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Job Search Virgin's Guide to Finding New Jobs Online

Are you a job search virgin, trying to get hired for the very first time? Or maybe you're a born-again virgin; you've been around the job search block plenty of times ... just not in this decade. Even if you fancy yourself to be quite the skillful job searcher, you might find these shortcuts useful. There are zillions of jobs advertised on the Web, and this post will help you find them. It will also tell you how to find job openings on employer web sites, job boards, and through an all-in-one job search engine, as well as how to set up a "job search agent" that magically places new job descriptions in your email inbox.

Job search virginOK, first things first. There are basically four ways to find job ads on the web:

      1. Check employer web sites 

      2. Individually search job boards

      3. All-in-one search with job search engines

      4. Set up email job search agents


1. Employer Web Sites

Examples: Liberty Mutual, Staples, Target, Massachusetts General Hospital

  • If you want to work for a specific business, check their web site for job openings. On the home page, look for a link such as Employment, Jobs, Careers, or Opportunities.
  • If you can't find any such link right up front, try clicking About, About Us, or Contact. Some sites put the link to their job openings there. (If you still can't find it, they're probably too small to have a jobs section. Go to the boards or search engines.)

2. Job Boards
Examples: Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, Yahoo!HotJobs.com, Dice.com, LatPro.com

Job boards are searchable web sites that contain listings from employers, recruiters, and staffing agencies that have paid to place their job ads there (but the boards are free for job seekers). There are major (generalist) job boards, and niche (specialized) job boards.

  • The major job boards (Monster, etc.) attempt to serve everyone, carrying listings from all industries and regions.
  • Niche job boards target particular groups by industry (e.g., nursing, education, banking), job functions (e.g., technical), demographics (e.g., retirees), or geography (e.g., Alaska).
  • Eric Shannon who runs LatPro, a niche job board for Hispanic and bilingual professionals, posted the Top 100 Job Board Niches for 2008 on his Internet, Inc. blog. Check it out.

3. Job Search Engines
Examples: Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, JobCentral.com

These are great timesavers; think of them as one-stop shopping for all of the above. Instead of checking every board every day, you can go to one of these "aggregator" job search engines and it will check ALL employer web sites and job boards for you! When you see a job you're interested in, just click the link and it sends you to the original listing. So easy!

UPDATE: As of June 2009, you can access jobs right from your Pongo account. Powered by Indeed, the Pongo job search tool will display job opportunities that match your Pongo profile. You can also modify and refine your search by job title, geographic area, and more.

4. Job Search Agent

This is the real magic of the Internet — setting up a "job search agent" means you can have the job listings come to you! New openings are emailed directly to you once you've saved your search criteria. Most job boards and job search engines have this feature. You can also specify how frequently you receive email updates — so if you're actively job seeking, sign up to get them at least once a day. If you're just casually keeping an eye on "what's out there," get a weekly update. (Even if you're happily employed, you should be doing this, because you just never know!)

Once you've established a network of colleagues and contacts, networking is the most effective way to land a new job. But when you're a job search virgin, the web is definitely your friend.

Please share any other job sites, boards, or search engines you're aware of! We can all learn from each other. (It's like... networking!)

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