The 10 best websites to find jobs

Tips and Tricks for Online Job Searching

In our transaction-based, search-oriented society, it's no surprise that the first thing you're likely to do when looking for a new job is find and respond to online job advertisements.

After all, shouldn't it be as easy as typing a few search terms that describe what you are looking for in a new position; convincing yourself that you would just love a chance to do whatever might pop up in your search results; applying and interviewing; and starting your new job a week later? Dream on!

It takes some time to sort out which posted positions are best suited for you, and you can't just rely on the job title, location or employer rating.

As human resources thought leader John Sullivan argues on the ERE Media website: "As a result of not actually spending the necessary time reviewing and side-by-side comparing the requirements to their own qualifications, job applicants end up applying for many jobs where they have no chance of being selected." When you apply to anything and everything, it shouldn't come as a surprise when you wind up with nothing!

You should, however, spend time – as a first step – checking what jobs are out there. Then use the information you gain to research companies, talk to people you know who work in those places and network your way into the position for which you represent a truly strong fit.

There are a myriad of places where jobs are advertised online, but consider these as a start:

1. Company websites:Virtually every company has a section on its site for employer branding (telling you what a great place it is to work for and why) and specific jobs it is seeking to fill. Typically, they encourage you to apply directly online.

What companies don't necessarily say is that this part of their site either takes you outside the site or to a page that its applicant tracking system vendor mocked up to look like the company site.

Even if your application is coming through an employee referral or your own direct networking into the company, you'll likely need to apply online at some point in the process. This step helps human resources track and stay on top of all applicants and demonstrate nondiscriminatory hiring if the company is audited by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

2. Traditional Job Boards:In the early days of the Internet, there were lots of job boards, but they've since been merged and otherwise winnowed down. The two giants remain CareerBuilder and Monster.

3. Specialty Job Boards:There are many niche job boards tailored to serve only a single industry, skill set or professional group. A few examples: Medzilla for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries; CollegeRecruiter for recent grads looking for entry-level positions; and Dice for IT and software engineering positions. Also, DiversityJobs focuses on positions for minority groups. The list goes on and on!

4. Professional Organization Sites:Many professional organizations host their own job boards for the exclusive use of their members. Examples include the American Institute of CPAs and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). And there are many more!

5. LinkedIn:One could legitimately include LinkedIn's main Jobs tab among the giants, given that any recruiter or company can pay to list a job they are seeking to fill. Yet, LinkedIn goes beyond job-searching functions with its social features that enable you to see which of your connections works at target companies.

LinkedIn also offers jobs in each of its Groups, and those postings can only be seen by Group members. This thereby allows employers to limit the likely number of spurious applicants.

6. Aggregators:Sites such as Indeed and SimplyHired provide employer- and recruiter-paid ads, but they also go well beyond by scraping the Internet and reposting millions of jobs they find on all kinds of sites.

A search on either of these sites will provide you with ads from all over, which saves you time. But the downside is that these sites often don't take jobs down once they are filled. (Once I found a job that had been filled more than five years ago.)

7. Google and Yahoo Groups:Both Google and Yahoo have their own groups. You can often find a group dedicated to your area of interest or geography with positions listed.

8. Facebook: Facebook recently announced that it has indexed 2 trillion prior public posts and made them searchable by anyone. While this function is likely to raise some controversy and privacy concerns, it will have a myriad of uses, including those for job hunters.

9. College Alumni Groups:In order to retain the loyalty of alumni and entice prospective students, most colleges offer career service help of one sort or another to alumni. Often, this includes an online listing of job vacancies.

10. Twitter:One of the most overlooked but right-in-front-of-you sites for job postings is Twitter. Companies and recruiters often tweet out their most recent or challenging jobs to fill, along with links to full descriptions and instructions for how to apply. Applications like Tweetmyjobs send alerts to you when you sign up and tell it what you're interested in receiving.

Remember: Your real work as a job hunter, however, lies not in just finding the position of your dreams, but dramatically increasing your chances of success by networking your way into your target company, armed with the knowledge that a potential good fit is in the offing.

Happy hunting!

Arnie Fertig, MPA, is passionate about helping his Jobhuntercoach clients advance their careers by transforming frantic "I'll apply to anything" searches into focused hunts for "great fit" opportunities. He brings to each client the extensive knowledge he gained when working in HR staffing and managing his boutique recruiting firm.

Copyright 2015 U.S. News & World Report

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