When you visit the site:
Read any information offered about how the site works--especially whether there are costs to you OR costs to the employer.
Why do you care about employer costs? The more expensive it is for the employer, the smaller the number of employers on the site. Would the kind of employer you are seeking find this site attractive enough to write a check? If the site permits you to look at a list of participating employers--do it!
How JobStar Rates the Sites:
Some sites permit browsing by location. Rough estimates of the number of California or regional area jobs are included in JobStar's description where possible. The greater the number of , the more California jobs seen. Remember that these sites change daily. Even if the estimate of California employers is low, you may still want to take a look.
It's tough to measure the tech vs. non-tech quotient of each site! The greater the number of , the more titles were seen for non-programmer-type people. Does the site have a category for, say, Human Resources or Management? Are there any jobs available under that category? A site with a "fair number" of non-programmer jobs will earn a better "Low Tech" rating. (This is all "ballpark"! If you think of a better way to sort this out, tell Electra.)
Keyword searching is great. But it can turn into a game of Twenty Questions if you can't get a "feel" for what's there by browsing.
Getting your money's worth from a keyword search:
Browsing--scanning a list of locations, job titles, company names and looking at a few examples--will help you prepare the best keyword searches.
- Read any SEARCH HELP provided.
Find out if you can combine terms ("AND"-ing and "OR"-ing keywords may be offered as "Boolean searching.")
Can you truncate terms: so that "pharm" searches for pharmaceutical, pharmacology, pharmacist?
Can you add a state or a place name to limit your results?
- Use the MOST specific term first: "meteorologist" or "cytologist" or "auditor."
- Examine the results.
- TOO MANY? (You should be so lucky.) Add more keywords: "meteorologist television" or "cytologist pharmaceutical."
- TOO FEW? Was your first, specific, search disappointing? Did you search for "cytologist" and get nothing? Try a broader term: "laboratory" or "medical technology." If that doesn't work (or if you want a larger list):
- Search for the setting: "television" or "pharmaceutical" or "drug" or "media."
- Take a look at what you have so far. If you got lots of results with each try, add more search terms.
For instance, before searching for "Meteorologist," look for a "Job Category" that is close: "Scientists," "Weather," "Earth Science." Take a look at a few sample records under the best heading.
How specific are the job titles you are seeing? What kinds of terminology is used? "Scientist" or "Botanics Extract Technician?" Are the job listings marked with a state name or with a city or regional name like "Northern California" or "Southern California"? Use these clues to help you construct a good keyword search!
[The price you'll pay for not browsing first is: you'll search a very specific term, not find it, and walk away. There may be a job there that's right for you, but your "too specific search" missed it.]
Some sites do not give you a way to browse. If browsing IS offered, spend some time doing it before investing your time in keyword searching. Mega-job sites (if you're listening), please help job seekers by giving them easy ways to browse--as well as search--your job postings. The BEST searchers browse first and search later...and more effectively.