The days of pounding-the-pavement, resume-in-hand, knocking-on-doors, please-sir-may-I-have-a-job days are over and done. As with everything else, technology has forever changed the way we search for jobs, as well as the way employers look for job candidates. Today’s generation will probably never know the “joys” of slogging through traffic to search for the perfect job; they’ll simply flip the switch on the computer and begin combing through job posting sites on the Web instead.
For those who aren’t familiar with job posting sites (believe it or not there are still a few “old schoolers” out there!), they can be a powerful tool to enhance the process of matching up people with jobs for both employers and job-seekers. Job posting Web sites work much like the “Help Wanted” classified ads in newspapers, except they’re instantly available and usually focused on specific job markets. This article will report on those that cover computing technology, high tech, software development and other sectors of greatest interest to current or aspiring IT workers.
Job search sites are plentiful and chock-full of information. In fact, it’s easy to get overwhelmed as you try to figure out where to start, what to look for, and frankly, who to trust to give you valid, useful, and interesting results. Some well-known job posting sites include heavy hitters like Simply Hired, Career Builder, LinkedIn, Indeed, Yahoo! Hot Jobs, and Door64. Even Craigslist dabbles in job postings, as do lots of other portal or clearinghouse sites. These sites offer various features to aid your job search. If you’re serious about finding work, take some time to peruse these sites and familiarize yourself with what they offer. This will help you understand how what they offer might actually benefit your efforts to find newand hopefully rewarded and remunerativework.
Consider these questions as you look over any job posting site:
- Does the site specialize in particular types of jobs or do they offer jobs of all kinds? Some job posting sites only list positions for particular types of careers or specialties. For example, you won’t find a job at the local Dairy Queen making ice cream cones listed on The Laddersthey only list jobs that pay annual salaries over $100K. If you’re focused on high-end salaries, The Ladders is a good choice for your job search. Door64 focuses on IT jobs, whereas other job posting sites, such as Career Builder, Monster, or Dice, list jobs from all walks of working life.
- Is the service free, or must you pay to use it? Most job posting websites are free to prospective employees (though employers invariably have to pay). However, a few of these sites, such as The Ladders, do require a fee for job seekers to access and use site services and information.
- Does the site offer networking or referral capabilities? Networking among friends, family, schoolmates, colleagues, and former co-workers is a powerful tool in today’s job search environment. Some estimates indicate that as many as 80 percent of all jobs result from networking rather than outright postings. If you’re interested in a site with networking chops, check out LinkedIn. LinkedIn lets members to create a public profile, request online recommendations (publically available to prospective employers), and connect with colleagues through a large, active, and capable virtual network. Through the power of the Internet, you can connect (virtually) not only to your own immediate network, but all the people who belong to your personal network as well.
- What kinds of support features are available? Not all job posting sites are created equal: some sites are more mature, and they offer more and better features to aid your job search. Some examples of these features include resume writing advice, discussion boards, career advice, training resources, and market advice (information about what jobs are currently hot and who’s hiring).
- How easy is it to search for jobs? What search options are available? A
mature job posting site provides
oodles of options to aid you
in the search for a job. Dice
and Monster are both fairly
mature sites and offer lots
of job search options. Some
options to look for include
the ability to search using
any or all of these criteria
or data matches:
- City and state
- Metropolitan area
- Zip code
- Area code
- Job category
- Job title
- Distance from target job market
- Date of job posting
- Type of employment (full-time, part-time, contractor, etc.)
- Type of term search (Boolean, exact match, or partial match)
This is a powerful networking tool you can use to great advantage. Let’s say you apply for what you’re certain is your dream job at Company X. You’re qualified, but don’t know anyone at Company X, and you know that if you can only get to the right person in human resources, you’d have a great shot at the position. Enter LinkedIn. Using LinkedIn, you can search your network and easily find someone with a connection (either directly, or through someone who belongs to one of your connections’ network) to Company X. You can then request an introduction and get your foot into the door of their human resources department (and maybe even help somebody else get an employee referral bonus, too).
Most of the biggest job posting sites, such as Monster, CareerBuilder, and Dice, want you to create a profile and store a resume, cover letters, and letters of recommendation on their sites. This makes it quick and easy to apply for additional jobs as they pop up because all your materials remain readily available. Generally, you’re able to store multiple resumes so that you can pick and choose the right one to use as you apply for other positions. Often, you can elect to keep your profile private (that is, only visible to jobs for which you’re applying) or public (searchable by prospective employers or recruiters who may be seeking someone with your specific skills).
In addition to public job posting sites, don’t skip individual company websites, particularly if you have a specific company in your job search sights. Most companies, particularly larger ones, offer access to well-developed career centers through their own sites. These enable you to search for jobs not only in your area but anywhere they’re hiring around the world. As with public sites, company sites may also permit you to create and save a profile, so you can apply quickly and easily for additional positions in the future.
In the US, many states have their own state-sponsored job posting sites. State-run sites often work in tandem with local unemployment or workforce commission listings but are generally accessible to anyone seeking employment. Many states agencies use state job posting sites exclusively for their own job listings, so these sites are an excellent resource if your dream job means working for a state agency, department, or bureau.
Regardless of the type of position you seek, chances are good that you’ll find a suitable position from a job posting site. These sites can streamline your job search and grant you instant access to thousands of postings across multiple areas. As the old saying goes, however, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Create profiles on multiple job posting websites (along with networking sites) and use them regularly. Many employers have their own preferences for which job posting sites they use; if you limit yourself to only one, you just might miss that dream job! If you use them, be sure to use as many as you feel you can keep up with.