Search Word Tips
1. Searching for a job online is a numbers game. Please Never Forget This! Volume and quality get results. Force yourself to pick Search Words that will return broader results to ensure that you retrieve more jobs than you might normally have.
2. Avoid the desire to obsess on conducting the most precise search. There are two kinds of errors you can make - apply to the wrong job (which usually results in being ignored and put in a database) or not applying to the right job (usually from not having enough time to find all of the appropriate jobs).
3. You want to see all jobs that are available but you want to see them as few times as possible. Refining your Search Words or creating strings will hopefully reduce the number of times you see the same job on a job board.
Search Words Focusing on Job Level
To yield your best results, we at JobSerf encourage people to use a Level focus for Search Words. With few exceptions, the four levels of management (Manager, Director, Vice President and C-level) will provide the quickest and most comprehensive results (if you are manager level or above).
Search Word Strings
Creating strings, or combination of words, to consolidate your search is very useful as well. Try using "Manager OR Director" (if you are mid-level management) or "Chief OR CMO OR SVP" to optimize your search. This structure allows for the most efficient gathering of jobs in a single search per board, and will include the other variations such as 'Director of Function', 'Function Director' and 'Director, Function'.
Some of the job boards provide Titles or Levels for you and eliminate the need for creating strings. When using these, beware of odd titles and abbreviations, as these could allow you to miss positions that would be of interest.
Also, 'AND' and 'OR' may drive different logic on different Boards, so experiment to see which results in 'Either included' and which one results in 'Both included'. Many people want to use Leadership, Creativity, Team Player and other words that may be desired traits that people see in themselves, but are not relevant to their objective in finding jobs (qualifying them maybe). A broader sweep by level or title will increase your chances for seeing all jobs of interest. You may miss some obscure titles, but if the title is that obscure, do you really think you would have found the job anyway?
Word of caution, you may be a Marketing executive, but given that there are more than 100 sub-function descriptions used on job boards, we would expect that just searching on Marketing and the ones you know would result in your missing many jobs. Our teams categorized over 2,000 different function and sub-function names from the different job boards, including hundreds just for Marketing or Information Technology. The most impressive title/functional proliferation was in the Healthcare industry. Who ever accused HR folks of lacking creativity!
The search results above allow you to quickly scan a comprehensive list of job summaries, which is far more time efficient and reduces the need to execute multiple searches. When searching, beware of the trap of checking the same sites each day. Though in this market being the first to apply can benefit you, spending too much time in the same places reduces your total output of jobs applied to.
Save Your Searches
Also, you can set-up Agents (saved searches which will run your Search Words daily/weekly, and then email the new results to you) to scan for you. It is good to see the jobs before everyone else does, but your time is valuable, and hunting on new sites needs to be a priority as well. Remember, smaller sites have fewer jobs, but they are the 'road' less traveled, so you will also face far less competition of the jobs on them.
Efficient Job Searching
You want to be as efficient as possible when searching for jobs. Being efficient will help reduce the need for multiple searches and will help you avoid checking the same sites every day. Your time is valuable and you want to minimize the time you spend in front of a computer so you can be out networking.
The benefits of our overall approach above are:
- Minimizes the number of times you see the same job. (repeats)
- Spends less time combing through the irrelevant search results. (fodder)
- Increases your chances of seeing the jobs that actually interest you. ('right' jobs)
- Identifies job titles or sub-functions that you may not have thought about before.
The bottom line is that you will be able to concentrate on the more relevant job opportunities.
There are some risks with this approach. If the posting contains an obscure title or an abbreviation, there is a chance it could be missed. There is a good chance everyone will miss it if it uses 'Mngr' instead of 'Manager'. If you use a broad term in the title such as Coordinator, it could take a long time to scan all of the job listings returned by the aggregator sites (Indeed, SimplyHired), given that they search thousands of websites for jobs.
This is especially true if you are looking across multiple geographies or for non-management positions, such as a specific Engineering discipline.
It is good to cover all your bases when searching for a job in this economy, and online job searching should be only one of the avenues you use in returning to employment.
Personally, I have gotten three different six-figure positions at top companies in the last 10 years from the Internet, but I realize this may be the exception. Online job searching is a numbers game, and though seemingly futile at times, it is also great for identifying leads at companies to then network into, and chase down.