First, A Reality Check
Using job search websites is not the best way to find a job.
No online service can equal the results that are possible for a well-conducted networking campaign. But in today’s wired world, no job search should proceed without them. They keep your resume in circulation 24/7. They publish a tremendous amount data, and offer a certain amount of guidance and support. The trick is knowing how to use them effectively.
How to Tell a Good Jobs Site from a Bad One
The best job search websites can save you time and keep you focused. Others are shameless marketers just pushing products and cashing in on Internet traffic.
You should prefer sites that offer something of real value before you give them anything…including your email address. This could be a free report, a self-administered career assessment or list of sample job descriptions. Take a look at what they offer. If you like what you see, sign up for their email newsletter or register as a client. Usually, you can tell a bad job search website in seconds. If the pages are “link farms”–with little or no content and masses of links to other sites or product offerings–don’t waste your time. Don’t waste your money, and above all else, never trust a site like this with your personal and/or financial information!
What Can You Expect from a Good Jobs Site?
At the very least, you can use the better sites to educate yourself on what jobs are available, where they are and what they’re paying. Companies may read your resume, and you may even get that long-awaited phone call asking you to come in for an interview.
A job search website cannot, of course, guarantee you a job–not even a paid subscription service like TheLadders, but they may help you get your foot into the door. Think of them as your back-up plan, and spend the majority of energy on the important building blocks of the career search process: career assessment, career research, and mapping out an effective job search.
What’s it Cost?
It depends. Some job search websites–even some of the best ones–don’t cost a penny. Others, particularly those serving an upper-level, executive clientele, charge a user fee or subscription. TheLadders.com, for example, requires you to pay for access to their high-end salary listings, and in this case, considering the types of opportunities the site publicizes, it’s probably worth it.
When is a Jobs Site NOT a Jobs Site?
Answer: when it’s an aggregator.
Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com don’t offer their own content. Instead they pull listings from all the major job search websites, company websites and newspapers, and display them in a page of search results. This can be very helpful. In seconds you can get a good idea of your options and what’s available. Just don’t expect a site like this to offer any kind of personalized service. It’s not what they do.
Is Bigger Better?
Monster.com is arguably the best global platform for job seekers. It comes loaded with advice for the job hunter. Great content on the site includes a “how to” on putting together a resume that rocks the world, well-written job descriptions, interviewing tips, and lots of salary information.