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advice job search

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When you’re on the hunt for a job, it can be hard to know where to look. You can almost feel afraid to start looking because the second you type in “Jobs for fill in field here” you know you’re going to get flooded with spam pop-ups and messages about jobs that aren’t real. Or job sites that are predatory. How did they even get your contact information?

Looking for a job can be a full-time job – in fact, it has to be if you want results soon – so it can be frustrating to feel that you’re traveling down a dead-end road. And that’s what can happen often. You take so much time creating a profile for a job listing site, then after weeks, realize that they don’t get listings. Or they don’t get good listings. Or they get the same listings that pop up on Craigslist, so were they really as exclusive as they said they were?

Then there’s the dreaded issue of paying for job listing sites. When is it worth it? When you’re looking for a job, you’re not exactly in a position to throw around money. You understand needing to invest in your career. And many predatory job sites both know that, and prey on that mentality, using terminology like, “Doesn’t finding the right job matter to you?” or “How much is your career worth to you?” It could make your skin crawl. So how do you know where to look? We’ve researched some of the top job listing sites out there. Each of these has free membership levels, and most have premium paid levels, should you decide that’s right for you.

advice job search

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Job boards vs job search engines

Before we dive in, it’s important to differentiate between job boards and job search engines. Job search engines pull information from job boards. On a job board, you should find current openings that have been posted either by recruiters or the hiring party. When you find a job listing on a job board, the employer themselves or a recruiter likely posted it, intentionally, on that site. Meanwhile, job search engines search the entire web for keywords to pull those listings, from job boards, and aggregate them all in one place for a job seeker. That’s why they’re often called job search aggregators.

advice job search

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Engines reach far and wide

Job search engines allow job seekers to search hundreds if not thousands of boards in one quick search. However, that’s also why, if you’re seeing a job through a job search engine, there’s a good chance that thousands of others are, too. Once a job search engine becomes aware of a new posting on a board that fits certain keywords in its system, it blasts it out to its thousands of subscribers who have expressed interest in that type of job. Now let’s get into the sites.


What makes it special: GlassDoor is a favorite of both job seekers and recruiters alike. One great feature of GlassDoor is that it shows company reviews, so applicants can get insider insight on what it’s like to work for a company. Employers even have the opportunity to post videos, showcasing a snippet of workplace culture at their company.

Job seekers can filter their search by salary, company size, and location, and set up daily alerts for jobs that might interest them. And you can upload your resume in advance, so you can hit the “Easy Apply” button and apply to an appealing job, in just a few clicks. GlassDoor regularly hosts events and webinars attracting employers, so they can stay in-the-know about who is hiring, and bring some of the top companies to their site.

Linkedin Job Search

What makes it special: Using Linkedin to find jobs is like having cyber referrals attached to your resume. Each time you apply to a job on Linkedin Job Search, the hiring party can see which contacts you have in common. It’s an easy way to show potential employers that you’re already in their network, to some degree, which is a good vouch for you. Because you must be a member of Linkedin to use it, it’s a great networking tool, too. Linkedin will notify you of members you may know, because of shared job history or shared connections, making it easy to start a conversation.

Linkedin makes candidate recommendations to hiring parties, too, searching its database for members with keywords in their profiles that match those on job listings. Linkedin is more than just a place for your resume. Through your profile, you can show a bit of your personality, which is a good way for hiring parties to see if you’re a good match for their company culture.

What makes it special: recently added a virtual interviewing tool that allows employers to screen applicants in a more detailed way, when they’re ready, as well as send messages to applicants. They also just partnered with GlassDoor, so employers can cross-promote their listings on both sites.

What users like about Indeed are the extensive filters. After typing in a few keywords like your preferred job title and location, you can filter further by salary, more specific geographical location, full-time, part-time, and more. If you like the look of a company, clicking on their logo takes you to their company profile on Indeed. There, you’ll find employee reviews of the company and more detailed information about the requirements for their job listing.


What makes it special: Users can request a code from their career center which, once entered into the app, will populate their profile with certain data such as their GPA.

Handshake is specifically designed for college students who will soon be leaving campus and entering the job market. The app connects to college career centers, and mainly lists entry-level positions and internships. Much like other sites, Handshake has users set up a profile with their resume and past experience. They can search the app daily for new listings, or wait for the newsletter to arrive in their inbox, which will detail listings that could be a good match for their profile.


What makes it special: In order for job applicants to understand why SimplyHired is special, they must know how businesses interact with it. SimplyHired makes hiring parties jump through some loops before being allowed to post listings. They must show utility bills, tax registration, and other documents proving their legitimacy. This is excellent for filtering out spam job posters and maximizing listings from legitimate and successful businesses.


On the applicant side, it allows you to search by location, salary, job type, and date added. The listings show up on the left side of the screen, and if one interests you, you can click on it, and a snapshot of important details shows up on the right, like required qualifications and benefits.


What makes it special: One word you’ll see come up often in reviews of CareerBuilder is “active.” While at some sites, it seems like nobody is home and no real humans are behind the engine, CareerBuilder assigns account managers to hiring parties. Hiring parties have reported that their account managers are alerted if a position is taking an unusually long time to be filled, and will reach out to the hiring party, to see how they can improve the process.


On the job applicant end, it allows you to search by the usual filters of location, title, and salary, as well as work-from-home. Hiring parties fill out detailed listings, providing information about the workplace culture, benefits, and job requirements. There’s also a Company Overview tab that gives you a more in-depth look at the company.


What makes it special: Monster has upped their game by adding useful tools to job applicants. Along with well-filtered listings, you can also search for career advice for your specific field of work. It has a Resume Help tab, where you can buy packages that help with your resume, cover letter, and Linkedin profile. Through these packages, a professional resume writer will optimize your resume and profiles to beat the algorithm on popular listings. If you aren’t happy with your results within two months, they’ll re-do your profile for free.


Searching for a job here is similar to other sites. You’ll filter by location, job type, company, and date posted. You can also set up job alerts to have listings delivered to your inbox.


What makes it special: One feature job seekers can appreciate on ZipRecruiter is that they can flag a listing that seems suspicious or predatory, and the ZipRecruiter team can evaluate it for possible removal. Many job listing sites lose users because applicants don’t feel protected against scams, and don’t believe anyone behind the site is scanning for these.


Another thing users like is that when you apply for a job on ZipRecruiter, you apply through ZipRecruiter. You are not re-routed to the original hiring party’s site. It can all be done through a few clicks on ZipRecruiter.

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