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Lifehacker Readers Choose “Five Best Online Job Search Sites” and FAIL

December 22nd, 2008

Unbelievable.  Lifehacker, the uber-popular blog who has god-like status amongst bloggers, just put out a list of 5 (make that 6) “best” online job search sites.  In my opinion, the list is a utter failure, providing nothing of the usual high-value content that Lifehackers are used to getting on that blog.

Alas, it wasn’t their own bloggers writing it, they asked their readers what the best online job search sites are.  Either their readers (or those who contributed) are complete nincompoops, or they just chose the easiest, best-branded sites they could think of without really considering whether they are really valuable or not.  Here are the 6 sites chosen as “best online job search sites,” in their order:

  1. Monster.com
  2. LinkedIn.com
  3. CareerBuilder.com
  4. HotJobs.com
  5. Craigslist.org
  6. Indeed.com

What???

50% of the top 6 are basically the same thing: top three job boards.  Can you tell me the difference between Monster, CareerBuilder and HotJobs? I can’t tell you the difference.  For many job seekers, I think they are just commodities… the same things found on different sites.

I’m definitely glad to see LinkedIn there as a job search tool.  And of course Craigslist is something that is actually legit as a job search tool (you can get a free ebook on “using Craigslist to find a job” from Job-Hunt.org here).  I’m also glad to see Indeed there, which is a job board aggregator, with the idea that you don’t need to go to any job boards except Indeed.  Many argue that SimplyHired.com is the same thing as Indeed… they are both aggregators, and they both lead the space.

The first comment on Lifehacker’s post sums up my thoughts – in part it reads:

If those are the best job search sites then I’m seriously screwed or I’m living in the wrong area (New England).

I went to school for video and audio production. So far I’ve used Yahoo! Hot Jobs, Career Builder, and Craigslist. I have searched extensively on each of those sites. There’s almost nothing there for my region on any of those sites.

My returns either come up as scam / spam companies, the search results don’t match what I’m looking for, or there’s a million postings by temp agencies looking to fish for resumes.

But aren’t there other online job search sites????  At the risk of getting spammed by every new job search site out there, I’ll ask, what site do you recommend as a job search tool?  If you write in representing your company please don’t look like a spammer (put your name in the comment box, etc.).

Are you stuck? In career pain, career limbo or career depression?
You don’t have to stay that way.
Linsey Levine of Career Counsel is a Career Counselor, Career Coach and Resume Writer with a passion for helping people create conscious career choices and connections that are aligned with their values, talents, interests, and unique strengths. She helps clients get unstuck; get clear, get focused, and get moving – toward successful career and life management goals. www.4careercounsel.com

7 Comments »

7 responses to “Lifehacker Readers Choose “Five Best Online Job Search Sites” and FAIL”

  1. Susan Joyce says:

    The LifeHacker list was kind of lame. But, unfortunately, it’s how most people – who aren’t involved in a job search – see that marketplace.

    Those were the proverbial “knee-jerk responses.” Those sites (“the big 3” – Monster, CareerBuilder, and HotJobs) are old, in Internet years, and well-established brand names. They were just the first names that popped into people’s heads when they answered the question. Bet most of those votes weren’t from people involved in a job search recently (last 12 to 36 months).

    In job search support group meetings, people constantly complain about the junk email and phone calls they’ve gotten as a result of posting their resumes on CareerBuilder or Monster. Not calls or e-mails about real jobs. Just junk.

    In my running survey of how people find jobs, the big 3 are seldom mentioned. Most often mentioned (> 80% of responses) is off-line networking. If a Website IS mentioned, the site mentioned the most often in the last 3 years has been Craigslist. Lately LinkedIn is gaining. Of the big 3, Monster has been mentioned 1 time in the last 2 years and none of the others mentioned at all.

    I applaud Steven Rothberg for killing the resume search capability on CollegeRecuriter.com. That was a gutsy move. It no doubt dramatically cut his revenue, but it made for a much better (and safer) user experience for the job seekers using his site.

    At the other end of the career market spectrum, Gene Burnard and Nancy Peterson have never allowed resume searching with Workforce50.com. Again, that has definitely cut down on their revenue while providing a more effective and safer experience for job seekers.

    In addition, Workforce50 only accepts postings (into their own jobs database, not a rented one) from employers who want to hire job seekers over 50. Unusual for that market!

    Hopefully, these sites will be recognized for putting their real customers, the job seekers, ahead of their advertisers – and their bank accounts.

    Be interesting to see next year’s LifeHacker list… If the economy continues to be tough in 2009, I bet Twitter joins LinkedIn on the 2009 list.

  2. Corinne says:

    For media folks, MediaBistro.com has a great job board. JournalismJobs.com is also a good one. Ed2010.com will give hints on where new jobs might be opening up in magazine publishing as well as actual listings.

    More and more I think people need to “go niche” in their job search. This means looking for sites tied to associations and groups in their career field. Using LinkedIn to find people that can provide leads on job opps is also invaluable.

  3. My standard basic recommendations for job search always start with JibberJobber, LinkedIn, and Monster.com, plus Martin Yate’s Knock ‘Em Dead books. Then, depending on the person’s specific area of expertise and location, a few specialised job boards, plus Craig’s List if you’re in a listed area.

    For general career and job search advice, there are a lot of interesting sites out there. I have submitted a number of links to JJ in the past, such as Quintessential Careers and similar sites. And Google Calendar is a tremendously useful tool.

    As for Lifehackers’ list, I found CareerBuilder to have a better interface than Monster.com, but to be a tremendous source of spam and spurious job ads. In any case, it’s easiest to subscribe to job board feeds through JibberJobber anyway, so I don’t need to track a bunch of individual sites.

    But regardless, I find that the only use of job boards is to discover the age and breadth of an employer’s search. During my job search this summer, I received a lot of interest and attended lots of interviews; but not one of them came from filing an application on a company’s Website, even though I filed many. Not. A. Single. One. Once I saw an interesting job description, the only thing to do was contact the employer or at least a recruiter, and talk to someone. I am now convinced that the entire point of online filing is to detract people from contacting anyone directly, not to find candidates.

    So Lifehackers’ list misses the point of job search by listing four or five job boards out of five or six entries. That’s like listing five different Yellow Pages providers as the top guides to visiting a new city — only a narrow window into what’s going on.

  4. eric shannon says:

    just as jobseekers are in trouble now, so are job boards. so are recruiters for that matter! integrity, quality and authenticity are hard to find… but in reality that’s true of almost every corner of life. it’s no easier to find a good doctor than a good job board!

    a few that stand out from my top 100 list at http://www.internetinc.com/top-100-job-board-niches include:

    idealist.org
    volunteermatch.org
    mediabistro.com
    jobs.shrm.org

    -eric

  5. Gary Capone says:

    The job boards, whether the big ones or small niche sites, are just tools. They give you the ability to research what companies are advertising. In this capacity, they’re all useful sites. You just have to remember what your goal is in using them – find out where to prioritize your time. You can’t (and shouldn’t) apply to all 20 million businesses nationwide. You need to pick where you want to focus. The job boards can help. If you search Monster, CB, HotJobs and Indeed (also Dice is good for IT jobs), you will see almost every advertised opportunity. What you do with this information will determine if these sites are successful for you.

    LinkedIn, Jigsaw, Zoominfo, Facebook and other sites are the second piece of the puzzle. Connect with people in the target companies you identify and give yourself a competitive edge over the your competition. Learn about the company and the position from people in the company. Ideally, find someone to recommend you for the position. If you do this, you will be much more successful.

    If you just post a resume to the job boards and respond to ads, it really doesn’t matter which you use. None of them are going to be very effective, especially with the economy slowing.

  6. Jason,

    If job seekers want to search for positions at organizations known for treating employees well (and for being less likely to lay them off a the drop of a hat), they should take a look at http://www.greatplacejobs.com. In addition to job postings ONLY from award-winning employers, we are building a community of recruiters, job seekers and employees who already work at great companies for information sharing and networking.

    Best for the holidays!
    Miriam Salpeter

  7. Iamsgf says:

    To be very true, All big job sites are just crap and they never helped me to find a job. I think local sites in each country are much better regarding finding jobs in local area. I have wasted a lot of time on all those big names and I never succeeded to find a job.