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Use summer to assess options

( -- Summer vacation is a good time to forget about work -- your current work, that is. While you're sipping a daiquiri by the pool, let your mind explore employment dreams and suppressed ambitions. You may even be tempted to pick up a local or national newspaper to peruse "what's out there" in your field.

But a more efficient way of exploring career options is through online employment databases.

Never before has so much information about professional opportunities, salaries, job specifications, and company cultures been available in one place. Not sure that your salary is on par with industry standards? Search on your job characteristics and find out what companies are offering. At the very least, you may gain some negotiating leverage with your boss.

Internet employment sites not only offer one-stop shopping for a wealth of employment information, but many also provide an array of tools to help you organize and manage your job search. For example, CareerBuilder provides an account page that lets job seekers understand how many companies and recruiters are reading their resume. Another feature returns a copy of each email sent in response to a job posting, for record-keeping.

But, you may ask, are the best employers really posting their positions on national Web sites? Absolutely. One hundred percent of employers are expected to use online recruiting by 2001, versus only 11% in 1997, according to Forrester Research. Internet recruiting appeals to companies because it dramatically lowers the cost per hire -- often from many thousands of dollars per employee to several hundred. It also gives employers access to a geographically broad base of active job seekers as well as individuals who are "fishing" for new opportunities.

In fact, many companies are so committed to Internet recruiting that they not only post their positions on sites such as College Central Network, they also use their own web sites to host information for interested or potential employees. Employers from all industries know that the next generation of worker will be more attuned to Internet use and online recruiting than the previous generation was. These employers are expected to increase their Internet recruiting spending from $15 million in 1998 to $1.7 billion in 2003, according to Forrester Research.

The facts and figures indicate that there was a never a better time for online job hunting than today. With the very low unemployment rates, recruiters are more than ever reaching out to potential employees in competitive fields. So, browsing the Internet for career options may be a productive way to spend lazy summer days. Who knows, perhaps next year you'll be sipping Dom Perignon by the pool!

(c) 2002

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.