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Internet simplifies job hunt

February 17, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

Internet simplifies job hunt

MONT ALTO, Pa. - Until a couple of years ago, finding a job could be a long, tedious process. Today, the Internet is changing the way people find work.

"You had to write a letter of application, put together a resume, find the names and addresses of potential employers, send the letter and resume, then wait for an answer," said Jerome Curry, an English professor at Penn State Mont Alto who specializes in business writing. "It was effective, but time-consuming."

Curry, 56, teaches business and technical writing - the skills his students will need when they graduate and go to work - with a focus on how to find jobs.

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The Internet plays an ever- increasing role in his instruction.

"There are literally hundreds of thousands of jobs posted every day on the Internet," Curry said. "Almost anyone can find jobs in any profession. The Internet shows that the job market in many fields is not tight, especially if someone is willing to relocate."

On his laptop computer, he pulled up examples of thousands of job listings, including one Web site that offers 243,558 jobs listed in 41 major U.S. newspapers.

"You don't even have to buy the paper," he said.

Curry said his students are learning how to use the Internet.

"When they graduate and look for a job, they'll know how," he said.

Curry's students will be able to e-mail cover letters and resumes to many potential employers at the same time and get a jump on those who are still applying by regular mail.

"My students seem to be more interested in this than anything else I teach because they all know they have to find a job someday," he said.

Linda Monn, 41, one of Curry's students, said she will seek her next job on the Internet.

"All the jobs I've had I've gotten through a traditional job search. I never realized how much easier this is or how many jobs are available. It's better for businesses too because it's more interactive. When you find a job that interests you, you can go to that company's home page and learn about it," Monn said.

Curry grew up in Allentown, Pa., earned a bachelor's degree in English at LaSalle University in Philadelphia and a master's degree in English from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. He has been teaching at the Mont Alto campus for 31 years. He lives in Fayetteville, Pa.

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