Maximizing job searches

Start broad and then zero in on the best job sites and job-search terms.

Dear Molly: Any helpful hints on how to make the most of my time on Web job sites? I want to find another job as a systems engineer, but I’m overwhelmed by the number of sites and am not sure I’m spending my time wisely when I’m online.

Molly says: Start your search by giving the search engine the most general search parameter you can think of; in your case, try “engineer” or even a wild card search of eng*. I have noticed that engineer is sometimes abbreviated as eng. in some job listings. The job you’re looking for could be listed as a half dozen or more titles, so unless you start with a very general search, you will very likely miss some job listings.

As to which sites to visit, you’re right–there are so many it’s hard to know where to start. However, if you could find out from your HR department (without tipping your hand) which sites they use to search for people like you, start with those sites and post your resumé there. Maybe a new hire in your department will know this information or maybe it’s common knowledge around the water cooler.

Also, target the sites that specialize in IT hiring in general and systems engineers specifically, such as Computer Jobs (http://www.computerjobs.com), DICE (http://www.dice.com) and techies.com (http://www.techies.com).

Then, move onto the big-name sites run by established headhunting organizations, such as AIRS (http://www.airsdirectory.com) and RHI Consulting (http://www.rhic.com), which is a part of Robert Half.

Even if you come up with 50 sites and post your resume to five per day, you’ll be able to get the job done in less than two weeks.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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