In our coaching sessions, we talk about not using just one generic version of your resume, but customizing different resumes for your various target positions and companies.
The same is true for not using just one venue or website for your job search – especially since some sites are rife with false promises and very little actual opportunity.
Like most everyone, I used CareerBuilder and Monster during my own job search a few years ago. Both professed the ability to get my name and resume out there in cyberspace and help me find a new job or start me off in a new career. Neither one of them came through on those promises. As a matter of fact, I only had one response from my postings on those sites, for a commission-based position with a questionable insurance company.
And for my trouble of posting some of my personal or contact information, I was perpetually bombarded with ads and requests for me to attend some unheard-of college or from a recruiter from said university trying to recruit me as a student.
I learned through vigorous research that the websites I had been using were utterly worthless and only good for giving me a false sense of accomplishment, since I had probably posted my resume for about 1,000 jobs! That’s a 1/10th-of-a-percent success rate in even getting an interview due to posting my resume for a position: not good odds!
There are many good sites for job-searching. The 11 sites I recommend most are:
- Beyond: the go-to site for job networking and a MUST for all serious job-seekers.
- Craigslist.org: local site with many categories.
- E-lance: freelance site with writing, information technology and other contract jobs.
- Indeed: national site for every field, localize with an advanced search.
- Jobs.com: standard for job-searching, use keywords or location to narrow results.
- The Ladders: more for executives and administrative positions.
- LinkedIn: networking site that 80 percent of recruiters use. (See below.)
- NCWorks Online: government-sponsored site specifically for North Carolina has outstanding features and capabilities.
- Simply Hired: another good national search site.
- Snagajob: national site, use advanced search methods.
- Find The Right Job: most suited for job-seekers who are just entering the workforce.
The trick to making the national or global sites work for you is to do a targeted or advanced search. As many parameters as you can enter, such as keywords, titles or company names, do. This will narrow the field and give you specific, accurate results that are within the scope of what you entered in the search field(s).
Let’s take a closer look at a couple of these sites:
I highly recommend using LinkedIn for your career search because not only do 80 percent of recruiters and employers use it to search for candidates, it also gives you almost unlimited networking possibilities.
Two things that you need to know about LinkedIn are that first, you absolutely must have a 100-percent complete profile (including a picture!) or you will not even make it into the pool of candidates to be considered for any position; and be sure to keep your postings and information strictly professional. This is not Facebook, and you don’t want to give yourself a poor image on this site.
People tend to cringe or turn up their noses when I mention or ask if they’re using Craigslist. I know about all the media scares about this site, but if you’re exercising common sense and using it to your advantage, Craigslist is a treasure trove of possibility to be discovered.
One issue that I hear all the time is that there are scams and stalkers on Craigslist. Yes, there are. But if you use your head and listen if your gut tells you something is not right, you’ll be fine. For instance, if an ad for a job requests a lot of personal information but isn’t giving you any information back other than a vague description, it’s most likely a scam or someone fishing for your information.
Also, the old adage of “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” comes into play here. I’ve seen ads where a company says you can work from home and make $6,000 a month. That’s the equivalent of about $75,000 a year! We all know that’s not true; if it was, so many more people would be quitting their jobs to work from home. Do you honestly believe you can make that much money stuffing envelopes or doing customer service calls from your home?
One of the other worries I’ve heard is that people are concerned about the legitimacy of a job when the posting does not offer a company name or any contact information. Often, this is because of how pricing works on Craigslist: if a company includes this kind of information in its listing, it’s charged for the ad because Craigslist is, in a sense, providing free advertising for the company. If the company doesn’t place the information on the ad, then it’s free.
Many companies, including from the Fortune 500 and small, independently owned businesses, use this forum for placing hiring ads. You have a greater chance of landing a job through Craigslist because the jobs posted there are local, offered by many different employers and present a wide variety of opportunities. In addition, Craigslist is a lesser known resource, so the factor of competition is diminished somewhat.
Jeff Adams is a Certified GCDF (Global Career Development Facilitator) who has worked in the human services field for more than 20 years. He currently serves as a career coach at Charlotte Works, and has an extensive background in case management, counseling and professional development. Previously, Adams was the director of Charlotte Saves, an organized financial literacy campaign, and continues to provide workshops on budgeting and credit management. He loves to educate people on all areas of career development and is passionate about helping others recognize their strengths and achieve their dreams. When Adams isn’t working, he can be found spending time with his wife and two daughters.