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Job Search Web Sites Seeing Record Traffic

By CityTownInfo.com Staff

March 13, 2009

With unemployment rising to 8.1 percent nationwide, career web sites are becoming increasingly popular as users desperately seek work.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that there are an estimated 40,000 job boards online, and according to comScore Media Metrix, traffic at job search sites was 51 percent higher in January than the year before. The top job search sites listed in order of popularity included CareerBuilder, Monster, Yahoo HotJobs, Indeed and SimplyHired. There are also smaller, specialized sites such as SnagAJob, which lists hourly work; IntelligenceCareers, which requires security clearances; and Dice, which focuses on technology.

Dan Dalton, who was laid off six months ago from a California fuel cell company, checks nearly a dozen online job sites daily. He told the Chronicle that he has set up alerts that automatically inform him about job leads within 20 miles of his home while also keeping track of companies which receive venture capital funding-a sign they may soon start hiring.

PC Magazine lists 20 best job search web sites, including TweetMyJobs, which supplies Twitter users with instantaneous job listings and USAJobs-the official job site for the U.S. government. "There's a silver lining for those looking for new employment," notes the article. "There are more resources than ever to help job seekers find work."

The Star-Ledger in New Jersey reports on job seekers who seek help from job search sites for a fee. Yoni Mozeson, a marketing executive who was recently laid off, related how he decided to pay to use TopJobLeads, which lists the phone numbers of hiring managers. He also paid $30 for a one-month subscription to TheLadders, a web site which lists jobs paying $100,000 or more.

Marc Cenedella, chief executive of TheLadders, noted that its number of subscribers jumped 63 percent this past year to 2.7 million nationwide. "This year," he said, "we're seeing a huge influx of job seekers."

Some career counselors are not convinced that paying for job leads is a worthwhile trend. "I would be less interested and less inclined to consider a candidate who came from a career consulting firm," said Richard White, director of Career Services at Rutgers University, who was quoted in the Star-Ledger. "Most employers tend to hire through personal referrals."

But some job seekers argue that they lack the necessary connections to secure a job on their own. "Paying for this service would do much more for my job search because they have contacts in the industry that I don't have," said Barry Miller, an unemployed attorney who purchased eight job leads from TopJobLeads.

Finally, Florida's News-Journal Online [from an article originally located at http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/Business/Headlines/bizBIZ02031209.htm] offers advice from a completely opposite perspective, arguing that sometimes the best way to land a job is by avoiding the computer entirely: Bill Belknap of The Five O'Clock Club, a New York-based career coaching network, suggests sending a resume by snail mail accompanied by a hand-written cover letter.

It will get attention, Belknap points out, because most job seekers now submit credentials online.

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