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      How effective is job hunting online?

      It can be a challenge to find a job in today's economy, but more and more people are turning to online job hunting to make their resume visible to potential employers.

      Michigan Works offers online access at their service centers for no charge to members. It takes about five minutes to sign up and costs nothing to register.

      Officials say there are currently 185 positions open in the six counties of the central U.P.

      Rock resident, Mike Ahlgren, is back in the U.P after his Colorado employer outsourced internationally and left him without a job. Since June, he's applied to 225 engineering and management jobs.

      I was getting discouraged by virtue of the number of applications and resumes that I put out, said Ahlgren. And I thought, wow, is it just me?"

      Officials at the Michigan Works Service Center in Escanaba say the first step is to create an online profile. And it's critical that you update your resume every 30 days on the job portal.

      Don't narrow yourself by using specific job title keywords, as those can get filtered out if they're not a direct match.

      The key is to work smart.

      What happens is you're saving time and disruption from the business owner, as well as being more effective, explains Michigan Works HR Specialist, Laurie Sovey. And you can really look at what your skill sets are and do a lot of matching rather than driving from place to place."

      But what do employers think of people who apply online?

      We really prefer to receive them electronically, said VanAire CEO, Bill VanDeVusse, "because so many positions we have now, people need to be tech-savvy and be able to fulfill the responsibility of the position."

      Laurie Sovey adds that the chances of getting a job increase with multiple profiles posted at different websites. But you never want to get caught off-guard when you get a reply. So don't forget to maintain a record of when and where you've applied and what position it was.

      Posted below are some of the job search sites utilized by members of Michigan Works: