Job Tips: How To Use Career Search Engines

How to use the Internet to search for and find jobs.

Globalization and an increasingly diversified workplace have opened up a range of employment opportunities to today's job seekers. Searching your local newspaper's classified ads is no longer the best way to find the right job for you. Increasingly, job seekers are using career search engines to help expand or refine the list of positions available to them. When utilizing a career search engine, consider the following guidelines:

1. Identify the keywords relevant to the position in which you are interested. For example, if you are interested in a position in pharmaceutical sales, "pharmaceutical sales" would be a good search phrase with which to begin. Be careful not to make your search term too broad or too narrow: "sales" might generate too many job entries while "allergy medication sales" might generate too few. For those of you who might have difficulty thinking of a good keyword for the type of position you are interested in, most career search engines offer a list of job categories from which you can search. When selecting one of these categories you can leave the keyword search blank, or include it to make the search more specific.

2. Narrow your search. If your first search generates too many job entries for you to review or too many that are not relevant to a position you would be interested in, you may need to narrow your search. For example, most career search engines will allow you to narrow your search by geography or even by the company for which you are interested in working. If you are only interested in positions in California, you may select to search positions in that area alone. Most career search engines also allow you to organize your search by the date the position was posted on the career website. This will allow you to apply for the most recently posted positions and increase your chances of getting a response from employers.



3. Broaden you search. If your initial search generates too few entries, consider making your search terms broader. Search for positions in several cities, rather than just one. Or, instead of using the search term "marriage counselor," try "counselor" instead. Remember, it is better to start out with a broad search that you can narrow down to a more specific list.

4. If you are seeking a position in a highly specialized career, you might consider using a career search engine specific to your field of interest. There are career search engines for educators, medical professionals, law enforcement officers, skilled workers and a range of other professions. Using a specialized career search engine may allow you to find positions that would not be listed in a more generic career search engine.

5. Read over each job listing carefully. Once you have narrowed down your list of positions, it is time to review each entry thoroughly. Some employers will provide a lot of information about the position: job location, work hours, job title, job description and salary. However, some employers may supply only some of this information. In order to avoid wasting time applying for a job you may not even want, read the entire job entry carefully and contact the employer with any questions before applying. Important: some career search engines contain postings for "opportunities" you should be very cautious of, such as work-from-home or direct-mail schemes. Never supply a potential employer with your social security or bank account number.

6. Apply for the job. Many career search engines contain job postings that will allow you to apply online. This is a convenient option that can save you both the time and cost of printing and mailing your job application. However, it is important to put as much effort into your online application as you would a paper one. Take time to make sure all the information you supplied is accurate and there are no spelling or proofreading errors. Remember: you application materials are the only things your potential employers will have to evaluate you""make sure they set a good first impression.

Searching for career opportunities online can be a daunting task, but the rewards of doing so are immeasurable. Online searches allow you access to positions that cannot be found in your local newspaper or through "word of mouth." And one of those positions could be your dream job!

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