About 18 months ago I set up a site to help some good friends who lost their jobs in a layoff at my employer. I had worked in a previous life in career search and thought maybe I could help them by putting together a regularly updated list of companies with direct links into their career pages. Just as a private joke with them, I built a fake company shell around the career sites page.
While my friends have found jobs since, a lot of other people and even Search firms are visiting regularly and telling me they depend on the site as part of their ongoing search. So what I want to do is spawn this page into a separate site featuring links to companies in North Florida to help people help themselves in finding jobs.
Re this project, I want to do it in a way that looks more professional, works better for my visitors, and is easier for me to run, maintain, and update with new career links.
The ISP hosting the site uses APACHE and LINUX and supports MySQL and PHP. They have also installed Chilisoft ASP if ASP services are required.
NOTE: I am not adverse to changing hosts to a Windows based service provider. I want whatever is best for my goals for the site and my abilities to adminiister it. I would consider a hosting deal through a web designer so long as thhe site is fast, secure, and doesn't subject me to down-time.
Looking at the current site page may help: [url removed, login to view]
I'd as soon have it stay at a single page, maybe with one additional style page that I can use to do an "about us," success case studies, etc.. I'm doing none of that right now. As you can see, the page is very flat and static and not as professional looking as I'd like it to be, but it's about as good as I could do myself.
I enter new companies manually and visitors choose them manually. There is no search capability. To illustrate jobs these companies have open, I use the links myself and update each listing manually. There's not even really a set style sheet to the page to keep me consistent with fonts, etc.
Working a full time job in Marketing, I'd like to make the site easier for me to run and for visitors to use. Here are some of the things I'd like to do:
1. With over 175 listings, the page is getting too long. Would there be a way to set the page and the table(s) to a certain length but have the rows able to scroll?
2. At the top of the table, have an A-Z alphabet that someone could click in on to get to a specific company name quicker
3. Could tables tie in to a database where I could catalogue date, job title, short descriptor such that I could start building a user searchable record for each company?
4. I'd like a user to be able to search companies by category and search jobs by title listings (possibly date range too)
5. Re the same database, I'd like to enable a form that could be filled out by myself or a user to add their company name, product/service, and link to their HR web site. As web Admin, I would then okay, edit or delete - unless it was a trusted customer I could give the right for an immediate posting.
6. Could such an approved entry then automatically populate the web page itself ? That would be incredible
7. I'd want it to date every new and updated entry on the page . I'd prefer it put a "NEW" icon next to any item added or updated within a week of it's entry.
8. I'd like to be able to capture email addresses for an opt-in/opt-out newsletter.
9. I'd like a good guest book script that people can read and post comments to
10. I'd like a survey tool script that would allow me to easily survey and post results
11. I'd like to include either a blog or some form of threading message forum that anyone could contribute to re career search.
12. I would like to be able to accept credit card or PayPal payments for either banner advertising or other services
13. I'd like a chat function down the road
Re the design and look of the page, I can either secure a template you'd work from or I can point you to site design styles I like and ask you to be creative in designing a site that would be professional, stylish, clean and elegant. I'd like a site that feels clean and open. Considering my early focus is the First Coast of Florida, I'm not opposed to ideas combining business images with beach and sailing themes - jobs being where you live and a part of your life..
I am concerned about cost, of course. As this has to date been a "no profit" venture and strictly a community service and personal passion, funds are out of my own pocket and more limited than I'd like, but I am realistic in understanding that some items on the list could be phased in over time. While I'd like to move on this pretty quickly, I can wait for the quality I want.
I am not adverse to using existing scripts and/or 3rd party solutions that will work to meet my need. I can also wait onn deploying some of the "nice to haves" on my list (chat function, for example)
In a nutshell, I'd want something that looks totally professional but has the human touch. Not cartoony. Not blocky and simplistic. Not overly busy. I want friendly, knowledgable, professional, community minded, intelligent and stylish. I don't want a Flash site. I would like a top of page flash mast head that is subtle, not obnoxious. I want the look of the site to build trust and convey my underlying message of wanting to give people these tools to help themselves. Can anyone out there help me share that vision and upgrade my site so that it can more powerfully deliver?
I want to communicate with people needing help. Working 15 years in employment consulting left a mark, I guess. I'd appreciate any sincere responses that can approach this project with some passion. While my funds are limited, I am not adverse to getting creative with compensation, bartering my marketing and writing skills, serving as a case referral site, etc.
Please provide links to your own site and any examples of your work.
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