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21 Oct 2020 Austin Belcak

The Top Job Search Engines (How To Optimize Your Search)

Nowadays, when we have a question or need to solve a problem, the internet is often the first place we turn. Leaky pipe? Google local plumbers. In the mood for a new restaurant? Head to Yelp to read some reviews. Need to find a new job? Hop online and start searching.

And, if you’ve ever utilized the web during a job hunt, then you’ve almost certainly come across a few different job search engines at one point or another — and you probably have one or two that you’re quite familiar with.

Job search engines have become an integral piece of the modern job-hunting process — which is why it’s important to be well-versed in the various options (and differences between them) if you’re seeking a new position.

In this article, we’ll be covering:

  • The difference between a job search engine and a job board
  • How job search engines work
  • The best job search engines to use
  • Tips and best practices for using any job search engine

Let’s get started…

What Is The Difference Between A Job Search Engine And A Job Board?

Before we review the best job search engines, it’s helpful to understand how job search engines work and what differentiates them from job boards (as the two are often thought of interchangeably).

First, let’s consider job boards, which are websites that charge employers a fee to post job listings directly on the site. Job seekers are then able to browse through the listings and apply to openings that interest them.

Job search engines provide a similar user experience, but acquire the job listings differently. Also known as job aggregators, these sites will crawl the web to compile job listings from a variety of sources, including job boards, company websites, recruiting sites, and even other job search engines. And, for this reason, they often contain a higher volume of listings.

That being said, most job search engines also allow employers to post directly on the site as well, making them a hybrid of both a job board and a search engine.

How Do Job Search Engines Work?

Similar to mainstream search engines like Google, a job search engine sends algorithmic bots out to scour the web for public job posts. The bots then return this information to the site, where it’s indexed in a database.

Then, when a user enters a search query on the site (e.g. ‘Account Executive’), the job search engine can ping this query against its database to return the most relevant results. Other search features like location, experience level, and category can also be added to further enhance the relevancy of the search results.

The Best Job Search Engines To Use

Now that we’ve covered what a job search engine is and how one works, let’s review 5 of the best search engine sites to aid you in your job hunt:

#1: LinkedIn

LinkedIn takes the top spot on this list due to its overall importance in the professional world. As the go-to professional networking platform with over 700 million users, it’s absolutely essential to have a LinkedIn account if you’re looking for a new job. And, once you’ve set up/optimized your LinkedIn profile, you can conveniently apply to many of the job posts with a click of the ‘Easy Apply’ button.

#2: Indeed

As one of the oldest and largest career sites in the world, Indeed is a powerful job search engine that offers unparalleled scope. With millions of job listings across all industries, there’s a good chance the opportunity you’re looking for can be found on Indeed.

#3: Glassdoor

Glassdoor is unique in the level of insight it provides. Its primary emphasis is on creating a ‘window’ into what it’s like to work at a particular company. It does this by gathering anonymous reviews from employees (who can report on aspects like salary, culture, benefits/perks, and even their opinion of the CEO).

#4: SimplyHired

While it’s not as large as the three above, SimplyHired gets a special mention for its advanced search features — which extend well-beyond query terms and location filters. You can refine your search with very niche parameters (e.g. companies that rate highly for inclusion/diversity, sustainability, and more).

#5: FlexJobs

If you’re looking for a remote position, you should definitely be checking FlexJobs. As the name suggests, Flexjobs is specifically geared towards flexible/remote jobs — which are becoming increasingly common and accepted by employers of all shapes and sizes (and the covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the shift to remote work).

Tips For Using Any Job Search Engine

With the 5 job search engines above at your fingertips, let’s now explore 3 best practices to help you optimize for success:

Utilize Advanced Filters. In addition to the basic elements like queries and location, try narrowing your search down using advanced filters like post date, experience level, job type, and salary level.

Set Up Job Alerts. Most job search engines allow you to create job alerts to notify you when new jobs that match your criteria are posted. This will help you stay up-to-speed and position you to be among the first applicants.

Download The Mobile App. Searching for jobs is time-consuming, which is why it’s wise to download the mobile app of your favorite job search engine. That way, you can squeeze in some browsing when you have spare time (e.g. on the train).

Crafting A Stellar Resume

If you’re applying to jobs online, you’ll need a polished version of your resume to send out to potential employers. If you’d like to take your resume to the next level and stand out to recruiters and hiring managers, be sure to check out these resources:

And, if you’d like to go one step further and learn my proven strategy for landing an awesome job without going through the traditional application process, check out my article on How To Get A Job Anywhere With No Connections!

Austin Belcak

Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people land jobs without connections, without traditional experience, and without applying online. His strategies have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, & Fast Company and has helped people just like you land jobs at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, & more.

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