Search Optimization

By Julia Price

July 6, 2018 5 min read

Technology has made the job search process much easier while simultaneously making it more difficult to decide which outlets are best to focus your efforts. Between main hubs that cover a wide range of employment opportunities and more niche outlets for specific skill sets, each site serves a different purpose. Figuring out where to post your resume and cover letter might feel like a daunting task; however, if you focus on building a strong profile on fewer sites instead of spreading yourself thin on many, you'll set yourself up for success.

LinkedIn is the most recognizable job search tool and premier social networking site for professionals. As Steven Petrow writes in the 2017 USA Today article "How to Use LinkedIn to Find Your Dream Job," "more and more businesses are using LinkedIn as either their primary, or in many cases exclusive, job-posting site -- which means you've got to learn how to play the LinkedIn game." You can create a profile for free with information on your location, current position, past positions, education, desired position and more. By adding contacts and following your newsfeed, you can keep track of who works where and open positions, which is incredibly useful, as it always helps to get a foot in the door through someone you know. Write a testimony for someone or have a former boss create one for you as proof of your capabilities. In addition to following specific people, you can follow interests that stand out as well as companies, blogs and groups that spark your interest. Take the time to optimize your profile so you can expand your professional network and have more access to job postings.

The website Indeed, another popular outlet, provides ease for job seekers. This job board search engine allows you to find postings through an interactive job map and run searches with a number of filters (location, salary, position level, etc.) so you can avoid being inundated with email notifications. There's also a unique function that shows market competition so you can track how many job seekers you're competing against. Let the site pull jobs from all over the internet to increase your chances of finding your dream job.

ZipRecruiter is one of the easiest websites to use and the No. 1 rated job search app for Android and iOS. "We're more of a curation than a search experience," says CEO Ian Siegel. "We have all the information, and the resumes -- we know what jobs you should be looking for -- and we tell you." Some of that "Did they open my resume yet?!" anxiety can be eliminated since you receive a notification once your information has been viewed. ZipRecruiter simultaneously posts to other boards and allows employers to send customizable prescreen interview questions to potential prospects, saving time for both parties in deciding whether to move forward.

Monster is similar to competitor sites; however, it allows you more flexibility in how your resume is posted. Choosing a limited or private setting allows you to control who does and doesn't see your resume. If you'd like to move on from your current job and you don't want your boss to know you're looking, this is a great tool.

While Craigslist is low on the list of job search sites, it is a great resource for checking out the job landscape. While the other sites tend to feel more relevant and user-friendly, the Craigslist format feels reminiscent of the classified section in a newspaper. You may find hidden gems, but be prepared to spend a lot of time searching for a position that is not only relevant to you but also legitimate.

While you're looking for a long-term position, you may want pick up some skill-specific work, odds-and-ends jobs or part-time employment. Check out Task Rabbit, an online and mobile marketplace that connects freelancers with local demand for everyday tasks. If you're a handy with tools, or well-versed in furniture assembly and mounting, and picking out plants for a home, you can set your own rates and schedule and become a Task Rabbit for people in your area. You will be paid directly through the site and start raking in extra cash before you know it.

If you are a people person who likes to drive, look into working for Lyft or Uber. If your vehicle has four doors and has recently passed safety inspections, after a brief orientation, you can cruise around conversing with passengers as you take them to their destination. Work around your schedule and save money, meeting new people along the way. And you never know; maybe a passenger could lead you to your next full-time job.

With a growing pool of job applicants, it's important to use the tools at your disposal to help you stay ahead of the curve. Any of these sites will help you jump-start your career this year. So update your resume and start clicking.

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