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Before you start your Internet job search...

So you're finally convinced the Internet is a pretty hot way to look for a job.

So now what do you do?

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For starters, it helps to know what type of job you're looking for. Try to narrow your search to a specific company, industry, or geographic area.

"My first recommendation is to target your employer of choice," advises Mark Mehler, co-author of CareerXroads, a directory of career Web sites.

He also suggests people look for job sites that have a "push" or "e-mail alert" function.

These sites collect your e-mail address and job preferences (industry, salary, location). As job listings that match your preferences post, the site automatically e-mails you.

It's a pretty easy way to hunt for a job - without really hunting.

Still, there's a lot out there to weed through - 30 million job openings are currently posted on the Internet by some estimates.

"You can waste an incredible amount of time on the Web," says Peter Weddle, an e-cruitment expert. "Take advantage of the homework and research other people have already done."

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Check out these books:

*"CareerXroads," Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler (MMC Group).

*"The Guide to Internet Job Searching," Margaret Riley Dickel, Frances Roehm, and Steve Oserman (VGM Career Horizons).

*"Job Searching Online for Dummies," Pam Dixon and Ray Marcy (IDG Books Worldwide).

One more tip: Set up a separate e-mail address just for job hunting. That way electronic replies from companies won't get lost in the Internet shuffle.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society