Click on the mouse, land a job

If you can dream it,

you can do it.

AN IMMORTAL quote attributed to Walt Disney. The creator of the world's most famous mouse — Mickey Mouse.

It took one mouse to make one man's dream come true. And it takes a mouse of another kind to make your dream come true. More so if the dream happens to be a dream job. Or even just a job.

The pointing device connected to a computer, commonly referred to as the mouse, is what leads you to a phenomenon that is arguably the most dramatic to have taken place in the job-hunting industry: job portals.

Internet recruitment firms, or job portals, made their appearance in India way back in the 1990s. And today, the industry has undergone a sea change in terms of services offered and effectiveness.

Job portals abound and landing that coveted job and going places is now easier. Without having to, as the portals put it, leaving your desk!

So, what kinds of jobs await you? All kinds, as most portals post jobs from a variety of industries. Advertising and accounting to geology and social services. Full-time, part-time or freelancing. The list of jobs and the types of jobs one can find are, in short, quite long.

According to estimates, the leading portals get an average of over 60,000 postings every month. And industry observers feel that this staggering growth rate of 100 per cent per annum will only make job-hunting simpler and faster.

What is the number of hits on job portals in India? In a recent report, it was mentioned that the number of hits ranges from 26.5 lakh visitors a month on one leading job portal to 55 lakh on another.

In the same report, it was mentioned that the U.S. has the most number of online job seekers. These numbers show the increasing popularity of portals in today's shrinking world. Geographical boundaries belong only to maps.

Imagine sitting here in Bangalore. And trying to know if there are any vacancies for you in a firm in Boston. Or sending your resume to a job consultant in Europe so that it reaches him in an hour. Or perhaps reaching out your resume to a number of job consultants, minus the airmail cost. Or making expensive international calls. You can do all this with help from job portals.

While services offered might vary from portal to portal, the general principles by and large are the same. There are specialised services too, depending on the business model of the job portal, free of cost or otherwise.

How to choose a job portal, how to register? And then what? There are a number of them: Monster.Com, JobsAhead.Com, JobStreet.Com, Naukri.Com and so on. Log on to any of these sites; take a look at the jobs that interest you. And then register yourself by choosing a username and a password. On doing so, you gain access to various sections and services of the portal.

Portals have job listings from a range of categories. And you can search for a job in any category you wish.

This service allows you to post your resume so that job consultants and even employers can view it.

This means, without you having to contact employers or job consultants, people can know about you. And of course, if interested, a job consultant or a corporate would contact you.

Mostly a paid service, this is perhaps a much sought after service. "A resume is something. But the right resume, everything."

Having a resume that reflects your talent and abilities is an important factor. And this service ensures your skill sets, talents and other information that can impact your image in the job market are taken care of by qualified professionals.

Enrolling for this service means your resume is sent to job consultants as and when a job opening matching or demanding your profile arises. Thanks to which, you can get closer to where the action is. And raise your chances of finding the job you want.

Many subscribers to job portals consider this a huge boon. Depending on the preferences you have indicated on registering, in terms of what categories of jobs interest you, regular updates are sent to you by e-mail. And through mobile phones as well, in some cases.

An interview is the last hurdle before landing that dream job and portals help you prepare for it through expert advice and online mock interview sessions. A great help indeed to get over those interview jitters.

Without having to periodically log on to job portals, you can stay updated about all the happenings in the job market and know who's hiring and who's getting hired.

On subscribing, these weekly, fortnightly or sometimes monthly newsletters make sure you are never in the dark.

Some of the other services you get from portals that go a long way in making sure your career goes places are:

Ensuring your resume gets priority in viewing.

Access to databases of leading placement consultants in India and abroad.

Expert columns to help you understand the current trends in terms of skill sets and tips on salary negotiations.

Tips on things that are simple, yet important like dressing up properly for the interview and body language during the interview, not to mention saying the right things.

How long would it take for you to get a new job offer? Or even landing that job you've always dreamt of?

My answer is just this. Dream on. But before that, it doesn't hurt to log on.

RAGHURAM C.S. E-mail: raghu@

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