robust, since Monster continually adds content. It’s broken down into several sections, including resume tips, interviewing tactics, salary and benefit advice, and of course, a message board.

The new networking section seems to be a work in progress, but at least you can sign up for free. It’s similar to a networking site like LinkedIn.com or Friendster, but also has expert-led discussions, which the other sites lack. You can also search for contacts by keyword, which could be very handy when looking for experts in specific tech areas.

CareerBuilder

Some of the people who left Monster behind went to CareerBuilder, and it’s not difficult to see why. The site has excellent navigation, with job categories on the homepage along with a quick search function and tabbed browsing. CareerBuilder, too, has been working to boost its amount of content, and that’s good news for everyone, because now it’s a powerhouse of information. In the “Advice & Resources” section, there’s an array of insight ranging from online learning programs to interview coach listings to articles on relocation.

The only downside is that some of the links are of the annoying, bogus type that we’re all tired of seeing: “Learn to Earn $30k per Month” and those ubiquitous “Work from Home!” claims that have migrated from phone pole flyers into an electronic form. But overlook such garbage, and CareerBuilder shines.

TechRepublic

You have a problem with your Cisco router, or you want to know what SAN to buy, you go to TechRepublic. But this gathering of techie types is also good for career advice, and the site makes “Career” into a topic center alongside “IT Management” and “Enterprise Applications.”

The truly nice thing about TechRepublic’s format is that it has advice on things like keywords in a resume, as well as oft-frequented discussion boards. So you can create your resume, learn some interviewing tips, and then ask your fellow TechRepublicans about whether the offer seems plum or pathetic.

The site also has news, which makes it a handy spot for daily visits, and an excellent resource in other ways as well, with content that ranges from technical Q & As to white papers and book recommendations.

ComputerJobs

Although it doesn’t have the crackerjack advice sections of Monster or CareerBuilder, ComputerJobs is exactly what the name implies, and sometimes, that’s just what you need. The jobs are broken down according to industry or region. Want to work as a technology guru in healthcare? At the time of this writing, they had 417 listings in that field.

The site does have some resources like training, publications, and events. Plus, it’s got a direct link to ThinkGeek.com, which is always nice to have when that Linux shirt begins to fray and you need to buy another.

CraigsList

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like craigslist.org. The stripped-down, modest site has actually been gaining steam in the past four years, quietly stealing classified advertisers from local newspapers. Their loss is your gain.

The site doesn’t have the amount of listings that something like Monster boasts, but it has a devoted following of like-minded individuals. It’s easier to connect, be casual, and hang out online with craigslist folks, and that can be a nice way to find out about jobs. Heck, you can even find out about local events, sell your guitar, and arrange a few dinner dates. Now, there’s a useful site.

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