Best Online Job Search Engines and How to Use Them

There are a number of online job search engines out there claiming to get you a job with a series of easy clicks! Even with the best sites, this is not the case. You have to know how to use the search engine, you have to treat job hunting seriously, and you can’t rely on online searches alone. Here are some tips and guidelines for the best job search-engines online right now.

Monster.com All of you have probably heard of Monster. They are one of the largest job sites online. They’re also an excellent resource, if you keep the following things in mind. First of all, unlike in the commercials, posting your resume is not the only/last step. Posting your resume is the first step. Generally, you will get NO responses from posting your resume on Monster. You have to be the active one and search job postings and apply from there. Searching on Monster is very easy and often self-explanatory. If you are looking to stay in one location, my search tip would be to search the location for jobs of all categories-don’t limit yourself by category choices unless you have a very specific job in mind. If you check back everyday wading through all the jobs won’t be that daunting. Some jobs pop up under categories you might not have expected, by expanding your search you will find more opportunities. Also, unless the company is confidential, make sure to do some research on the company. Monster offers a cover letter on file feature, but make sure each time you send a cover letter it is specific and personalized to the company and job you are applying for. Monster also keeps track of your resume submissions, which is a very good tool. However, make sure you print out the job description you applied for. Sometimes the job is removed and when a person calls you to set up an interview you will want to know what job you applied for and what skills you should sell in the interview.
Note: Yahoo HotJobs and MSN CareerBuilder offer similar searches and tools. However, both carry more spam, scam jobs and old, recycled job postings. Monster does have some scam postings, but there jobs are rarely old or recycled.

Craiglist (http://www.craigslist.org -then find location you’re looking for on right sidebar): Craigslist is quickly becoming the hot new search engine. Craigslist doesn’t just offer job postings, but a variety of other postings. However, their job postings are always original (no recycled jobs) and very location specific, so if you are looking to stay in one location, and there is a craigslist for this location, this is a good site to check on a regular basis. It doesn’t have the volume of jobs posted on Monster, but number of jobs also depends on your area and the career field you’re in. Craigslist also lists part-time jobs and internship type jobs. A very good resource to check a few times a week. There are some scam jobs posted (especially in the TV/Movie/Video category), but if you use common sense you should be able to weed them out. Craigslist does not offer a resume-sending tool, but this can be a good thing. Write a solid cover letter with personal touches and specific company-specific items and you may engage the employer more than a form-Monster application.

State Government Jobs (www.ecoemploy.com, under government jobs, click by state/location, then pick your state. A list of city/county websites for your state will be listed). This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in government, or would like to apply your current career/skills to a government facility. (For example, all cities/counties employ secretaries, clerks, etc�) A wide variety of jobs-anything that makes a county/city run! Again, a very location-specific tool, but you can also search locations you would want to work for.

College Career Services (search local colleges for Career Services websites/postings). Especially if you are in the beginning of your career, college career services often post some of the best entry level jobs. Many colleges have their job posting sites password protected so only students/alumni can view, however just as many leave the site available to all the viewing public. If you find a job at one of these Career Services sites, make sure in your cover letter you specify that you are no longer a student (unless you are, of course).

Education (http://www.reap.net/teachers.html). Not just for teachers, but anyone interested in working at a school (see sections for support staff). Choose your state, then search accordingly. Many schools go through REAP now, though not all. If you know of a particular school not listed with REAP, check out that schools website and Human Resources page. Make sure to follow the directions listed in any job postings to the letter. Most education systems have a very strict application process.

These are some of the best search engines on the net right now. If you have a particular company you’d be interested in working for, find their webpage through a search. Most large companies will have a human resources page with a listing, or a specific employment page.

With every online posting it is imperative you follow the instructions listed in the posting. If they ask for no phone calls, don’t call. If they want a cover letter, make sure to send one. If they want salary history, references or examples of your work, supply these things. If instructions aren’t followed most employers will toss the resume without even looking at it.

Do your background research. If a job offer/posting seems too good to be true, it probably is! Check it out by doing online searches, calling the company, or by other means of research. Don’t be passive, but an active participant in your job search.

Make yourself stand out without being gimmicky. Follow the rules of job application, but highlight your best assets to the company. Tune your resume and cover letter to each company/position you are applying for. Finding a job is a full-time job, you won’t get the job you want without taking the time to work at it.

Remember, though more and more companies are switching to online job postings, most jobs are still found through networking and personal contact. You cannot rely on an Internet job search alone. It is merely a supplement to getting out there and meeting people in your field. Nothing will ever beat personal contact so get out there and pound the pavement!

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