What It Takes To Get Ahead: Online Job Resources Add New Features

Oct. 20, 2003
Several online job boards for engineers, engineering managers, and executives have developed new features on their sites to make it easier to find available jobs. They’re also posting information that’s designed to help applicants nail...

Several online job boards for engineers, engineering managers, and executives have developed new features on their sites to make it easier to find available jobs. They’re also posting information that’s designed to help applicants nail down the job they’re pursuing. The table shows the most popular online job sites.

The IEEE-USA Employment & Careers Services Committee, for example, recently introduced a virtual community where members can network and collaborate with each other on employment and career strategies. This community provides discussion groups, chat rooms, and resource files. Among the resource files are PowerPoint slides and Word documents covering resume writing, networking, interviewing skills, and information on setting fees for consultants.

HotJobs also recently launched new tools to help job seekers and recruiters find each other. One is a "proposed jobs" function, which automatically suggests employment opportunities for job seekers. The results are based on the resume job title and saved job searches on HotJobs initiated by the user. The new "suggested search" feature shows how to broaden job-search queries for available job opportunities if the initial search doesn’t produce results. The feature lists additional search queries and notes the number of jobs associated with each search.

Monster continues to be one of the busiest sites. Allan Hoffman, one of its tech jobs specialists, says the heaviest job listing sectors this year are security, application integration, network hardware, data warehousing, and servers.

Career analysts are reporting a mixed picture for job opportunities. The META Group, a research and consulting firm, says it doesn't anticipate companies hiring large numbers of technical staff. One reason for this, according to META, is that companies will continue to consider global outsourcing as an option.

On the other hand, Robert Half Technology, a major recruitment firm, says that Silicon Valley-based companies have started talking about layoffs in the past tense. This indicates, RHT believes, that more cuts are unlikely. From RHT's perspective, most of the hiring activity in the San Francisco Bay Area is in software development.

"As corporate profits begin to recover, business confidence and investment should follow," says Ellen Stuhlmann, managing director of ExecuNet, a career management and recruiting resource center for executives and recruiters. "Once these pieces are in place, we expect to see the release of pent-up executive demand."

NETSHARE is another online subscription-based job search service for executives in the $100,000-plus range. Others are the American Electronics Association and IEEE, which specialize in listing jobs for their members, and Dice.com, which lists only technical positions.

One of the newest job resources serving high-tech professionals is The Defense Talent Network, an online job board focusing on the defense contracting, aerospace, and homeland security industries. DTN officially went online in July and very quickly posted more than 1100 jobs, some for positions offshore. The site also is somewhat unique in that it has formed partnerships with several industry magazines and conference organizers, who are posting the jobs available through DTN on their Web sites. In addition to its broad military/aerospace service, DTN is adding a feature on its site dedicated to job openings at U.S. government research centers, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Sandia Labs.

"These \[government labs\] have special issues and requirements in hiring and retaining people, especially Ph.Ds," says David Germond, CEO of the DTN.

A recent survey by EPCglobal, which specializes in the engineering and construction industries, suggests that the top priority of engineers when searching for a job is not salary. Out of 736 respondents, almost 60% said it's what the job entails that matters most. Barely 19% were most concerned about the pay. Also, 81% reported they preferred to speak directly with recruitment consultants when looking for job opportunities. About 67% of the respondents reported they had more than 10 years experience.

About the Author

Ron Schneiderman

Ron Schneiderman served as the Chief Editor of Wireless Systems Design and Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF. He is also the author of seven books. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to The New York Times,Rolling Stone,and TV Guide.

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