Stuff to Sell, Places to Work: Online Classifieds

I recently tried to sell a couple of our used cars through the classified advertising of a local newspaper. The advertisement ran for a week, including the online classified section, and we had some lookers but no takers. As time ran out on the newspaper ad, I received a telephone call on our answering machine from an online advertiser. He claimed his service would guarantee the sale of our cars"or your money back." It sounded too good to be true and it probably was. I never called him back.

This wasn’t my first experience with online advertising. More than two years ago, we decided to sell our monastery in Massachusetts and move to Florida. At first, we tried to sell it without a Realtor. I went online and submitted an advertisement to a number of online sites. I paid for some of them. I didn’t receive any inquiries at all. Of course, selling a monastery could be considered a unique real estate situation.

We did eventually sell the monastery, with the help of a Realtor from Century 21. Besides whatever advertising they did, he got our monastery listed at Realtor.com, a popular site for real estate only open to Realtors for listings. Even then, the sale of our monastery had nothing to do with the online listing.

I have almost never used the classifieds online. The only time I looked at them was when we were looking at houses in Florida using Realtor.com. I found a few houses that could work for us. It gave me a starting point. But, even then, I eventually went with a local Realtor who found us an ideal piece of land to build on.

So why are online classifieds effective? I don’t know. But, according to Christopher Saunders, author of an Internetnews.com article titled "Study: Classifieds to Drive Internet Ad Growth," apparently companies are saying Yes to online classifieds. Jupiter Media Metrix, a New York based researcher, spending on online classified advertising grew 38% from 2001, rising to $1.2 billion this year. "By 2007," he adds, "that figure will almost double to $2.3 billionmaking it the Web ad industry’s fastest growing segment.

There is one particular type of classified ad that might be helpful during this time of ever-increasing unemploymentjob listings. During the mid-1990’s, online job listing concentrated mainly on professional and salaried jobs. This was because research showed then that few hourly and skilled workers used the Internet to find work. But this has changed. Surfing the Web has spread from a select few to the masses. Bruce Murray, a veteran of newspaper classifieds publishing and CEO of Corzen, a recruiting and consulting firm, says that in any sample market research they have done across the country, more than 50% of the total jobs available are unskilled and hourly wage jobs. Both the accessibility of the Internet to the masses and the types of jobs currently available have led the job-listing sites to consider advertising hourly and skilled-worker jobs.

Monster.com, a help-wanted-ad site, claims to list more than 800,000 U.S. jobs. One can search open positions, post a resume, get resume-writing help and obtain salary data. The site also has a link awarding $100 for the referral of a medical professional. I decided to try the "Search Job" option. "Restaurant and Food Service" under the "Job Category" seemed like a good option for hourly work. I searched for this type of job in the Tampa, Fla., area. Most of the jobs that came up from the search were for restaurant managers. Definitely not an entry-level type of job.

So I went over to career-builder.com, which has similar options, for its job listings. Matt Ferguson, chief operating officer of this site, claims that there are a huge number of food-service jobs. I typed in the same criteria as I had in Monster.com and came up with half the job listings, but some unskilled jobs like "Banquet Server." Next, I tried my luck with Yahoo’s HotJobs at hotjobs.yahoo.com. The results were similar to those at Monster.comalmost all "hits" pertained to restaurant management. I guess busboys just aren’t needed anymore.

Finally, I went over to the New York Times’ "Job Market" link on the top-left column of its opening page. I tried the Accomodation/Food Services category without specifying the location. I found 70 jobs of the 4,000 they list. Of these, I found more varietyopenings for cooks, chefs and even a coat checker. It seems that for now, online newspaper classifieds will get you more opportunities for hourly work than the big job sites.

Don’t limit your employment opportunities to secular sites. Employment opportunities can be found on some online editions of diocesan and national Catholic newspapers and magazines in their classified sections. Some diocesan Web sites have a human-resources section. You might even find a job opening on your local parish’s Web site. I was thinking that perhaps somebody might have started a Catholic jobs Web site, so I took a stab in the dark with Catholicjobs.com. I came up on an almost blank page that said, "Coming soon … catholicjobs.com: Where Catholics find jobs." Well, I guess we will just have to wait and see. (Note: It is now online.)

Consider working for the Churchthe pay may not be great, but the retirement benefits are heavenly!

Monthly Web Pics

This month let’s look at the Bible online.

Catholicfirst.com has a link to the Douay-Rheims Bible and a biblical search engine as well for this version.

Looking for a different version of the Bible? Head over to the bishops’ site for the New American Bible at nccbuscc.org/nab/bible.

St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Picayune, Miss., has an online Bible study based on the Liturgical Calendar at scborromeo.org/bible.htm.

A Catholic quick-reference doctrinal concordance can be found at infpage.com/concordance. It is not a comprehensive concordance, but it is helpful in researching aspects of the faith on which Catholics and other Christians disagree. It’s available in French and Spanish, also.

It’s always a good idea to check with the Catechism of the Catholic Church on sacred Scripture at scborromeo.org/ccc/p1c2a3.htm. I would recommend reading the whole section on Divine Revelation beginning at scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a1.htm.

There are many more links concerning various biblical topics found in my online directory Bible category.

Brother John Raymond welcomes
e-mail at john@aplusconsultingnow.com.

He is author of Catholics on the Internet: 2000-2001,
Webmaster of www.monkofadoration.org