There are many places online where you can look for and apply to a job. But smart job seekers don't look everywhere at once. Instead, they thoughtfully consider which sites are most likely to have the jobs that match their skills and make a plan around them.
Arno Markus, a veteran global job search strategist, told My Perfect Resume that job seekers should think about this task from the perspective of people making the jobs available — human resource teams and their recruiters. If a company needs assistants with experience in accounting, for instance, they wouldn't place an ad in a niche, liberal arts community, he says. They'd place it on their own site or on a job board where administrative talents usually reside.
We thought about job searching this way and chose the following sites to help you.
Recruiters look first at candidates who've applied at their website directly because it fits company goals: Finding workers with self-identified skills for the type of job, industry and career level needed.
"We always look first on our databases," Markus told MPR. This is the case for large-to-small companies, as well. Larger companies, in particular, could have as many as tens of thousands of potential applicants who are ideal for a job, lowering the cost-benefit analysis of candidate searches. Markus, who previously ran the recruitment department of a large company, says a sizable percentage of interviews still come from this first pool.
A company with a well-developed — and continually updated — job board on its site also means it's a living document of the health and viability of the company itself. If company software developers want the hottest new coders to join them, for example, ads for jobs on the website of a growing startup will show off the types of programming languages they are using and the cool projects they're working on. It's a type of administrative branding that works.
Website job boards have been around for three decades. But as the web developed, the boards changed. Gone are the days of searching in Yahoo!, Monster, or even Craigslist. Most recruiters don't post at these sites anymore because they either charge employers too much to post a job, don't provide modern tech options or customer service is an afterthought. "Monster is just ridiculous, really expensive," Markus told us.
The top sites now are Indeed, LinkedIn and AngelList, as well as job boards at schools.
- Indeed: This site has a good pricing model for employers, and simple search and resume-submit tools for job seekers. Markus says job seekers who allow employers to mine the data in their resumes can be more easily found by recruiters. "A recruiter can see hundreds of resumes there. And you only pay $2 or $2.50 to get [a job seekers'] contact details," he says. Companies can also submit jobs to the database, making it easy for potential employees to submit to jobs as soon as they're posted through an email feature that can run multiple job searches at the same time.
- LinkedIn: It's all about numbers here. According to the WordPress hosting site, Kinsta, more than 20 million companies are listed on LinkedIn and there are more than 14 million open jobs available to search. Approximately 122 million people "received an interview through LinkedIn," and "35.5 million have been hired by a person they connected with on the site." You can look for recruiters directly, follow companies and their products and services, and even message employees directly.
- AngelList: Since most jobs are now or will be connected to tech, it's always smart to check here. Like at Indeed, you can submit resumes and wait for employers to reach out or apply directly to jobs. But the best feature puts you in front of hiring managers directly: When you apply, you're asked to write a message at the top of your application. Think of it like a mini-cover letter. It's a great way to make yourself known.
- School job boards: There are always jobs available at school site boards not available elsewhere. While grad school boards tend to have more jobs because of relationships with businesses, undergraduate, junior college and non-graduate-level professional school boards also are good. That's because they publicize job numbers to state and other regulatory organizations in order to receive grants and/or publicity.
If you want a job tomorrow, your best bet might be a freelancing platform. But beware: Career experts say it usually takes a few jobs to level up your pay rates, even if you're experienced.
- Fiverr: Five dollars is the minimum amount a freelancer will get for a job here (Fiverr — get it?). But that's not a lot. Still, veterans of the marketplace say it has a wide number of jobs; first look for the Use Buyer Requests section to see what's available. Among the categories you can do jobs in are Business, Digital Marketing, and Video and Animation. One of the tips we heard is you should create a video of yourself describing your experience and then place it on your profile to get more jobs.
- Upwork: The biggest difference between Fiverr and Upwork is the latter has more jobs and seems to have a better search engine. Upwork worker Victor Ramirez says keyword selection matters to employers on this platform so if you want to be successful, think about your skills and rewrite your portfolio with a niche job in mind. Additionally, he says responding quickly to work emails quickly helps you develop a good reputation.
More employers today place ads for jobs directly on Twitter and Facebook. It's a growing revenue sector. But that's not the only reason you should look at these and other networks. A study by Staff.com found "Ninety-two percent of companies use social media for hiring" and most hiring managers review job candidate's profiles. So much for bawdy humor, right? But that's a good thing — and a great opportunity. If you're professional, upbeat and honest (employers want to see public examples of your values and accomplishments), you have a leg up.
- Twitter: More than half of all U.S. companies operate an account and use it to promote jobs. Plus, employees repost jobs on their feeds constantly. But experts say the main benefit is the ability to follow and reply to tweets of recruiters and employees directly in order to establish a relationship before you even apply to a job. If you're bold and not afraid to get into direct messages of future bosses, this is the place.
- Facebook: You can use Facebook like Twitter by following and replying to posts of companies and employees. But more important is connecting with friends to help you find a job. The key is to be very specific about what you're looking for and treat any post you write like a real job. So don't be sloppy. Instead, be forthright, write clearly, explain what you want in a job and why. You are reintroducing yourself to your friends from a professional point of view and some may be happy to help you.
- Reddit: This is one of the most popular sites in the world. Finding a job through Reddit is possible but not easy. You first need to establish a presence in different "subreddits" forums through your career expertise. If you work in product management, for example, become a leader in one of the product subs. Eventually, you'll find a recruiter sending you a private message asking you to talk. You can also find jobs directly at the /r/getemployed/ and r/internships/
- Instagram: You don't have to be a model to get a job via Instagram. Not only do most companies have accounts and post jobs directly on the platform, but they also use hashtags and buy ads for specific hiring campaigns. According to Stylist.co.uk's Kayleigh Dray, Instagram can also be used for social validation (people will think you're trustworthy), for its free career marketing tool with analytics and for developing career-specific friendships.