Tips for Using Job Search Engines

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Job search engines instantly put thousands of open positions right at your fingertips. They’re an excellent resource, yes, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind in order to get the most out of them. Here are some tips:

  • Posting resumes isn't enough – Getting your resume up is the first step in getting started on most job search sites, but you can't just post your resume and assume the job offers will find you. Make it a regular habit to check job postings, and be proactive in submitting applications as soon as listings go up.

  • Use keywords - When companies search resumes for potential candidates, they use narrowly-defined keywords. Make sure your resume uses current and specific terminology (as well as more common terms for unconventional titles) for work history, degrees, and certifications.

  • Formatting matters – When you upload a resume to a job site or attach it to an email, you have no control over how it turns out in its digital appearance. That’s why you should pay close attention to spacing, indents, bullets and graphics (e.g. lines) that might get lost in translation. To avoid this, upload files as PDFs to preserve their original appearance.

  • Target applications – Just because job search engines allow you to apply to dozens of positions at once doesn't mean that you should. Instead, target your responses. Craft one or two job-specific resumes and cover letters instead of copying and pasting generic information.

  • Track all sent applications – If you’re sending out multiple applications, responses can get confusing. Create a simple spreadsheet to track your progress. This way you won’t send out the same application twice, and you’ll know when it’s time to follow up on sent applications.

Job search engines are a fantastic resource for job seekers. You just have to stay organized and focused on your overall goal.