Top Job Search Tools and Essentials

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Mar 16, 2021

Mar 16, 2021 • by Rebecca Smith

Finding gainful employment, and even just getting that first interview, often comes down to three things: who you know, where you look, and how you apply. While you can’t do much about who you already know--outside of constant networking--the places you look for jobs and the way you go about applying, including putting together a winning cover letter, can be improved upon. Below are the top job search tools and essential to finding work right now. 

Glassdoor 

Glassdoor is often overlooked as a job search tool, but it is an essential stop on your way to deciding whether or not a particular position or employer is right for you. While it is true that there are times in most jobseekers' lives when beggars can’t be choosers, if your skills are in-demand and you can afford to be selective about where you work and who you work for, doing your due diligence on Glassdoor is important. 

Glassdoor gives you valuable insight into an organization's corporate culture and how you can expect to be treated by management, providing you with unfiltered comments and complaints from former, and sometimes even current employees. If employees who have left the company have great things to say about it, or even about the particular position you are considering, these are reliable indicators that an organization will be a mentally healthy place to work. The opposite is also true, of course. It is important to keep in mind that people who have been let go from a company, for various reasons, are often not the most objective sources of information or opinion. 

FlexJobs 

In 2019, some 57 million people in the United States were employed, in some capacity, in the so-called “freelance” economy, a type of remote work, and earned a combined $1 trillion dollars--nearly 5 percent of total GDP. This has accelerated considerably over the last two years. While many companies prior to 2020 were highly skeptical of remote work and work from home arrangements, there is now a growing acceptance and even reliance upon it. 

Whether you have already tasted remote work life and are sure this is what you are after, or are interested in securing a remote position for the first time, FlexJobs is without a doubt the main job search tool for remote labour arrangements right now.

Linkedin

Linkin first hit the scene in 2003, right at the beginning of the social media era, and it is now the largest and the default professional networking site. It is the most important search tool and database for opportunities, networking, and sharing and posting CVs and is an important part of a jobseeker’s arsenal because with it you are able to add and directly contact recruiters and hiring managers. If you have impressive work and educational experience and a large social network (which provides social signals and endorsements), Linkedin has to be part of your job search strategy. 

Make sure you pay attention to Linkedin best practices and spend time adding to and perfecting your profile. It’s the little things that count with Linkedin (like your background photo and your skill endorsements from contacts) and having a well-curated profile that illustrates who you are and what you have done professionally is often not only beneficial but for some employers necessary in order to land the job. 

AngelList 

Many job seekers, and especially those in the initial stages of their career, want to work somewhere dynamic and exciting, with the potential for growth and a chance to get in on something at the ground floor. Angel list began in 2010 and since then it has become the go-to talent pool for (then) startup companies like Spotify and Slack. It is primarily a job search and talent acquisition tool for companies in the fintech, publishing and health and beauty application sectors, so a tech background and interests are key here. 

Indeed 

Indeed is a household name for jobseekers around the world and companies of all sizes post jobs here all day every day. Ten new jobs are added to Indeed every second and browsed by 250 million monthly users. Indeed posts positions throughout the organizational hierarchy, from CEOs to entry-level, and in almost every industry imaginable. Indeed is free, with no account creation necessary.

Often it is a good idea to try and find out who the hiring manager for the position is and apply to them personally, as most applications are sent to general HR email addresses when you are using large job aggregators. 

Social Media

Following and engaging with the official social media accounts of the companies you are interested in working for, especially smaller organizations, is a good strategy to pursue if you have significant industry insight and experience to contribute and impress with. People get jobs all the time by forging relationships with official social media accounts and making high-value contributions to discussions and posts. 

Keep in mind that if you have decided to use your various social media accounts--Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etcetera--to interact with and potentially reach out to companies you would love to work at, make sure your digital footprint is squeaky clean before doing so. 

Conclusion

Finding a job in a global economy filled with competition and in the midst of a digital transformation that is upending industries and labour markets left and right is a matter of perseverance and strategy.

There are new software, platforms and job search tools created all the time which purport to simplify the process and give you a leg up on the competition, but when it comes to finding employment, your best bet is to stick to what works. The above, factoring in the contextual considerations for each, are the top job search tools at the moment and are your best chance at securing gainful employment.