There are a million and one ways to perform a job search.  But… by trying everything and anything with no plan it can feel overwhelming, exhausting and emotionally draining. We have all been there! It’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks without really thinking through a plan.  By crafting a more strategic and streamlined search, you’ll be sure to land a job that you not only love but one that you didn’t know existed in the first place.  Let’s walk through 4 efficient ways to perform an effective job search.


Using a job search engine is probably the most popular way people start the process.  This is something you can do over a lunch break, while watching your favorite tv show or when you have some free time.  To be honest, many people do find jobs through these sites but it’s not the be all and end all.  It can be just the start to getting your feet wet into the process and help you look through job descriptions to see what positions are available.  Let’s break down 4 sites that I think are worth your time exploring. 


This is probably one of the most known sources out there.   The search function is easy to use and you can sort through so many options (salary, company, experience, and distance).  You can also upload your resume for employers to find you.  While the site doesn’t look super flashy it’s straight to the point and easy and simple to use.

Zip Recruiter

ZipRecuiter reminds me of a “trendier” version of Indeed and is my personal favorite tool. Their mission is to help people find meaningful employment through their site and app.  They have an easy “quick apply” function and you’re also able to see if you meet the qualifications for certain positions.  You can also set up a job alert so you’ll be notified when something fits your criteria.

Flex Jobs

This is a great resource if you are looking for a position that’s a little more flexible.  The site aggregates positions that offer something a little different like telecommuting, part-time jobs and freelance work.  This isn’t like freelancer sites that you might be familiar with (Upwork, Fiverr, Thumbtack).  These are vetted positions from entry level to executive.  The great thing about this site is it even gives you an idea or what you can do with your current background.   You create a profile based on your experience and interests and it matches you with opportunities.  That feature is helpful especially if this is the first time looking for a position like this.


If you’re in the tech or IT space, Dice is a great place to check out.  You can look for full, part time or contract positions.  There are a ton of resources and they even have a “career toolkit” that is specific for people in the tech space.




Now that we’ve talked about four search engines, let’s move to the one thing not a ton of people talk about.  Most jobs are not actually posted on ANY of these sites.  I know, I know… super frustrating right?!?  Many companies and organizations have their own internal job applicant system and never post it elsewhere else.  We are talking big name places… places where you might want to work. Since those companies are really sought after, they don’t need to spend the time and money to invest in posting their positions elsewhere to find qualified candidates.

So, what does that mean for you?  You need to find the companies you want to work for and seek them out.  Here’s how:

  1. Make a list of companies within a certain mile radius where you would be interested in working.
  2. Look at the company sites to see if they have any open positions that fit your criteria.
  3. Apply through their application channel.
  4. Reach out to their suggested source within any questions regarding the position or the company. 

You will be surprised to find how many hidden jobs are listed on the company sites themselves!


I can’t say enough about the power of networking!  According to NPR, 70-80% of jobs are not even posted at all!  Not on job search sites or online job boards but are filled through knowing someone.  That is a huge number of positions that you wouldn’t know about unless you asked someone about it.  Don’t underestimate the power of actual human contact, my friends!    

Let’s start with LinkedIn.  This is not just a place to connect with others as a social media platform but so much more.  Unlike other sites, you have a full, easy access view of where your connections work and who they are linked to.  This is helpful when you’re trying to find a job at a specific company.

To use LinkedIn and personal connections to your advantage:

  1. Make a list of companies you might be interested in working for
  2. Look at your LinkedIn connections and friends to see who might be connected to that company
  3. Reach out via email, phone or in person to have a conversation about open positions
  4. Be honest, personable and sincere when making a connection

The key to remember to LinkedIn is that people can also see your profile.  This means you want to make sure it’s updated with all your information including a PROFESSIONAL photo, work experience, and a catchy headline that captures your professional personality.

Did you also know that you can apply and find actual positions on LinkedIn?  On your side bar, you’ll find suggested positions based on your experience, connections and interests.   You can also use the job search function to find companies of interest and companies within your network. How cool is that?!?


Using a recruiter can be a good option but keep in mind that recruiters are looking to fill specific positions set out by companies.  If you meet the qualifications and skill sets they are looking for this can be really beneficial but if you don’t-using a recruiter may not be worth your while.  There is no harm reaching out to a local agency to have a pre-screen interview and have them keep your resume on file to see if they can find a fit.  With that said, don’t put all of your eggs in this one basket and continue to explore using your connections.

How did you find your last job?  If you’re looking for a job, what resources have you used?


Alissa Carpenter
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