How do you decide which resources will fit your needs? Try asking yourself the following questions below as you scan a site.
- What does the site offer? Some sites offer only job listings, while others also offer networking opportunities, discussion groups, articles and newsletters with job-search tips, and even lists of trade associations you can contact for more info on certain professions.
- There’s no point registering for a site that only lists a few new jobs per week…
- How frequently are the listings updated? Most of the largest job websites are drowning in hundreds or thousands of new posts every day – but there’s probably no point registering for a site that only gets a few new job listings per week. If you see a lot of listings that are at least 30 days old, or only a few from the current week, that site probably isn’t worth your time.
- Who runs the site? You can easily find this out by clicking the “About Us” link that’s at the very top or bottom of almost every major job website. If you don’t recognise the company that runs the site, plug their name into Google and find out a little more about them. While many companies are perfectly legitimate, others may not be as trustworthy or helpful.
- Do the admins respond to messages? If you’re going to be spending a lot of time on a given site, you’ll want to make sure the customer support staff are eager to help in case of a problem. Try firing off a quick email or message to them, asking any of the questions above, or just saying you want to check on their responsiveness. If they don’t get back to you, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by moving on to other sites.
- If there’s a fee, is it worth it? Quite a few job-search sites are free for basic use, but some charge a fee for advanced features like networking and high-volume messaging. Depending on your situation, some of the paid features may be worth your money – but never trust a site that charges you, or makes you register, just to take a peek. Any site that’s trustworthy will at least give you a look for free.
Remember, only you can decide whether a site and its resources meet your needs. Asking friends, family members, colleagues, and even others in your job transition group (if you’re a member of one) will help you create a list of starting points for your search – and it might also cross some sites off your list as others relate problems they’ve had. So go ahead and exchange ideas with others as you begin your search – but keep in mind that these are just suggestions. If they don’t work out, you can always jump on Google, track down some other promising sites, and branch out on your own.