If you ever have tried to find a job posting online, as most job searchers do, you probably were struck by the how difficult it is to find a suitable job for which you could apply online. You might have also noticed that it is very difficult to get any response from employers, let alone a positive one which actually leads to an interview from advertised positions.
The Internet has become the place we go to for almost anything we need, including information, products and services, and so it seems logical that jobs would be posted there, too — and they are. The problem with the Internet in general is that it’s often difficult to figure out which sites offer quality service and a genuine commitment to helping users get what they need. This is especially true for job search, with hundreds of boards which promise the widest selection of quality posts and many which don’t seem to live up to their promise.
Of course, many professionals in the employment field will rightly caution you against using the traditional large online job boards as your only source of jobs to which to apply. The competition for jobs makes it very difficult for the average job searcher to stand out and be noticed on the large job boards. It is also understood that due to the cost of posting on the premium online boards, as well as the cost of dealing with the huge number of applicants who respond to these posts, many employers do not post all (or sometimes any) jobs on the large boards.
Also, it is widely recommended that in order to be noticed as well as be referred to meaningful jobs, you should network with potential employers. The importance of this cannot be understated. But, that does not mean that you should not seek positions online. Besides the possibility of finding a good position to which you may want to apply, there are other benefits to searching for postings. Reading about jobs and learning about the expectations of employers, as well as who is hiring for which positions can be very helpful in guiding your job search process.
To help you choose job sites in which to invest your time, I will outline the range of different boards, each with their own pros and cons, with some examples.
1. PREMIUM JOB BOARDS:
The most popular sources of job postings online are the very large premium job boards, such as Workopolis, Working.com and Monster.ca. These boards have thousands of postings Canada-wide. They allow users to search the database of jobs so to narrow their search by location, sector and job title. Some offer an “alert” system (for example, Monster.ca users can sign up for alerts here) to receive emails notifying them about jobs which match their requirements. I call these boards “premium” because they charge employers high rates for postings, ranging from about $400-$700+ per post, per month. Additional services include up to date job search information and tips, such as those on Workopolis’ Career Resources, as well as the option for job searchers to post resumes which can be found by employers or recruiters (such as on Working.com, for example).
- Largest number of job postings on a single site
- Posts are up to date, and are removed as soon as job vacancy is filled
- Searchable by a wide range of criteria
- Candidates can sign up for email alerts
- Offer high quality job search information and tips
- These boards are very popular and therefore very competitive, with a large number of job searchers applying for each post, making it very hard for individual job searchers to be noticed
- Number of postings can be overwhelming
- The high cost of posting results in many employers using these boards to only post their more senior, high-end jobs — for which there are fewer suitable candidates
- Many of the posts are placed by agencies rather than employers directly
2. SECTOR-SPECIFIC JOB BOARDS:
Some specific employment sectors have their own jobs sites, such as CharityVillage (non-profit sector), WorkCabin (green/environmental sector) , SportsHiring (sports), Retail.ca (retail), IT World Canada (Information Technology), My Jobsite (construction) and Work In Culture (arts). The size and services provided by these sites vary, with some offering additional services such as job search supports, sector information such as labour market information, industry news, as well as alerts and searchable databases.
Many sector specific sites are posted by professional associations which provide a job board as part of their services to members. These are particularly useful sites because there is a much smaller group of applicants, and the jobs are targeted and often unique to the site. An example of this is the Toronto Construction Association job postings.
- Less users and are therefore less competitive
- For a job seeker who is looking for a way to enter into a new sector, entry-level jobs advertised in these boards may be a good way to start a career in that field
- Browsing through these sites will help job searchers identify potential employers in their favourite sector, to target for networking and further job search
- Labour market information and industry news can be helpful sources of information for job searchers, to learn about new sources of jobs, as well as gather information that could impress potential employers in interviews
- Fewer job postings than the larger boards
- Some sites are not searchable, which means that users have to scroll through the listings manually
- Professional associations often require a membership fee to access their job boards
- Not all sectors have job boards
- Jobs posted on sector specific boards tend to expect higher and more specific credentials and experience from candidates
3. ONLINE CLASSIFIEDS:
Websites such as Craigslist and Kijiji can also be an excellent source of jobs. Anyone can post a job — free of charge. Employers do need to identify themselves and are provided with an email address through which they can be reached. Some classifieds are based in print newspaper such as Now Magazine or Metroland Media.
- A large amount of jobs are posted daily
- Jobs often have fewer limitations on the qualifications of the candidates
- Many jobs are in the creative and informal sectors
- Jobs database tends to be searchable, allowing searchers to limit location, type and use keywords to narrow the search
- More of the positions are entry-level, allowing for career changers or those seeking first time experience to apply
- Jobs tend to be lower paid
- Some jobs and employers may be “sketchy” or unpredictable
4. RECRUITMENT/EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES:
Many employment agencies post jobs on their websites, as a way to attract candidates and advertise their services to potential employers. These jobs are often temporary or contract. Candidates are required to register and upload a resume and cover letter to apply. An extensive list of such agencies can be found on this site, Canada Employment Agencies.
- Once a candidate is registered with the agency, they may be considered for other positions which may arise in the future within the agency
- Temporary jobs are a great way to gain experience and earn an income, while searching for other opportunities
- Salaries may be lower because a percentage of the wage is paid to the agency
- Temporary agency contracts may limit the ability of an employer to hire a candidate into a more permanent position
5. VERTICAL JOB BOARDS:
A more recent development in online job search uses keyword search technology to enable you to search for jobs across a number of job boards simultaneously. A job searcher can enter a key word (e.g. “Office Clerk”) and a location or postal code into websites such as Indeed, Eluta, Wow Jobs or Simply Hired, which will then search across a number of the premium jobs sites, as well as agencies, companies and sector specific boards to find all the jobs which match the keyword and location. Job searchers can sign up for email alerts, as well.
- A convenient and effective time saver
- Discover new sources of jobs
- Alerts are easy to set up and delete, if necessary
- Keywords must be accurate and specific, otherwise you may miss suitable jobs (for example, you might miss a job if you use the term “secretary” but the employer calls the job “administrative assistant”!
- Job searchers have reported a slight delay in the time it takes a job to be found via the vertical boards (for example, a job posted on Workopolis might only appear on WowJobs the next day)
Other online sources of jobs include:
- Company websites: Most companies have websites which include employment opportunities. This is probably the most effective source of detailed jobs because employers are not limited by cost. It is well worth identifying a list of target companies and bookmarking them, so you can check these sites frequently.
- GOOGLE is an excellent source of jobs. Simply enter the job title and location (e.g. “Accountant” and “Toronto”) into Google.ca to locate postings.
- Don’t forget social media! In previous blogs, we have discussed how you can use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as an excellent source of job postings.
Finally, a few tips to help you manage the huge amount of job information online:
- Create a professional sounding new email address that is dedicated to job search. This will allow you to register with various sites, without clogging your personal email with new incoming emails.
- Don’t use too many job sites. Be selective and limit your search to those sites which are most effective for your particular purposes.
- Keep organised — make a list (a Word document might be all you need) of all the sites you are using, with the links, so you can check them regularly. Some job searchers have found career management sites such as Jibber Jobber helpful to manage their online job search process.
- Don’t forget to switch off the computer and go out to meet employers face to face. Ultimately, this is how many jobs are found and how you will, most likely, be noticed by an employer.