Internet Job Search sites

It is possible to do a good, efficient, job search, every day.

There are some very basic rules for internet job searches that can save you hours, or maybe days, of your life:

  • The less time wasted looking at useless things, the better.
  • The fewer distractions, the better.
  • Quality is a lot better than quantity, for job searches.
  • You can always reduce any large number of search results to something useful.
  • Always pay attention to anything where you look like you have a reasonable chance.
  • Always follow up any job leads to make sure you're not wasting time by applying.
  • Pick the sites you use for your job searches based on their performance, and only use the ones where you consistently get results which are useful to you.

The basic reality of job searches is that for all the hype and hoopla about scientific searching, metatags, Search Engine Optimization, and the rest of the circus, there's some poor soul on the other end trying to wade through the oceans of material that the average job search produces.

Wherever there's a hyperlink, there's somebody trying to figure out why they're looking at what they're seeing.

Basic search elements and procedures:

  • Keywords
  • Exclusion ( like customer service not sales)
  • Location
  • Category

The obvious need is to get nothing but what you're looking for. Some sites do actually get their categories right, which helps to a point.

But thanks to the spam brains who insist on adding tags to everything, some garbage usually creeps in.

Example: Take a fundamental search, the kind you'd usually do for a job.

What's wrong with the results, when you get them? Too many, not enough, pages of results but nothing you can use?

The trick in reducing the number of results is to add qualifiers.

Keywords, with exclusion: Customer service not call center

Location: Alphaville

Category: Media arts entertainment

Additional: Part time

Search engines aren't particularly advanced software. They're really browsers, and their abilities are based on process times, rather than useful results.

They read what they can find.

Job search engines are really site searches, so there are limits to the amount of information available. You really do need more than one job search site, preferably several reliable sites, which have plenty of new jobs every day.

(Generally advertisers stick to one site, so you won't get much duplication of results.)

Adding categories does reduce numbers, as does location, because of the way their databases are organized.

Look at it this way:

You only need relevant materials. Per day, you'll only find a handful of ads, at most, for which you can apply. Of those, you're not going to actually get all of those jobs.

This is where quality of results comes in.

Finding a job is one thing; finding the right job is a bit harder.

You need to define what you're looking for, too.

The right job is the one that works for you.

Try a bit of lateral thinking:

What would the perfect job ad look like, to you?

It's worth thinking about this, because that's the job ad you need to find.

Example 1:

You're sick of commuting, want to work locally, want to set your own hours, pretty much manage yourself, and you want decent wages.

So the perfect ad would read:

Telecommuting job, or job in Alphaville, flexible hours, paid to scale on contract terms.

Which, incidentally, could be a very good job.

Example 2:

Or, say you're a single mother, with kids going to school locally, and need a job where you can handle all the domestic stuff and stay in the area, without any fuss about picking up the kids, etc

Betaberg, 6 hours a day, Mon-Fri, 8AM-2PM, permanent.

You see where this is headed; some people get jobs which become problems for themselves.

The job suffers, and so do the employers and employees, because of external factors over which nobody has much control.

Above all else, you're looking for a job which suits you.

It makes far more sense to look for a good job to begin with, rather than just anything you can get, particularly if the job creates more problems than it solves.

Get a good stable of job sites working for you.

The only reliable advice which can be given about picking job sites is

  • Find the ones which give you good results consistently.
  • Avoid those which waste your time.

However, in any industry, you can always go looking for professional associations, unions, industry blogs, there are always online job leads, it's really a matter of finding them.

Special Note about internet job searching:

We'll cover the application phase later. For now, just bear in mind that all this searching generates a lot of documents in the form of online applications, references, login info, passwords, copies of what you sent them, and what they sent you, etc.

You must keep all your online information and materials organized.

Honestly, it is quite possible to completely lose vital information, simply because of the amount of it you create in the course of doing your searches and applications.

Be patient, well, as patient as you can, come up with a simple system, preferably alphabetical, based on names, and just make sure it's up to date.

A job diary really can help

Sometimes simpler is better.

A daily Word diary, just keeping track of what you applied for, (you can just cut and paste the ads, if that's easiest) with dates, will do.

Add a brief line or two about contacts, anyone you spoke to about the job, when they expect to do the interviews, anything relevant.

The important thing is to keep a record of information which will be impossible to find after the job ad is removed.

It might be best to do a table:

EMPLOYER POSITION CONTACT APPLICATION ABCDE INC. CLERK Jane Smith
(supervisor)1234 5678 2 April 2008

If you wind up with pages of information, you can just do a Find (CTRL+F) search on the document to find names, etc.

You can also do a backup copy, using Tools> Options> Save on Word. Just check Always make backup copy on the Save options dialog box.

This form of record keeping is useful for those on unemployment benefits, because it keeps a pretty complete record of job applications.