Looking for a New Job? Be Prepared to Rely on the Web

With the current economic situation resulting in mass layoffs by some companies, there will be a large influx of qualified people entering the job market. For recruiters and HR personal alike, this comes as a blessing in disguise. With the job market set to become even more competitive, it will be more important than ever for people to not only re-examine their existing web presence, but also to make oneself more visible through self promotion.

In 2002 the PEW Internet Project reported that 52 million Americans used the Internet to search for a job, a 60% increase from 2000. By 2007, that number had nearly doubled with approximately 102 million or 51% of American adults using the Internet to look at job postings. Given a new resource to look at online resumes this behavioral trend has benefited HR Personal and Recruiters as well. With a viable new resource, the implications of online job hunting have meant more than just a decrease in newspaper ads and help wanted signs.

Among the many upsides of online recruitment are cost and reach. An SHRM study noted that the average cost per hire from an Internet recruiting strategy was $377 opposed to $3,295 from a major metro newspaper. With career and social networking sites such as Monster, Careerfinder, and LinkedIn supplying thousands of resumes in any number of occupations, recruiters now have access to a significantly larger pool of qualified candidates to pull from. In an interview with NPR,Maureen Crawford-Hentz of Osram Sylvania noted, "Social networking technology is absolutely the best thing to happen to recruiting -- ever."On Spock, 7% of our daily traffic is from recruiters or employment based searches. With occupation being one of the top tags that people list, it's no wonder that recruiters such as Monique Chin of iVedha have said, "I have to admit I use Spock everyday...for a recruiter competing with larger organizations, your site is an amazing equalizer".

Recruiters aren't the only ones who benefit from this online revolution. For those looking at a career change, social networking and career sites have an open market effect where a potential candidate can explore multiple opportunities.

Along with increased access to resumes, people search tools such as Spock enable recruiters and HR personal to find out additional information about a person. Execunet.com conducted a survey of 100 executive recruiters, noting that 77% used applications such as Spock to learn more about a person and 35% of those had eliminated a candidate based on information uncovered. ExecuNet noted that it has not only become common practice to look up potential employees, but also to search for coworkers. With social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace providing a popular platform for people to post pictures and information, there have been a number of reports advising people to limit their Web presence. Because of those warnings many people now feel an overwhelming need to censor and restrict their Web activity.

While monitoring your Web presence for certain behavior is advised, there is a competing school of thought that increasing your Web presence is not only a good idea but also a necessity. By being on sites such as LinkedIn and Spock, it not only enables you to promote your strengths and interests, but also connect and network with others. As Monster.com notes, promoting your Web presence can help distinguish you from other candidates and give hiring managers insight about your personality. Thus, while you may want to shy away from sharing racy photos of your Bachelorette Party, a blog about fixing antique cars, or old photos from Halloween will often increase your chances of being hired.

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  • Sharon Willemsen

    I completely agree. I actually work at a professional networking site, www.konnects.com and we are seeing a very high demand for members looking for new job oppurtunities.