Online Guerrilla Job Search Techniques

Almost every client I have ever assisted with resume design and/or job search techniques is surprised to learn of many “hidden” functions of the myriad job boards available online. For example, have you ever utilized any of the following:

  • Meta-search boards
  • Advanced search functions on generic job boards
  • Networking tools such as Monster.com’s People Finder function

Each of these functions is “hidden” in the sense that you usually have to click through several screens to find them, and most job seekers don’t bother to do that. The average job seeker conducts a series of significantly less-than-in-depth position searches and never learns to optimize the advantages of online job boards.

Many job seekers are still unaware of the time-saving advantages of utilizing meta-search boards such as Indeed.com, SimplyHired, or even Monster’s Military.com/spouse. These boards and many like them specialize in aggregating job postings from a wide variety of sources such as the major generic job boards, niche boards, online help wanted ads from newspapers, geographic-specific boards, and employer websites.

What difference could such job boards make for your job search? By developing several strong automated search agents and/or advanced searches, you can “program” meta-search boards to source leads for you from the many resources noted above, thus saving you significant time and energy in your job search and helping to preserve your all-important life/work balance.

In a recent post on the MyGlobalCareer.com blog, author Jennifer Hamm reports that Jonathan Duarte, founder of the GO Jobs online job board, believes that advanced search functions often require too many steps to appeal to many job seekers. Duarte also notes that many job seekers know too little about Boolean search techniques, and that such knowledge is key to taking full advantage of advanced job board functions.

What difference could advanced search functions make for your job search? By learning and applying Boolean search terms such as “and” and “or” and expanding your targeted use of key word/job title terms, you can improve the quantity and quality of job leads sourced for you.

Monster’s People Finder function is a great example of another “hidden” function of job boards that mid-career job seekers should aggressively use. You can find this function on Monster by setting up an account and clicking on the My Monster tab, then looking down the navigation menu on the right for Networking resources.

The millions of job seekers who create Monster accounts are invited to record their current and past employment in their account. Monster tracks this information and allows you to search it via People Finder.

What difference could a People Finder function make for your job search? By utilizing People Finder functions, you can source new networking leads and identify professionals currently working in your targeted prospect companies, thus deepening your penetration of the Hidden Job Market.

Not all job boards offer people finder functions, but some websites are beginning to specialize in helping job seekers to connect with past/prospective networking leads. Consider using services such as LinkedIn.com, Rize.com, PeopleFinders.com, and MeetUp.com to help you expand your networking and referral-building efforts both online and offline.

The bottom line? You can conduct a smarter online job search and yield more targeted results by using fewer job boards in more strategic ways. Try one or more of these approaches today, then let me know what difference it makes in your job search by posting a reply to this post.

Comments

  1. Interesting post. I would like to see job boards do away with formal Boolean techniques and implement easy-to-configure filters instead. An example of this would be check lists of places; companies; people; jobs; and functions to include or exclude from the search. I believe that a ‘wizard’ approach would be more intuitive for job seekers and possibly recruiters too.

  2. Cheryl Lynch Simpson says:

    Great ideas, Rusty! I have to agree that a wizard approach would be much more user friendly to most job seekers and recruiters.

    But let’s take it one step further. I’d like to see checklists of industry-specific key words as well. Most job seekers don’t user key words when searching for jobs, but they should, and if this functionality was added to job boards, I think it would probably be a hit and offer significantly improved results.

    Any other great ideas out there?