Taxonomy of Career Sites
According to the news media, there are thousands of online career sites. This can present a dilemma to job seekers who need to determine which career sites can help them in their search for a job. Faced with a multitude of sites all clamoring for their attention, it's easy for job seekers to become frustrated.

So, let's step back and find a different perspective on career sites. Let's define a set of categories, a taxonomy if you will, into which career sites can be organized. This taxonomy will help job seekers makes sense of the many sites that are available.

So, here are some simple categories that can help job seekers find the perspective they need to decide which career sites to use:

Generalist Career Sites: These are sites that serve all types of careers and provide a wide range of services. Their primary focus is typically on computer-related professions, with varying amounts of support for other fields. This is a result of the fact that computer professionals change jobs frequently, and had the knowledge to use the World Wide Web before members of most other professions. This emphasis is beginning to change. Typical examples include and

Niche Sites: This type of site deliberately serves one specific market niche very well, but does not provide services for other career areas. A perfect example is, a well-designed career site for truckers. Another is

Amateur Sites: These are the “get rich quick” sites that typically use the “if you build it, they will come” marketing strategy. These sites usually have an amateur look and feel, are supported by little or no marketing and provide virtually no value to anybody.

Regional Sites: These are sites that have been created to serve a specific geographical region. While these local sites can vary widely in technical scope and usefulness, there can be no doubt that a well-executed regional site can provide significant value for local job seekers.

Online Classifieds: These are sites that provide online classifieds for job seekers. They are typically an adjunct to a newspaper or magazine. The best, like Best Jobs U.S.A., a companion to a national magazine called Employment Review, can provide significant value to job seekers. Sadly, many of these sites provide ample evidence that many print media publishers fundamentally do not understand the interactive nature of the Web.

Counseling Sites: Many career sites focus on career counseling rather than explicitly trying to match up job seekers with employers. These sites can provide an abundance of advice and information to job seekers, but usually don’t provide resume posting or job listing services. An effective site of this nature is the Job Hunter's Bible, sponsored by Richard Nelson Bolles, the world-famous author of What Color is Your Parachute?

Company Sites: Many companies now post jobs listings on their company web site. A few also offer the ability to submit resumes online, or at least provide contact information. Company sites can be useful when the job seeker has some idea already of which companies may be of interest.


David Keener By dkeener on Sunday, June 20, 2010 at 12:44 AM EST

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