A word of warning, you need to do your own job search to achieve the career you desire. Job search sites are a key component of your success…
The best job search sites can be split into three categories, those that belong to employers, independent job boards (which are either niche, generalist or part of social media sites like Facebook or linked in) and job aggregators/search engines that act as a hub of job vacancies across the Internet.
As ever, you should not rely on one or two sources of jobs over another and should use a combination of sources for your job search. You should always try to establish your own network of contacts with hiring managers so that you can contact them directly and bypass human resources and internal recruiters.
You should also prioritise and weight your efforts and resources into seeking out opportunities that are managed by direct employers (and not recruitment consultants) which may or may not be advertised (hidden jobs). The first places you might look to find the best job search sites is corporate websites and careers sites, a great deal of your effort should be focused on contacting direct employers whether or not they are advertising jobs.
The best job search tool is you!
Employers and recruitment consultants often deliberately choose to advertise in specific places to attract job seekers and they might have a particular preference in terms of where they advertise depending on the type of skills and industry experience required for the job. Some may choose to use the internet whereas others might only go with recruitment agencies or advertise the job on their internal site – so it’s important you use all options simultaneously – in a ‘full-cycle’ job search – each time you start your search.
I always advise my students that Direct employers’ sites are great sources of employment opportunities because if you’re organised, tenacious and prepared to do detailed research you can find jobs on corporate sites from almost any niche you can think of. Job seekers tend to gravitate towards using recruitment consultants for job boards to help them with their job search and leave their destiny in someone else’s hands.
Now I personally like to have certain things done for me for example I hate gardening so from time to time I hire somebody to cut the lawn I am also not a big fan of housework so on the odd occasion I get a cleaner to give the house a once over. But these are not life changing aspects of my life, I mean if I don’t cut the lawn myself it’s not can have much of an impact on my future.
On the other hand leaving your job search entirely in the hands of recruiters or job boards is a serious mistake. You owe it to yourself to take full control of your job search by being proactive, doing your own research, making your own contacts and submitting your own applications directly to employers. One thing I can tell you for certain is that you will miss out on opportunities if your entire job search is based on using recruiters or job boards.
Corporate websites and career sites
Employers often have internal recruiters who post jobs on separate, purpose-built careers websites, for example, if you navigate to www.amazon.com you will reach Amazon’s ecommerce site where they promote and sell produce. But if you scroll to the bottom of their homepage and click the ‘Careers’ link you will be re-directed to their dedicated job site – www.amazon.jobs – which is maintained and updated by their internal (or corporate) recruiters.
Here are some more examples of purpose-built career sites:
Many other household brand names such as Boots, Sainsbury’s and Mothercare have links to their dedicated careers sites – usually – at the foot of the main homepage. The sites are often sophisticated and allow you to a) upload CVs to apply for jobs and b) submit your email address to receive regular updates and job alerts by email or RSS. Internal recruiters appreciate direct applicants because it means that they don’t have to rely on external recruitment agencies but from time to time human resources managers will also intercept and screen CV’s they receive via the dedicated career sites. I’d advise you to:
- Make a list of at least 100 companies you would like to work for them from the list to determine who the main hiring managers are (not the human resources managers or internal recruiters) so that you can contact them directly and bypass human resources/internal recruiters
- carry out regular searches of their jobs database because they might update regularly, but don’t be surprised if they don’t advertise every single job on offer. Bear in mind that the hidden job market constitutes approximately 60% of all jobs which is why it is so important to contact hiring managers directly so that they are aware of you and your skills in the event that an unadvertised job becomes available
- Have a look for other ‘channels’ where they post job opportunities eg; facebook, youtube and linkedin.com because there may be opportunities to network directly with their members of staff and find out more about the company and culture
- Automate your search: subscribe to their jobs by email but once again don’t wait for opportunities to come your way via email. Be proactive by following the first two points I mentioned
- Avoid focusing on a single type of job, instead you need to search for at least 3 types of jobs that you will eventually tailor your CV to make an application. The first category of job would be those that directly match your skills set, the second category of job should be a close match to your skill set and jobs in third category would be an indirect match ie you might only have a few of the skills required (or it may represent a change in the direction of your career) and you may have to state a strong case to win an interview.
General and niche Job boards
Job boards are searchable, online databases where recruitment agencies and employers advertise jobs so that you can gain easy access in a central location and apply with your CV. There are generally two types of job board, those that advertise a range of jobs from different sectors – for example www.monster.com, www.totaljobs.com and www.reed.com – and niche or specialist job boards that are subject/sector specific. Here are a some examples of niche or specialist job boards
Niche Job Boards
www.onlymarketingjobs.com – Marketing jobs
www.salestarget.co.uk – Sales jobs
www.tes.co.uk/jobs – Teaching jobs
www.accountancyagejobs.com Accountancy and finance jobs
www.inretail.co.uk – Jobs in the retail sector
www.charityjob.co.uk – Jobs in charities
http://www.exec-appointments.com – Executive Jobs
Generalist job Boards
Job boards offer automated jobs by email and are great sources of niche recruitment consultants and employers who search the sites for job seekers who are suitable for their jobs. Some offer good, general career advice and market insight so it’s important to choose job boards within your niche combined with a general job board or two. Make use of the advanced search functionality to segment jobs posted by employers and recruiters. When submitting a CV ensure that it is written to professional standards and optimised with the optimum blend of key words so that you CV is easy for your prospective employer to find. And always check your privacy settings and adjust to the level required.
Now job boards, especially niche sites, are an extremely useful tool to be used as part of your wider job search but it would be detrimental to rely on jobs advertised on the sites. The idea with any job search is to keep in control and proactively approach companies that you want to work for even if they are not advertising jobs at the moment. Some of these companies may prefer not to advertise jobs on job boards or via recruiters so unless you speak to them directly, you will never know if they have an opportunity that matches your skills and attributes.
Job search engines
Job search engines aggregate jobs advertised on job boards, employers’ websites and recruitment agency sites so you can potentially search thousands of websites simultaneously for literally any job title you can think of. www.Indeed.co.uk and www.jobrapido.com are examples of job search engines that offer advanced search functionality so you can opt to search, employers’ or recruitment agency websites or job boards in isolation or combined. Advanced search also offers search by salary and geographical location and you have the option to quickly create an account to submit your email address so that you receive updates relating to searches you’ve carried out.
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