Free Job Search Engines: How to Get the Most from Online Job Search Engines

Free job search engines can maximize your job search if you know how to use them. Find out how to make the most of online job search engines – including the top job search sites.

This article will help answer a few questions:

  • How can I get the most value out of the free job search engines?
  • What is the best job search site?
  • What are the top job search engines?
  • How do I find jobs available in my area?
  • How can use a job search engine to search for work I love?

While they are integral part of any job search, free job search engines also have the potential to take up all of your job search time if you don’t use them wisely. And that, my friend, would be a huge mistake.

Have you seen the stats about how most people actually get jobs? I’ll give you a hint: Not just by answering ads on job sites (hardly anyone finds jobs that way!). However because online job search engines are so convenient, many people just post and wait. Those are the people that wait the longest.

So how can you get the most from online job search engines? Start here.

Jobs from Indeed

Three Main Uses for Free Job Search Engines: Research, Post and Search

Maximize your results on any career and job search engine by knowing exactly what to use them for: Research how companies are describing the type of work you are looking for to optimize your presentation, post your resume and of course, search for open positions at companies you are interested in.

Use Online Job Search Engines for Research

Research is perhaps the most powerful way to use free job search engines. How do the types of companies that you are interested in describe the type of work that you are looking for? What are the job titles, key responsibilities and activities? Getting this right is the key to being successful at using the free job search engines.

Scour job descriptions for positions that look most appealing to you. Print them out and analyze them. Carefully pluck the keywords, skills, industry and industry terms that appear most often and highlight those in your resume as they apply to you. You may be the perfect match for a particular job, but if you don't describe it on your resume in a way that makes it easy to find you, no one will ever know you exist.

Post Your Resume Online

Once you have fine-tuned your resume to include the keywords that are most important to making you findable for the jobs you want - post it! Identify a handful of free job search sites that you will stick with. Then spend the time to create an online profile and post your resume that highlights your accomplishments and includes the keywords that you've identified in your research.

Once you've posted your resume, refresh it often - even daily. Here's why: When an employer or recruiter is searching for the perfect match to their open job, they use keywords to find the right people. The list that comes back is typically organized chronologically - meaning that the person that matches those keywords and who updated their resume the most recently is at the top. With so many potential candidates online, employers often filter this way, by looking for resumes that have been posted (refreshed) in the last week - or even within the last few days. That's why it's important to stick with a few free job search engines that you can actually keep up with on a regular basis.

But how do you choose the best job search engine and top job search sites? The potential list of job search engines is miles long and keeping up with all of them would require a small army.

Focus on the Top Job Search Engines for Your Particular Search

It would be impossible to tackle all of the free job search engines and make any headway in your job search. Instead, when choosing a job search engine, search for and commit to a handful that you will focus on to make the most of your particular job search.

  • Start with the broad job search engines such as Monster and CareerBuilder. It's worthwhile to go ahead and post your carefully crafted text-based resume on these sites because they are used so heavily by employers and recruiters.
  • In addition to these broad job search engines, there are many, many smaller sites to consider, but to save time, it is helpful to use a job aggregator such as Indeed or SimplyHired rather than look at each of them individually. Indeed and SimplyHired literally scour thousands of sites to bring you results from all of them at once -- so you don't have to! This is a tremendous time saver!
  • While not a traditional job search engine, LinkedIn offers excellent resources for you to research and post. You'll likely use LinkedIn most often in your research to find people who are connected to your job search. For instance, if you are interested in a particular position and want to find the hiring manager, do some digging on LinkedIn to identify people that are associated with the company you are targeting. Join affiliated groups so that you can write to those people directly without an introduction. Then introduce yourself to a person at your targeted company, network with them and obtain a name.
  • If you're looking for work in a particular industry, be sure to use the industry-specific and geographic-specific sources that are appropriate for you. Local listings and jobs available in my area can typically be found online in industry journals or your local newspaper.
  • Finally, if you are targeting a few specific companies, be sure to include their web sites specifically in your online job search.

Stay on Top of Your Search and Differentiate

Searching for jobs that you may be interested in applying for is easy. You've done your research. Use the keywords and titles you've discovered during your research to discover opportunities you might be interested. Use a variety of keyword combinations to see if that helps you uncover more opportunities. Search by titles, search by skills.

Before you submit your resume and cover letter online through one of the free job search engines, be sure to research any company before applying since you will be giving out personal information as part of the process. Once you know the job listing is legitimate, get ready to submit your cover letter and resume. But think through your options first. Being one of the hundreds or thousands of people who apply through the automated system may not be the best approach. Think of potential resources that might help you get a leg up on your competition.

For instance, do you have any contacts that are associated with the company? Can you find someone in your LinkedIn network that works at the targeted employer? Do you know the name of the hiring manager or can you find it? Can you talk with them?

If you find any leads that allow you to get your foot in the door more directly, follow that lead. If not, go ahead and apply online. Either way, make note that you applied and which resume you used. You'll need that information in your follow up!

Free job search engines are an integral part of most job searches. They are powerful tools that, if used correctly, help you advance your career and find work that you love.

May your search for a career opportunity be fruitful! Good luck!

Looking for more great information on how to find a job? You may also like these articles:

How to Find a Job - The Basics
Finding Jobs Available in My Area
Build a Great Resume--The Basics
Writing a Cover Letter
Preparing for a Job Interview