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However, before you go off and sign up with them, you should think about the analogy to dating. As most of you have learned from Dave Jensen's columns, a headhunter is a person who is hired by companies to find good people.

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In the case of personal ads, you only have to go out on one date to see if the person is a possibility.

But, as they say, you have to kiss a lot of toads before you find a prince. Although a résumé bank may hook you up with a potential employer, you still have to go through some careful research to find out if the opportunity and the organization is right for you.

If you are in a hot field with great potential for work in industry, a headhunter may end up finding you!

But if you are looking to make a major career move or are in a field where the job market is not so hot, it may be hard to find a headhunter who is interested. Employment services are firms that help job seekers find placements.

Their services are usually paid for by the job seeker or, in some cases, by a company that is downsizing and wants to help its outcasts find employment elsewhere.

Like dating services, employment agencies help clients determine what sort of job they might be attracted to.

Second, we have been trained in an environment in which most selection processes are highly organized and regulated. Your information was tabulated and compared to a host of other applicants. In a very orderly and analytical way, the selection process was made. Science might suit us well because it is a career in which accomplishments, and not personality, are of highest importance.

We have come to expect that all selection processes will be run in a similar, meritocratic manner. Many careers in the outside world require strong social skills, and we can feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar terrain. Like the world of dating, the world of job hunting is populated by a number of people who make a business out of helping others.

If you want an entry-level job in those areas, have all the right skills, and don't care with whom or where you work, then a résumé database might be a suitable tool for you.

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