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This article was prepared for the January 23, 2002 edition of U.S.
1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Fitting the Internet into a Job Search
Some eight years ago, Mark Mehler had an idea.
He and his friend, Gerry Crispin, central New Jersey HR
both, "saw the Internet coming," and decided to catalog and
evaluate career and job hunting resources on the then-infant research
In 1994 they found 300 sites. Talking about their search results at
a conference in 1996, they were told "`if you have a book, we’ll
"A light bulb went off," says Mehler. He and Crispin, by then
partners in the site-hunting enterprise, found a little publisher
in Trenton to print CareerXroads: the Directory to Job, Resume, and
Career Management Sites on the Web." With the book published by the
now-defunct Trenton publisher, the pair went to a publishers
Six publishers were interested. "Two took limos out to New
says Mehler, a South Brunswick resident. But they could have saved
themselves the trip. "We told them, if you bring the standard
contract, don’t bother," Mehler recalls. A typical book contract,
he says, pays the author 80 cents for every book sold. Since the
book published in the U.S. sells 3,000 copies, that was not the
he and his partner were looking for.
A standard contract was indeed what Mehler and Crispin were offered,
so, after researching the publishing industry, they decided to go
their own way, self-publishing and handling their own promotion and
distribution contracts. The book, they decided, would be a springboard
to a business. And that is how it has worked out.
In addition to selling tens of thousands of copies of CareerXroads
— through book stores like Barnes & Noble and on their website
(www.careerxroads.com) — the two men consult on Internet
to corporations, write on the subject, and make about 100 speeches
Mehler gives one of those talks, "The Internet for
on Tuesday, February 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Princeton Public Library.
For more information on the free event, call 609-924-9529.
Before starting CareerXroads, Mehler worked in human resources for
Webcraft in North Brunswick. During his tenure there, he worked for
six presidents. "As I hit 40, I decided I didn’t want to break
in the seventh," he says. He left to start consulting, but was
particular about his clients. They had to have high-speed Internet,
a rarity back in the early-’90s. He worked as an independent
for Johnson & Johnson, a division of General Electric, and Martin
Marietta, working out deals where he did their work during the day,
and came back at night to work on CareerXroads over their fast
Four years ago, Mehler made CareerXroads his full-time job. Crispin,
formerly a vice president at Shaker Advertising in East Brunswick,
came onboard full time two-and-a-half years ago.
Early on Mehler, a computer neophyte, turned to his older daughter,
Lauren, for instruction. Lauren, 12-years-old at the time, is now
a sophomore at Rutgers, where she is deciding whether to major in
journalism, political science — or maybe both. She also
a column to Dow Jones CareerJournal. Mehler’s younger daughter, Dara,
logs a lot of computer time too, but, also interested in athletics,
she doesn’t let the Internet dominate her days.
Despite all the job hunting resources on the Internet, Mehler says
job seekers would do well to emulate Dara’s relative detachment from
number seven, Mehler and Crispin found 4,000 Internet sites devoted
to job postings, resumes, and career management. Some job seekers
spend their days on these sites. Big mistake. Conduct no more than
one-third of a job search on the Internet, says Mehler. It’s a fine
resource, but doesn’t replace more old-fashioned methods like
pin in their hometowns, and then draw a circle to delineated the
they are willing to commute. The next step is to identify companies
within that area, and go to their websites. "Four hundred and
ninety-six of the Fortune 500 companies have websites," says
pausing to wonder why anyone would want to work for any of the four
not on the list. All but 36 of those companies post jobs on the sites.
A recent survey indicates that the second largest number of new
get their jobs through those postings. (Employee referrals is number
500 job search sites, but Mehler doesn’t expect that anyone will use
them all. Job seekers need to be selective, focusing on the sites
that match their target industry, experience level, and geographic
preferences. Picking just one site isn’t a good idea, but bouncing
around trying to register on every one isn’t good either. Concentrate
on five or six that are the best fit, advises Mehler.
through the jobs section of company websites, even if you don’t see
a job that suits you. Companies file the resumes, says Mehler, and
keep them around for a year, making it possible that candidates will
get a call if a good fit comes up.
Posting resumes on general job sites may not be a good idea for
workers. It is all too easy for employers to find out about the job
search. Instead, just list skills and an E-mail address on the sites,
and let them send notices of job openings to you.
to identify good job openings, work hard at finding someone within
the company to "walk your resume in," says Mehler. Network.
Ask friends if they know anyone at the company. A resume that is
by an employee "separates you from thousands of other
this advice particularly important now. While this climate is better
for employers with spots to fill than it is for job seekers —
an abrupt shift from just a year or so ago — Mehler says his
which has freed him from job searching, probably forever, does well
either way. In a booming economy, corporations make heavier use of
his services, including a database of all the Internet sites he
not just the 500 in his book. But in this economy, it is job seekers
who are turning to CareerXroads looking for all the help they can
get in identifying good employment prospects.
Nancy Glazer, a test developer with Educational
Service, has recruited volunteer drivers on the Rosedale Road
to help the Road to Recovery program devised by the American Cancer
Society office on Route 1 in North Brunswick. Volunteers use their
own vehicles and receive training on how to transport patients.
Under ETS’ Community Works program, ETS pays the employees for
service on company time, up to seven hours annually, but the Road
to Recovery volunteers go beyond that. Twenty volunteers have been
trained but many more volunteers are needed. To be a driver volunteer,
or to coordinate volunteers from your firm, call 800-ACS-2345 or
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