Job searching frequently starts online. LinkedIn, Monster and Career Builder are some of the best known job seeking sites out there and are great choices to review the hiring landscape. For employers, posting positions on these behemoths means many eyes see their positions. However, there are a few downsides for employers who use the most common job boards. Posting to them comes with a hefty price tag and yields hundreds of responses from unqualified applicants, who the employer must screen.
Today's smart job seeker should leverage these major job boards while also casting a wider net. Finding (and securing) the right job may not always occur in the most obvious places. Here are additional online sites to help you find a new career:
GrooveJob.com: This site is the largest job board for part-time, hourly, seasonal and student jobs. It enables the job seeker to sort by location and industry and offers hundreds of listings for many major metropolitan areas. GrooveJob.com is an excellent resource for someone looking to add some extra work or take on a part-time role. It also has job seeker resources and articles to address common questions and challenges.
Glassdoor.com: Best known for its inside look at more than 329,000 employers from current and ex-employees, Glassdoor allows users to see salary information, company reviews and typical interview questions posted anonymously. This information is a great complement to typical employment research.
Glassdoor also has a job board where employers can post available positions. You can sort by company ratings, type of role and posting date. You can also create alerts to let you know when new positions are posted that match specific criteria.
Craigslist.com: For major metropolitan areas, Craigslist is a go-to site for small and midsized businesses looking to add to their staffs. While there are some corporate positions posted, it's typically general administrative, customer service, food service, retail and bookkeeping or accounting roles found on this site. Employers often choose Craiglist due to its reasonable cost to post a position and its local applicant draw. The roles are broken into job type, and you can sort by neighborhoods, keywords and posting dates to create an ideal search.
Nextdoor.com: Most likely, Nextdoor is coming to a neighborhood near you soon. With more than 44,000 neighborhoods online to date, this virtual community board allows neighbors to communicate with others in their immediate vicinity. While it's primary goal is to enable the sharing of useful information like "Can you recommend a good plumber?" or "There will be a block party this Sunday on Elm Street," you will also find local residents looking for employees for their businesses.
There is a greater level of trust when a neighbor refers a job seeker versus someone who is a complete stranger. While there is not a section for job seekers, you can review recent comments from your neighbors to see if anyone references hiring or post that you are looking for a specific kind of opportunity.
Your alumni association website: When thinking about a new role, take a minute to reconnect with your college or university's alumni association and its website. These groups often offer a wealth of job seeking resources, classes and workshops on updating your professional image and open positions posted by local employers.
Although the primary purpose of an alumni association is to keep graduates connected to campus, one of the most popular benefits of membership is professional development. Whether it is attending a networking event or applying for an available position, the costs of joining your alumni association are easily covered by the employment and networking related gains.
The key to finding an opportunity is expanding your view. By including both the major job boards as well as some of the specialty sites, you are tapping into a diverse network of employers. As you expand your options, you also give yourself a competitive advantage when you apply for openings without a high level of competition.
Be sure to diligently research all employers and hiring authorities regardless of where you found the role. Also, take the time to tailor your application, cover letter and résumé to reflect how well you match the position requirements. Don't forget to proofread your materials several times before submitting to an online opening. Job seeking is not an easy task, but taking advantage of the "road less traveled" may give you the extra edge you need to land your ideal next role.
Robin Reshwan is the founder of Collegial Services, a consulting/staffing firm that connects college students, recent graduates and the organizations that hire them and a certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE). She has interviewed, placed and hired thousands of people across a broad spectrum of companies and industries. Her career tips and advice are used by universities, national clubs/associations and businesses. A Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Robin has been honored as a Professional Business Woman of the Year by the American Business Women's Association. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and as a Regents Scholar from University of California, Davis.