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Sunday, September 24, 2000












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www.coolavenues.com -- How to net a job

Reshma Krishnan

coolavenues.com is yet another in the long list of career websites.

So what makes this one different from other websites such as Jobsdb.com or Naukri.com? One, it packs useful information. It is modelled on a UK-based website, milkround.com, that caters to graduate recruitment in the UK.

Site layout and review: The site is split into eight modules, each catering to a specific area of employment. These are: MBAs, Corporate, Headhunters, Cool resources, Cool corner, Cool test, Netpreneurs and Institutes.

The first, which is probably the better-developed module, caters to the recently-graduated or MBAs-to-be looking at career opportunities in top companies. It allows access to research about companies, careers and recruitment processes. For an MBA student, it details specific company information that will be particularly useful for the interview, such as a company's financial statistics, products and its corporate vision. It also outlines major developments that might have taken place in a target company.

If uncertain about which career path to choose, the website offers various career options such as consulting, investment-backing, and so on. For instance, if interested in consulting, the page will take you through the area of consulting, the skills that are required and the different jobs within that area. It will then connect you to top firms engaged in that business such as Anderson Consulting and to their recruitment processes.

The company research database covers 66 top companies. The difference between using the company's own website and coolavenues research is that this website gives you specific information and you need not waste time going through entire website of a company.

As hiring processes for most top-tier companies are complex, the recruitment process guide in the MBA module is perhaps the most useful. Does the company hold group discussions or written tests? How many preliminary interviews are there and what are the entry-level salaries? How many of the short-listed candidates actually get in? The website attempts to answer these and many other questions.

It can also give an insight into the kind of questions that can be asked during an interview. However, this information is not exhaustive and processes could be changed according to the company's preferences. Therefore, it would be unwise to take the website information as the last word on the subject.

The career resource centre is, of course, an usual feature in any recruitment site. It guides you in preparing resumes, gives the basic Dos and Donts, and provides step-by-step answers to tough questions that figure in any interview.

The website is also e-savvy and caters to the Internet-friendly applicant. Increasingly companies ask candidates to apply online. Online applications can at times be extremely complicated and more often than not applicants have to redo their forms, as they tend to lose them to their computer.

This website explains the nuances of writing an e-resume. It explains technical issues such as ASCII text, where to use a tab bar and when not to leave `space'. It offers tips on writing easy-to-read resumes and how to incorporate details you might otherwise dispense with.

An interesting module is the Netprenuers. It is aimed tat would-be Jeff Besos's, and guides those interested in starting a dotcom company of one's own. The Business Plan section guides you in designing a sound business plan, and also has a pre-formatted plan that you can use. It coaches you on how to market your dotcom, write press releases. In short, it gives you everything you need to market a website successfully.

It outlines what any venture capitalist (VC) might look for in a dotcom business plan and what other forms of financing is available. It gives you a sneak preview of the Indian IPO market and also the legal aspects of owning a site.

It takes a more pragmatic view with `sour dreams', a selection of articles designed to show you the other side of the dotcom business -- the less profitable side that will help you stay in touch with the practicalities of this business.

Another interesting section is ``cool tests'' that allows you to test your logic, career suitability and assertiveness among other things. The website also caters to companies that want to post vacancies online. The section on various educational institutes is yet to start off.

Site ideas: While the site is packed with information, its layout can be confusing, initially. It appears amateurish and the empty Institutes module shows the a lack of professionalism. This slightly questions the site's credibility. The site will do well to incorporate more research into few more companies and details on more types of careers. For now, it limits itself to careers in the top-tier companies and by doing so, reduces its utility and value.


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