You have an updated LinkedIn profile, have set up alerts from job-search aggregators, such as Indeed.com, and have a profile on job sites, such as Monster or CareerBuilder. But you have a nagging sense you could be doing more when it comes to job hunting. You’re right.
Popular services, such as LinkedIn, are fine tools to have in your job-search arsenal, but they’re not enough on their own. Every job seeker in the world is aware of them, so it’s hard to stand out in the crowd of people all yelling, “Hire me!” Plus, there’s a lot of noise on those sites. Sure, you’ll get messages from clueless recruiters who clearly haven’t looked at your resume, and you’ll see ads for jobs that sound too good to be true (because they are). But finding a real job in your field is a challenge.
Smart job seekers know to go beyond the obvious tools to find the perfect position. They’re clued in to their specific industry’s job boards, staffing agencies, and professional associations. They’re also doing all the other things career experts suggest they do, including networking and updating their resumes to building an online portfolio to show off their work.
But even the savviest of job seekers can’t always keep up with all the different career resources out there. To give your job hunt a boost, check out these 15 underrated job-search tools, which might help you find the perfect career.
New grads often struggle to find work. With less experience and few connections, getting your foot in the door is hard. WayUp, a job-search site specifically for students and recent grads, aims to make the process a bit easier. The company is run by the same type of people it serves (the founder and CEO is 26 years old), and it claims 1 out 3 students who use its platform get hired. It has also made increasing diversity in hiring part of its mission, providing employers with tools to help them see hiring blind spots, Fast Company reported.
The next job-search tool is an often overlooked social media company …
You’re not wasting time on Twitter. You’re using it to find a job. The U.S. president’s favorite social media site is an often-overlooked job-search tool. First, professionalize your profile with a photo and a bio that explains who you are and what you do, and include a link to your LinkedIn or website. Then, start following industry leaders and companies you want to work for, retweeting relevant content and sharing your thoughts. Engage with people and companies you want to connect with to build your network. Stay on top of company news. And find out about open jobs. Some companies even share job postings on Twitter, and you can use the search function to find them.
3. Facebook Jobs
Companies have been advertising job openings on Facebook for years, but the world’s biggest social network has only recently gotten into the formal job posting business. Starting in early 2017, Facebook began allowing companies to post job ads for free via their profiles. Users can search for jobs in their area and then apply through a form that’s pre-populated with information from their profile. (You’ll be able to edit the details.) Some employer’s ads might even show up right in your feed, saving you the trouble of searching.
It’s too early to say whether Facebook will change the way we all look for job. For now, it will probably be most effective for people looking for hourly or part-time work at smaller local companies, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Do you want to work from home? The next job-search tool might be your answer …
FlexJobs filters out junk ads (all those “make millions from your home office” postings), so you can find legitimate telecommute, flexible, freelance, and part-time work opportunities. Because the jobs listed are hand-screened, you will need to pay a fee to use the site, which ranges from $14.95 a month to $49.95 a year. Currently, there are more than 30,000 positions listed in 55 different categories, including account management and web design.
Craigslist is the place to go to find an apartment, a new roommate, and a pair of used skis (along with many quirkier items). It’s also a place to find a job.
Some job seekers write off the site because they assume it’s full of scams rather than legit opportunities. Although you do need a strong B.S. detector to comb through Craigslist job listings, real companies do use the site to find candidates. The cheap-to-post ads and local focus mean you can find jobs at smaller companies you won’t see on bigger job boards, as well as freelance work. (Don’t overlook the “gigs” section of the site.) Plus, unlike online application systems, a resume you send in via Craigslist goes right to someone’s inbox. Although you want to be wary of anonymous postings, sketchy work-from-home ads, and bottom-feeders trying to get you to work for free, there’s no reason to strike this massive classified site from your job search entirely.
Don’t wait for your dream job to pop up on a job board. With Comparably, you let companies know you’re interested in working for them. They can check out your anonymous profile. And if there’s a job opening that’s a good fit, you’ll get connected. You can also research salary data in your area, so you know you’re getting paid what you’re worth. You can see salary data by gender and years of experience and also check out how other employees have rated a company.
7. Niche job search sites
More than 62% of open jobs are posted on niche job sites, according to SmartRecruiter. These sites target job seekers in a specific industry, such as tech, the media, or health care. (There are even job boards for the cannabis industry.) The positions posted usually attract fewer candidates than those listed on general job search sites, according to a survey by the Job Board Doctor. So it should be easier to get an employer’s attention.
Internet stalking your interviewer just got a lot easier. Charlie, an iOS app, promises to help you “make a killer impression on whoever you’re meeting.” Once you add a meeting with a person to your calendar, the app will comb through thousands of sources. It compiles a dossier that includes information on the interviewer and company from their social profiles, mentions in the media, articles they’ve written, and more. You’ll get a report before the meeting is scheduled to begin. It cuts down on time-sucking Google searchers and delivers the information you need to look like a rock-star candidate during an interview, business meeting, or networking event.
Don’t forget to think like a college kid …
9. Alumni career centers
You probably paid the college career center a visit when you were an undergrad, but you might not have given it much thought since. But even mid-career job seekers can benefit from their alma mater’s career services department. Some schools maintain job boards specifically for alumni, often with postings from people who want to hire a fellow graduate. Your school might also have a database of people working in certain industries who are willing to share their expertise with job seekers or even host career fairs. Alumni networking events are another way to broaden your job search and connect with someone who might be your next boss.
Job searching is like dating, so why not use an app that helps your find a new employer in the same way you find dates? Jobr, from mega-job board Monster.com, is essentially Tinder for jobs. You download the app, complete your profile, and then start swiping — left for jobs you don’t want and right for those you’d like to apply to. It’s that simple. Switch works in a similar way. A swipe right indicates you’re interested in a position, and if the HR manager likes your profile, he or she will swipe right, too, and you’ll be connected via email or chat.
Your experience and skills could be just what employers are looking for, but they’ll never know it if the information is buried in a cluttered, clunky resume. Rather than trying to reformat it yourself, use a tool, such as EnhanCV, which will create a modern, easy-to-read resume that highlights your accomplishments and works with applicant tracking systems.
EnhanCV also analyzes your resume and make suggestions for improvement. Plus, it includes a feature for collecting feedback from friends and colleague. You can add graphs, photos, and even info about your favorite books to your resume. The basic template cost $4.99 per month, but to access all the features you’ll need to upgrade to a $14.99 monthly subscription. EnhanCV’s templates won’t work for everyone, though, so if you prefer a less-flashy resume check out a service, such as Resume Beacon.
12. Google Alerts
Google can be a powerful job-search tool, particularly the Alerts feature. You can set an Alert, so you’ll receive news about companies you follow, industry news, or jobs openings in your city. But the most useful way to use Google Alerts is to monitor your own online presence. Set up an Alert for your name, and you’ll find out whenever something about you is posted online, positive or negative. If you can see it so can hiring managers or recruiters. When something bad pops up, you’ll know and can take steps to mitigate the damage right away.
One of the hardest parts of your job search might be keeping track of everything. Mistakes, such as applying to the same job twice, losing a person’s contact information, or forgetting to send a follow-up email, aren’t going to do your career any favors. Enter JibberJobber. You can organize your contacts in a way that’s more private than LinkedIn, track job applications and interviews, get reminders for when you need to follow up on a task (such as sending a thank-you note), and more.
Rake is another tool that helps you organize your job search. You can use the iOS app to save job postings from different sites in a single place and add job opportunities that aren’t posted online. No more emailing yourself links to job ads. You can also set up to-do lists, prepare your application, keep track of jobs you’ve applied to, and share jobs with friends.
Applicant tracking systems are the bane of most job seekers. A system takes the information you enter on an application or in your resume, scans it for keywords, and then either moves you along in the process or (more than likely) decides you’re not worth the time.
Beating these robots is key if you’re applying for jobs online, but many job seekers don’t know how to do it. JobScan is the solution. It helps you write a resume that’s more likely to make it through an applicant tracking system’s brutal screening procedure. You upload your resume, as well as the description of the job you’re applying for. JobScan will tell you how well your resume matches with the ad and will offer suggestions for ways to improve your CV. You get five free comparisons per month, or you can upgrade to a subscription and get unlimited matches.