Have you considered using the best job search sites to find your next position instead of painstakingly scouring the classified ads? Have you exhausted your professional contacts with phone call after phone call but still no positions available? According to the Pew Research Center, 79% of Americans used the Internet in some capacity for their last job search, and with good reason.
We've all been there at one point or another - stuck in a dead-end career with no prospects of advancement or unable to land a job altogether. The best job search sites are one of the fastest and most efficient ways to find and apply for jobs. To make things a little easier, I've broken down the top job search websites.
You can blame the economy for your employment woes, but the truth of the matter is that the national unemployment rate has dropped in the past five years indicating a surge in the number of jobs available. Instead, you should take a careful look at your approach.
In This Guide
The Best Job Search Websites: Our Top Picks
- Comprehensive mobile app
- Compiles job listings from thousands of sources
- Superior keyword tool and customized search
- Often redirects to other sites to complete application
- No resources like advice and resume tools
Indeed claims to be the number one job website in the world, touting 200 million unique visitors monthly from over 60 countries. It's easy to see why this employment search site is so popular. The interface is simple, there are virtually countless job postings, and the search is extremely customizable. Indeed.com is also great for recruiters and employers, although not free, of course, as it is for those seeking employment.
Some features I found to be particularly attractive in my analysis include the ability to upload your resume, a mobile app that allows you to take full advantage of the site's capabilities on the go, and the comprehensive search function. Not only can you search by job title, you can also narrow your results by choosing category, location, salary, and date of posting. You can also create specific phrases for the site to identify, which makes it even easier to find exactly what you're looking for.
Other helpful tools include email alerts so that you can be notified as soon as an opportunity in your chosen category is posted. This prevents you from having to constantly search for new listings. There is also a salary calculator which tells you not only the average pay for a certain job, but also the average salary for a specific geographic location.
One of the few significant flaws of this career search site is that the application process can become somewhat complex. When you click to apply for a job you may be redirected to another website, such as the hiring company's own site, in order to complete the application. As I have surfed the site, I did not find this to be a major deterrent. You can save your Indeed.com searches and notes so that you can easily return to them.
While Indeed.com may not offer every single accoutrement that some of the other top job search engines do (like interview tips and complex resume builders), the sheer volume of job postings and superior keyword tool put this site in my top five.
Career Builder Review
- Comprehensive search options
- Unique tool for comparison to other applicants
- Job recommendation feature
- Large collection of career resources
- Fraud monitoring
- Slightly cluttered interface
This career search site has been around since 1995, giving it high credibility and a well-established business model. The company partners with a bevy of resources, including 140 newspapers, in order to provide you with a wide range of job postings. On the recruiting side, employers can post jobs, search resumes, and even form talent networks.
While CareerBuilder has all the features you expect from career search websites, like a customizable search function, mobile app, and job alerts, the details are what really set it apart. The intuitive job suggestion feature makes recommendations based upon keywords in your resume and other info gleaned from your site usage. The site security team fights scam postings and fraudulent job listings. The free resume builder makes it easier to put your vital information together in a professional manner.
Perhaps most interesting, however, is the hireINSIDER tool. This nifty little report shows you revealing stats about the job you're applying for and how you stack up against the competition in terms of education, experience, and more. Plus, hireINSIDER is free.
On top of everything else, CareerBuilder offers a seemingly unlimited supply of career advice on any issue you can think of – from interviews to resume mistakes. Between the blog, articles, and even videos, there is no shortage of help finding a job. All of this information does make the website seem a bit overwhelming to navigate as there is just so much to take in. Still, these unique resources put CareerBuilder squarely in the top five on my list of the best job search sites.
- Job postings pulled from huge pool of resources
- Highly detailed search function
- Mobile app with seamless device integration
- User-friendly interface
- Location-specific industry overview
- Some features affected by takeover
- No resume builder
SimplyHired has experienced some ups and downs, but still made it into my list of the top job search websites because after all is said and done the site is still going strong. The company was founded in 2003, and by spring 2016 there were rumors afoot that it was going under. The truth ended up being somewhere in the middle. In June of the same year TechCrunch confirmed that the company was acquired by Indeed.com's parent company, Recruit Holdings. The effects of this acquisition have been minimal thus far. The job search website continues to operate, and Indeed plans to keep it that way.
That said, there do appear to be some transitional pains. The SimplyHired blog has been considered one of the most valuable features of this top job search website's offerings. It appears not to have been updated since the acquisition. Still, old posts are accessible at blog.simplyhired.com. There is no direct link from the website itself.
What you will find on the main website is a very pleasant, uncluttered interface with two main fields – keywords and location. At the bottom you'll also find buttons to browse categories, cities, and companies. There is also a salary estimator and a button to explore local job markets.
This city-specific information tool is a truly unique feature, making SimplyHired one of the best job websites. What this little button shows you is an array of data about your chosen location including the top categories which are hiring, the number of jobs listed according to type (full-time, part-time, temp, etc.), and the top companies currently hiring. There also a mobile app with a one-click apply feature, making it incredibly simple for you to use the site anywhere.
Despite some bumps, SimplyHired remains a useful job search tool and with Indeed managing operations now, the future of their new subsidiary looks bright.
Which Job Search Engine is Best for Me?
This is no doubt the number one question on your mind. The truth is, however, that the answer is different for everyone. Are you looking for an entry level job or a new position in your established professional career?
Do you want significant guidance on topics like resume writing and interviewing? Each site offers something a little different, so you are sure to find the right resource for your situation in my analysis of the top five best sites to find jobs.
Key Considerations of Job Search Sites
To get the most out of a job search site and increase your chances of finding the ideal job, keep these considerations in mind:
Filter Options - Can you filter the leads and listings by salary, location, and category? You'll be wasting your time if all the alerts you receive are for unrelated occupations or are in areas not in your city/state. Other helpful filters include:
- Job categories
- Keyword searches
- Minimum degree or experience required
Use a site that allows you to conduct an advanced search to narrow down your options.
It never hurts to get advice or read articles on how to spice up your resume.
Tailored Account - Having the ability to create a personal account with your resume can be very beneficial and save you time in the overall process. If you're applying for a job directly through the website's platform, your resume and contact details will typically be attached to the application - saving you time in the long run.
Additional Career Resources - It never hurts to get advice or read articles on how to spice up your resume. Networking, c eer, and job forums are chock full of helpful tips and tricks to get an interview and then secure the job!
The Role of Social Media on Job Sites
A few years ago, a simple resume would be the most important step in the job search process, and it is still a part of it; however, updating your social media is even more important. With a quick Google search, potential employers can find out a great deal of information about you, and you want to make sure that you know what they will find and that they don't find anything you would not want them to see.
60% of employers use social media to screen candidates.
Before you start applying for jobs, take some time to search yourself online and update all of your social media accounts to ensure that they are a good representation of the type of employee you are. Your profile pictures on all sites should look professional, and you should have nothing obscene or derogatory associated with your profiles, including Twitter. Also, make sure that your LinkedIn profile matches your resume exactly. If there are any gaps between the two, it will look suspicious to hiring managers.
Consider this: Business News Daily reports that 60% of employers use social media to screen candidates. The research was conducted by CareerBuilder and found that even though employers don't typically look for negative information on purpose, those that do find unflattering social media posts are put off by the following content:
- "Trash talk" about a previous employer or coworker
- Comments indicating discrimination against a certain race, gender, or religion
- Inappropriate photos or videos
- Drinking or drug use
- Poor communication skills
It just makes good sense to maximize your chances of making a good impression by cleaning up your online presence if necessary.
Tips & Advice
With thousands of job listings available online, you want to make sure that you are checking the best sites for jobs that may be of interest to you. One of the five sites I've covered below will be a great place to start. Your first choice will depend on the type of job search you are conducting. If you are looking for part-time work, some sites are better than others. Also, if you are looking for jobs outside of the US, your options may be limited. You don't want to waste precious search time determining where you should even begin.
Some of the best job search sites also make your search an easier and less time-consuming process, and save you the effort of having to constantly upload your resume and fill out your personal information. They may also send you emails of perfect opportunities rather than require you to log in every day and check for updates. My overview of each company's features should help you determine which one most closely meets your needs.
Network and Follow Up
They say it is all about whom you know and this is absolutely a truism when it comes to looking for a job. As wonderful as job sites are for helping you find opportunities, they have also made it easy for people to apply for jobs. This means the competition is stiffer than ever. According to Inc. Magazine, each corporate job opening brings in about 250 resumes. If you have a connection within a company, though, this can help set you apart from the masses of faceless applications.
Once you know you may be interested in finding another job, reach out to everyone that you know and let them know you are looking. This will keep you front of mind in your network of connections so that if an opportunity presents itself, you will be considered.
Never be afraid to reach out to someone you know even if they work in a different industry than the one you are pursuing. You never know when they will connect with someone from your industry to make the connection for you. LinkedIn provides a number of methods to help you determine if you have connections within the companies or industries in which you want to work. Look out for those career connections and ask for introductions where they are appropriate.
The Importance of Follow-up
Once you've created valuable connections, don't let them forget about you. It is wonderful that many job sites make it easy for you to apply for jobs; however, it is also easy to lose track of these jobs or details about the opportunities. When you are job searching, you need to stay organized and create habits that make it easy for you to keep up with everything. Career development expert Dr. Randall S. Hansen recommends keeping a log of all of your job search and follow-up information so that you can see what you've done and when.
You need to be a self-advocate when you are job hunting, so make sure that you follow up on every potential lead or connection you hear about. Reminder emails or phone calls to your connections may seem like a burden, but it may be just what that person needs to help you. Also, by continuing to check in and follow up you may uncover opportunities that didn't exist before.
Beyond Job Search Engines
If you get to the point where you have a phone, compute or in-person interview with a company make sure that you reserve enough time in advance for you to research the company as much as possible. You should ask for the names and titles of all of the people at the company you may expect to speak to and once you have those, try to find out as much information as possible about these individuals. People love to talk about themselves, so the more research you can complete, the more likely you are to get your interviewer talking.
Don't underestimate the power of this research. Asking a lot of questions and learning about the individuals to whom you are appealing for an opportunity shows those in charge that you are serious and care about working for them. This is a potent factor that can make the difference between you and the next – apathetic – applicant.
By now you should be able to gauge whether or not any of these job search sites could help you find a job. Again, the majority of these services offer free membership options which means you ultimately have nothing to lose by signing up. Even if you register and don't find a job immediately you'll have access to valuable career tips, resume advice, and more!
Curious about your local employment climate? Check out The Best and Worst States to Find a Job.