Some of the job sites that call themselves the best job sites are not good job sites, let alone the best job sites. Others are bad, and still others would garner a spot on a list of worst job sites.
The worst of them take advantage of job seekers who can't afford to waste money by charging them for job listings and resources that are available free via the job search engines or directly on company sites.
Don't Believe Everything You Read
Don't believe everything you read whether it's online or email. For example, there are job sites that say they can provide you with access (for a fee) to unadvertised jobs on company web sites. You don't need to pay. Visit LinkUp and you'll be able to find those exact same listings on company web sites - free.
There are job sites that promote the fact that they are on a Best Job Sites list - that doesn't guarantee you a site is good. That's typically just the writer's opinion, not a fact, and the site may not have been thoroughly vetted or the site may have changed its focus since it was reviewed.
What's important in all of this is that, because the Internet is so difficult to police, it's up to you, the job seeker, to do due diligence and check out the job sites you are going to use before you use them.
Check Out the Site Before You Sign Up
Before you sign up for any job site that charges a fee, take a few minutes to check it out. Check the RipOff Report, Google the company name along the words "scam" "credit card" and "fraud." Check the fine print in the user agreement to see how and when you can get a refund. Check how easy - or difficult - it is to cancel.
Bad Job Site Warning Signs
Sites That Charge a Fee. You don't need to pay a fee to access job listings online. Just about every job posting there is online is available absolutely free. So, be very cautious about sites that charge you for job postings.
Promises Exclusive Listings. Promising exclusive listings from company websites doesn't make a whole lot of sense. First of all, the job is obviously posted on the company site for anyone to see. You can find it that way and there's nothing exclusive about it. You can also use a free job search engine to find those exact same "exclusive" job listings - direct from the company site.
New Job Postings Every Minute. This one they can do. But, so can any other job search engine, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other resources. New jobs are posted all the time, and they are indexed online as soon as they are listed. Again, you don't need to pay for that service.
Promises You a Job - Fast. A site that suggests that job seekers can find a job within a day or two is one to watch out for. The hiring process usually takes significantly long than that, and it's a rare occurrence when a candidate gets hired that quickly.
Locks You into a Service Agreement. Getting taken advantage and having to pay for job listings you don't need to is bad enough. It's even worse when you're locked into a monthly service agreement that can be difficult to cancel. Imagine having to cancel any online agreement by phone, when you signed up online? There are sites, really, where you have to call to cancel.
The Fine Print. Lots of fine print in the user agreement can be a job site red flag. When there are lots of terms and conditions for getting a refund, for cancelling the service, and for using the service, read them carefully - before you sign up.
What You Find on Google. When you search Google using the job site name and come up with lots of bad stuff like RipOff Report warnings from users who can't cancel, who get extra charges billed to their credit card, or who can't get refunds, pay attention to those warnings.
The Job Industry Standard
Keep in mind, as well, that legitimate companies don't charge job seekers to get hired. Legitimate employers pay you, they don't charge you a fee. Job sites shouldn't charge you either. The industry standard, and it's a good one, is that companies pay to post jobs on job boards or they list them on their own company website, or both. Either way there is no financial cost to the candidate.
Another part of our industry standard is that a good job site should provide value. Value for both job seekers and for employers. A good job site does it's best to match candidates with companies in an effective manner, so it's a win-win situation for both.
To further explain that industry standard and to give an example of the difference between bad job sites and good job sites, I asked Toby Dayton, CEO, LinkUp, to explain how LinkUp works. Toby says, "LinkUp's singular mission is to build the best job search engine on the web, delivering the strongest value proposition to both job seekers and employers. In our mind, that means providing job seekers free access to the highest quality job listings available on the web."
Toby goes on to say "LinkUp's search engine indexes only jobs that are found on company websites which assures that the listings are always current because the index is updated every night, often unadvertised anywhere else on the web, and never fake. LinkUp does not allow anyone to post jobs directly to the site, nor do we republish listings from other job boards, so we have completely eliminated all of the garbage listings and scam jobs that pollute other job boards and job aggregators. Everything we do at LinkUp is driven by truly serving the needs of job seekers and employers."
What is Worth Paying For
On a related note, giving advice and offering products and services for a fee is acceptable, of course, as long as a site provides value to job seekers and isn't trying to take advantage of them.
For example, career counseling, career coaching, and resume writing services are legitimate and helpful resources for job seekers and worth the investment. Again though, it's important to check out any resource before you sign up.