The prospect of facing your first “real” job search is a daunting one. There’s a lot on the line: your future livelihood, your self-esteem, and, most likely, your financial investment in education or training.
Your first job search takes guts, effort, and stamina. With the current unemployment rate for Americans ages 20-24 at nearly 13% (compared to 7.2% for the total population)*, it’s probably hard to remain optimistic that you’ll land a suitable job within a reasonable time frame. But there’s a great free resource available called jobipedia.org. It’s a website where you can ask questions and get answers from a panel of HR experts at leading companies like Gap, Inc. and American Express.
The HR Policy Association provides the site as a public service to help new entrants to the workforce steer through the tricky waters of today’s job market and workplace. About 10,000 visitors per month browse and search the site’s Q&A database, which contains hundreds of topics such as career planning, interviewing, networking, salaries, and more.
According to Jaime Fall, vice president of workforce and talent development policy for the HR Policy Association, jobipedia.org was developed by students, interns, entry-level employees, and recruiters who were frustrated by the volume of inaccurate information online: “There is no advertising on the site, we collect no data from individuals who submit questions, and we do not sell or distribute personal data. It’s strictly a public service!”
Fall says most questions receive a response within 24 hours. They’re typically related to preparing for a first interview: Will employers really look at my Twitter account and Facebook page? What are the key things to avoid saying or doing during an interview? Questions are also plentiful from newly minted members of the workforce: What's the classiest way to leave a first job? Is it OK to have a drink at a business lunch?
Fall says he hopes visitors take advantage of the site’s additional resources, such as a secure job board WeHireAmerica.jobs, which contains employment opportunities at some of America’s largest companies: “Our member companies post their openings on it, so unlike a lot of other job boards, you don’t have to worry about phishing or scams!”
*Bureau of Labor Statistics: Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey; November 8, 2013