Where to find a job you actually want

July 27th 2020 in Michelle, Searching
Photo by Brett Patzke on Unsplash

Congratulations!  You’ve created a strong search strategy that includes an accomplishment-focused resume, an all-star LinkedIn profile, clean and professional social media accounts, and even a good cover letter.

If you skipped ahead before reading our other search strategy tips – go back and start from the beginning.  There are no shortcuts here.

Now it’s time for your new job, or at least your temporary one.  Job Detective.

That’s right, your new job is to find a job – not just any job but the right job that allows you to grow and achieve your goals.  So where to begin?

There are 3 places you’ll find public job openings: Job boards, websites, and search engines.

 Job Boards

There are multiple boards to consider, but we’re going to focus on the major ones.

  • LinkedIn Jobs. Yes, LinkedIn is more than a professional social network, it’s a place that recruiters and HR staff go to post jobs and find candidates. Your profile on LinkedIn doubles as your resume, so it should contain everything necessary to convey what you’ve accomplished. The reason we rank it #1 is that you’re already there! Sometimes you can even apply with just your profile.
  • com – The current reigning champion as far a job sites go. You have the ability to set up custom alerts to let you know when jobs that match your criteria become available.
  • Glassdoor – The great thing about Glassdoor beyond the job feature is that you can see what others think about working at the company. These reviews give you valuable insights into the inner workings of an organization (and help you decide if you want to work there)
  • ZipRecruiter – An up-and-coming resource because it’s business-friendly.
  • LinkUp and SimplyHired – Both good resources for jobs with up-to-date listings.
  • Monster and CareerBuilder – Once the top dogs, but now they’re the second tier. Never hurts to check them out though.
  • Facebook / CraigsList. Much like a traditional ‘want ads’ section of a newspaper. These are often aimed at more rank-and-file staff jobs.
  • Recruiting Staffing Agency sites. For more technical and staff positions, your local staffing agency is a good place to visit. RobertHalf.com is an exceptional resource for technical jobs in this category.
  • State and local job agencies. Leave no stone unturned!

Specialized Sites:

  • USAJobs.gov – the official jobs website of the US government.
  • Dice.com – Technology Jobs
  • WeWorkRemotely, FlexJobs, and VirutalVocations – Online and remote job options for those with geographic limitations but good internet access.
  • The Ladders – for $100K+ jobs
  • Idealist.org – Nonprofit openings for those who want to do good in their careers.
  • Alumni job boards – These are not usually accessible to the general public, however, if you’re an alumnus of a college or university their career services office might have job posts that you can access.

Company Websites

Job posts often cost money, so companies will often only post on their websites. Even though they’re public, they can also be considered hidden jobs because unless you look you might never find them.

If you’re looking for a job in a specific geographic area, start by listing the employers that you might want to work with and visit their websites. Often they will have linked directly on their main page for open positions, frequently this is also placed on the ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact Us’ menu. Dig a little deeper to find their HR subpage if you have to.

If you’re uncertain what employers might be a good fit, visit the local business journals and chambers of commerce to find out what businesses are in the area you’re looking at. At a state-wide level, there are often ‘Best Places to Work’ rankings that might direct you companies that are not only hiring but are also treat their employees well.

Search Engines

Let’s be honest, we might say search engines but we mostly mean Google. You can use DuckDuckGo, Bing, or other alternatives though.

Searching for jobs on Google is an often-overlooked resource for seekers. The drawback is that unlike job boards you can’t apply with an already uploaded resume, you have to click through to the actual job posting and apply directly on the company’s site. This is sometimes the case with job boards though, so don’t let this extra step get you down.

But what and how do you search on Google? On job boards, the search criteria are often spelled out for you. (pick a city, region, and level of job, etc). Google takes a little extra effort, but don’t worry it’s not as difficult as it sounds

To get the most out of Google you’re going to have to do what is commonly called a Boolean Search. It’s the backbone of all search results on the Internet, even if you don’t see it.

So what is it?

In simplest terms Boolean logic allows you to search for keywords with unique modifiers such as AND, NOT, and OR.

Example searches might be:

Michigan Engineer Jobs

Detroit AND Grand Rapids

Florida Medical Jobs in Jacksonville NOT Orlando

Open Jobs in Denver OR Boulder

Remote Jobs Texas Austin OR Dallas NOT Fort Worth

You can also use Quotes marks to find an exact Phrase:

‘IT Manager’ will return results for that list ‘IT Manager’ and without them, it will search for both ‘it’ and ‘manager’, so results would be for any jobs that say manager in the post.

Or Parenthesis to combine modifiers

Job Research

As you search, you will discover one thing very quickly: there are A LOT of jobs out there.

Each job you find, however, is more than just a potential new position. It’s a goldmine of KEYWORDS.

Keywords are phrases and words that job seekers and job posters use to identify potential candidates. So each job post you come across, even if it’s not a good fit, should be read to find out what common phrases come up.

For example, if you see the phrase ‘cross-functional’ appearing multiple times in numerous posts then it’s an industry keyword. If there is a product or platform you have used that shows up multiple times, it’s a professional keyword.

Why should you care? Because when internal and external recruiters search for candidates or review your resume/profile they might be looking for these keywords. Make certain to include them.

Example: A recruiter is looking for someone with experience in SalesForce and Customer Experience. If you have both of those keywords in your profile, the recruiter has a far better chance of finding you than not. Additionally, if you apply for a position that lists both those keywords, the Applicant Tracking System will probably put you to the top of the list if those keywords are present.


Need help deciding where to look?  We can help, so reach out.

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