How to search for a job online, properly

Ever since the first intranet got going, people have communicated about new opportunities, some of which are vacancies in and around them. Job boards sprang up in the late nineties and today you have a plethora of fully-fledged job portals, offering all kinds of recruitment services to companies and interviewing tips to job seekers. Most jobs are now online, which is why how you complete a search for a job online is very important.

The key to searching for jobs isn’t to hone your googling skills or fill your CV with keywords. It is to firstly realise how the job posting world works and then to let that work for you in your favour.

How the world of online jobs works

A search for a job online usually starts on Google, because a job seeker does not know any specific job board or portal by name. Once you have clicked through to a job, you will notice many other positions on the same job board. These are posted by companies, recruiters and sometimes even fed through by other job boards. Reading that last bit might be surprising – why would a job board let another job board post its vacancies?
The answer is the nature of the online job world – having a large number of jobs and getting clicks to them are both very important. I see this every day that I run, South Africa’s largest job aggregator. The site lists every online job in the country, showing only other job boards’ listings and sending them clicks. Therefore, by searching for “digital marketing” in “Cape Town” on Adzuna, you get results like this:

Adzuna search results
Job aggregator search results offer stats and average salaries.

How to let your job come to you

Searching on a website that lists all the jobs beats searching on Google, which lists all kinds of other things too and takes much more time to get to the ones you want to apply for. But the tricks don’t stop there! You can set an alert to send you jobs that match your criteria every morning.
The search for a job online is thus reversed – you can enter “digital marketing” in “Cape Town” and create an email alert that sends you the jobs you are looking for, every single day. While you may want to add or delete job alerts from time to time, this strategy helps you to cover the market without having to actively search for a job online at all.
I hope this article has shown you that while it is also good to browse around job sites now and then, it is not necessary to have fifteen tabs open in order to make a few applications.

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