Finding job opportunities without using online resources has become like trying to ride a unicycle; it can be done, but not as easily. As with so much else in today’s world, the internet has become an indispensable component of a multi-pronged approach to your job search. Don’t just use the internet to look for job posting ads; use available resources to research employers, the job market, industries, and more.

According to the 2012 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report from ExecuNet, up to 71% of GenX executives are using online profiles that contain searchable keywords to make it easier for others to find them. A study by CareerXroads found that nearly 1/3 of all new hires came through the internet.

Internet resources include the obvious places for job opportunities ( to some you may not have thought about:

  • Specialized job boards such as trade association websites
  • Social media such as Linked In, Google+, and Twitter
  • Company and regional research sources such as Chambers of Commerce and Hoover’s Online

The proliferation of online resources to help job seekers to find job opportunities, including those at the executive level is too broad and varied to go into in this article. But you don’t need to try to use every resource to create an online presence and find that dream job. You just need to select the right ones that have the potential for the highest impact and return for the amount of time you spend learning them and using them.

Social Media: Linked In

The most used and most well-known tool for executive recruiting and finding job opportunities is Linked In, a social media site that has all members from all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies. At the very least, you need to set up a free account and fill out your professional profile. This allows you to start networking with others and makes it possible for others, such as recruiters, to find you. In fact, recruiters found 57% of executive candidates through word of mouth, much of which takes place on sites like LinkedIn.

Your profile will be a type of online resume that can be updated as often as you need and serves as a microsite for your personal brand. You can also join various professional Linked In groups that pertain to your line of work. Another part of Linked In gives you the chance to show your industry knowledge by answering questions posted by other members.

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Job Boards: Trade Association Websites

Most of you are familiar with the large, multidisciplinary job boards for finding job opportunities like CareerBuilder, but don’t neglect those that are tied more closely to your areas of expertise. Trade associations, alumni groups, and other groups of like-minded people often create job boards on their websites. Not only are these sites valuable for keeping up with news and education for your industry, the jobs posted are more likely to match your skills plus afford you the opportunity to learn new ones and find new networking partners, all on the same site.

Company Research: Hoover’s Online

Large job boards like carry a large number of job listings but are actually more useful as resources to research companies that are hiring for your skills. To dig even deeper into a company’s business, Hoover’s Online and similar databases have information about companies within various industries including their financial growth and the products or services they specialize in.

If you are targeting a specific city or region, accessing the websites of the local Chambers of Commerce can guide you to the local business and jobs scene.

These research tools will get you started. As you look online for job opportunities, you will start to determine which resources are authoritative and trustworthy and where you can more easily be found by those who are hiring.