How to Beat the Engine: Tips for Online Job Searching

As a recent college grad, I cannot even fathom the idea of looking for jobs in the classifieds. With the invention of the internet and the job search engine, finding opportunities through these services are more streamlined and catered to each users’ individual needs. Sites, such as, provide an extensive database of job listings that can be accessed quickly and at any time.

 Here are some tips and tricks on how to effectively search for jobs online.

1. Picking the right site.

There is a surplus of job sites available to you but by choosing the right one, you have won half the battle. A factor to keep in mind is frequency. You want to pick a site that frequently posts and updates their listings. Check to see if the site advertises new positions every week or every day. Most importantly, do they update their jobs? Or will you end up applying to a job that was given to someone else last week? By picking the right engine, you are effectively using your time.

2. Be prepared.

You have now found the best site to begin your search but before you start, make sure you have all your materials prepared. Check that your resume is up to date and PDF ready, so that it is easy to submit to future employers. Also ensure you have a written summary of every position you have held so you have it on hand for customized cover letters.

3. Narrow your search.

Searching for a job can be overwhelming but by utilizing the tools that most engines already have in place it can calm the chaos. Remember to keep the search to simple keywords. If you are looking for a Human Resources Generalist position within the marketing industry, simply start with “Human Resources”. This basic term will pull up all possible positions that fill that search, and then make use of the site’s already established categories. Most engines will breakdown the listings by industry, and then position, location, hours, and so on. You can then begin to customize your search through the site’s filters.

4. Do your research.

With the help of the site’s filters you have successfully found the job of your dreams! But be prepared to do some research. Look thoroughly through the listing and decide if you are qualified for the position. If so, send your resume immediately. However, if you are not, really evaluate whether it is worth your time—and HR’s time—to submit your application. The job search can be time-consuming and you want to make sure you are using your energy efficiently.

5. Take one application at a time.

Suddenly you realize that you have found 20 jobs you qualify for and want to immediately send out your resumes. Take a breath and look at each listing separately. By taking one application at a time, you are allowing yourself to fully concentrate on that individual company. This will reduce confusion and hopefully mistakes.

6. Create custom job alerts.

After applying to all the qualified positions, I would suggest creating a custom job alert. This will allow an e-mail to be sent to you when similar positions have been posted to the site later on. You will then become instantly aware of listings that you really want and have the ability to apply immediately.

Good luck and happy searching! 

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