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Looking at online career counsel.

Spring is upon us, and with the changing seasons you may be thinking of making a career change. In past articles, we’ve talked about creating your resume, learning how to network, finding training to enhance your skills. You’ve met a few people through networking, but you know that other sources will be needed to expand your job search.

The Internet is a great resource to find jobs. Did you know that two of the main reasons many people use the Internet is to find health information and to look for job openings? When looking for computer job sites on Google, almost 74 million sites appear. So with so much to choose from, and a desire to use your time wisely, what are some of the better sites to visit?

According to Pam Dixon, author of “Job Searching Online for Dummies,” online job seekers should be cautious of a few things before diving into the sea of job sites. She recommends being careful not to give out your private information (Social Security number, date of birth, race, or any other private information) to Web sites that require you to register before having access to the job ads.

Also, you should never give your credit card information, driver’s license number, or bank account information to access employment information, since some fake job postings will ask for this information as part of having you apply for the job they have posted. See The World Privacy Forumfor more information on how to avoid falling prey to online job scams.

According to the Riley Guide, some sites are worth your attention as an IT professional. A few popular IT niche sites include: The site is divided into geographic and skill areas to make it easier for you to target the opportunities that interest you, but keyword searching is also possible. : This is a good site to search for IT contract positions. For software professionals, this is a great niche site. A job site for those with enterprise resource management skills. Jobs posted from ComputerWorld, Network World, and InfoWorld. : For those who live in or are interested in relocating to Canada. A long-established job site for IT professionals. : This site has job postings directly from employers.

Before searching online, consider how long you want to spend on researching and finding jobs you are interested in. This will help keep you focused. Give yourself a certain amount of time per day to conduct online job searches. Set goals as you go online. For example, promise yourself that you’ll identify 10 jobs per day that or worth applying for, or that you’ll visit five job boards per day.

Not only does this set a goal, but it should give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day to know that you are moving yourself closer to your career goals. At the same time, be a bit choosy; job postings abound online, and becoming overwhelmed is a possibility.

Remember that online is also a great place to research particular companies that interest you. Attempt to obtain names within companies of folks who can put you in touch with hiring managers within your department of interest. Look at press releases, investor relations information, “about us” pages, management team lists, and so on.

When attempting to forward your resume directly to the hiring manager, sites like The Ultimates–which uses the “ultimate e-mail directory” as an e-mail finding sleuth–can be helpful in finding e-mail addresses, but remember you must have a name to search for. Peruse these sites carefully, and learn as much about the company as possible. The information you learn can help you build your contact list, but also it will be invaluable during your interview.

Remember be persistent, and don’t give up. Through tenacity and some insider tips, you can be successful in your job search.

Felicia H. Vaughn, M.Ed. ([email protected], is a certified career management coach. She works as a career consultant for REA Career Services Inc. and is COO of VaughnElite Corp.

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