Put the Internet to Work for You: Search Tips for Job Seekers

Social media and the Internet have completely revolutionized how job seekers find new positions. Today, most job hunts begin with a Google search rather than a scan of the newspaper’s job section. With thousands of online job boards, job aggregators, company career portals and social media options available for job seekers, trying to decide where and how to start your search can be overwhelming. As a trained reference librarian and a research associate at JustinBradley, information retrieval, including finding job openings with potential clients, is my business. In this article, I’ll share some tips and advice for finding job openings online and increasing your visibility as a candidate.

Ready. Set. Go.

Before beginning your job search, you’ll need to update your résumé. Make sure that you clearly and concisely relate your experience, keeping the overall length to one to two pages. This résumé will be the one you upload to job boards and aggregators, use to build social media profiles and more. Of course, you’ll want to tailor your résumé to each position that you apply for. Additionally, make sure that it’s free of spelling and grammatical errors and in a clean, easy-to-read format. Recruiters and HR professionals overwhelmingly prefer a neat, highly readable résumé to one with bells and whistles.

Finding the position you’re looking for on an online job board boils down to efficient information retrieval. Just as a good carpenter wouldn’t start building without a set of blueprints and the right tools, a good online job seeker should have a well thought out plan and a grasp of basic search techniques. Before beginning a search, put together a list of companies you would like to target. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the basic Boolean search operators and timesaving Google search techniques. Both of these will come in handy during your job hunt.

Targeting Your Search

Take your list of target companies and head to their career sites to see what types of positions they’re hiring for, and apply directly. Don’t forget to tailor your resume to that specific position and to mirror the language in the job description! If it’s not apparent where the company’s job listings are, try googling the company name and “jobs” or “careers.”

There are a vast number of job boards out there, but your best bet will likely be a job aggregator. Job aggregators pull job listings from a number of sources, including small and large job boards, company websites, recruiting firms and more. Two of the largest job aggregators are Indeed and Simply Hired, and both are great places to begin your job search. Don’t forget the large job boards, such as Monster and CareerBuilder. They are also excellent places to look for a job.

When starting your search, searching by job title is a good way to begin, but don’t limit yourself to just title. Many companies have very specific titles that might not be picked up with a general search, like “staff accountant.” Additionally, the job duties and skill sets for similarly titled positions may vary greatly by industry. Try searching by individual skills, certifications, software, etc., in addition to job titles.

Work the Web

Many job aggregators and boards, such as Indeed, will allow you to set up job “alerts” based on your search. Whenever new jobs meeting your search criteria are added to the job board, you’ll receive an email with those new listings. These alerts will save you the time of running the same search over, and you will receive fresh listings daily.

In addition to being on job boards, résumé bank sites like Indeed, Monster and Simply Hired are also an important tool in your job search. Employers, staffing agencies and recruiters have subscriptions to these résumé databases. By uploading your résumé to these sites, recruiters and companies hiring will have access to your information.

LinkedIn is the premier site for job seekers and professional networking. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, set one up. If you do have a profile, make sure it’s current and includes all of the information on your updated résumé. Connect with former coworkers, professional colleagues and friends on LinkedIn and let them know you’re looking. Many corporate and agency recruiters will spend their entire day on LinkedIn and having a well-built and informative profile will make you that much easier to find.

Keep At It

Trying to find a new position isn’t always going to be easy, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right off the bat. Keep checking and tinkering with your search alerts, if you aren’t getting the results you want. And, don’t forget to network face to face!

Finding Jobs Not Listed

After reading this article you should be a pro at finding job openings on the Web, but that being said, you can only find what’s posted. Oftentimes recruiters will be aware of, and actively recruiting for, positions that aren’t advertised on their clients’ or their staffing firm’s websites. Having an active relationship with a recruiter will open doors to new opportunities that you might not find otherwise. Additionally, working with a recruiter is often the best way to skip a company’s applicant database and land your résumé right on the hiring manager’s desk!

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