The days of finding good job listings in the “help wanted” sections of newspapers are waning.
Finding jobs via friends, friends of friends or your old college roommate is ideal, but unfortunately for many, connections are something you either have or you don’t.
Meanwhile, senior-level executives or employees with notable achievements are often recruited or headhunted for open positions.
If you don’t fall into any of these categories, online job search engines will likely be your key to finding a new place of employment. But in the age of digital information overload, where is the enthusiastic job seeker to start?
Well, luckily for most of us, there are job search engines to suit every employee in every industry at every career level. (Click here to Tweet this thought.) From industry-specific engines like those for healthcare and retail to background-specific job sites like those for veterans or people with disabilities, the choices are endless.
Too many choices can sometimes be overwhelming, so it’s worth understanding the most popular job search engines and how they stack up to one another.
Below are overviews of the most popular job search engines of 2013, including details about each company, its size and the demographics they tend to cater to, as well as their unique selling point (or USP).
You may just be surprised at how different — and how similar — some of the mainstream job search engines actually are.
Established: 2003, New York
Size: 6 million unique monthly users
Estimated Revenue: $11.5 million
USP: Originally designed to cater to executive-level job seekers
Who’s it for?
Senior or executive-level candidates or candidates with unique skill sets will get the most use out of TheLadders. Recruitment agencies, headhunters and executive search companies visit the site the most.
Be ready to spend money if you want full access to immediately apply to jobs through the site. A premium membership ranges $25 for one month to $149 for a year.
Free membership only allows you to preview job titles. Ultimately, TheLadders is best for experienced professionals willing to invest money into their job hunt; however, it also includes listings for job hunters with varying degrees of experience.
Established: 1999, Virginia
Size: 4.2 million unique monthly users
Estimated Revenue: $9.1 million
USP: Marketed for primarily part-time and full-time hourly rate jobs
Who’s it for?
Snagajob was developed for hourly rate job placement and still leads this employment niche. The search engine is perfect for recent graduates, teenagers and blue and white collar hourly workers, as well as director and executive-level positions.
Some of the country’s largest retailers and consumer-oriented corporations advertise heavily on Snagajob, so it’s perfect for the inexperienced looking to find work quickly.
Established: 2004, Connecticut
Size: 12.3 million unique monthly visitors
Estimated Revenue: 3.5 million
USP: Surpassing Monster to become the most-visited job aggregator site in the U.S.
Who’s it for?
Because Indeed has sponsored listings, it crawls external job postings from thousands of other websites and aggregates all postings in a Google-like fashion. This makes Indeed suitable for job seekers of all experience levels and industries and in any geographic location.
Indeed displays interesting and diverse job search results, both domestically and internationally. You could call it the Google of job search engines. In the spring of 2013, Indeed began allowing users to upload their resumes directly to the site, making job applications even easier.
Established: 2003, California
Size: 30 million monthly visitors
Estimated Revenue: $5 million
USP: Powers Myspace Careers and The Washington Post site job listings.
Who’s it for?
SimplyHired was the first major job aggregator to integrate Facebook into its search engine. Through their Facebook accounts, users can search for jobs at friends’ companies and send messages about those openings.
This unique combination of social and professional networking means SimplyHired is ideal for the connected individual looking to capitalize on their established social network.
SimplyHired’s clean, user-friendly layout and vast job scraping make it a very close competitor to Indeed. No matter what your career level or industry of interest, SimplyHired has opportunities for you.
Established: 1999, New York
Size: 12.1 million unique monthly visitors
Estimated Revenue: $890 million
USP: Used to match job seekers with job openings based on skills and location.
Who’s it for?
Since its birth after the merger of The Monster Board (TMB) and Online Career Center (OCC), Monster has been the largest employment site in the world, only recently eclipsed by Indeed. Monster was originally designed to match people to job openings based on their skills and location, so if you have unique skills or are targeting a particular location, Monster may be your best bet.
In terms of variety of search results, when searching for the same title and in the same location, Monster returns only a fraction of results compared to the other job search engines. The layout is also not as clean or straightforward as sites such as SimplyHired or Indeed, and with advertisements across the top, side and bottom of the page, it feels a bit spammy.
Established: 1995, Chicago
Size: 11.3 million unique monthly visitors
Estimated Revenue: $40.6 million
USP: Large partner network including 140+ newspapers and sites such as AOL and MSN.
Who’s it for?
CareerBuilder has a wide selection of local jobs thanks to their close partnership with newspapers across the country. AOL and MSN also contribute to CareerBuilder’s extensive sources of job postings, covering all types of industries and career levels. Because of its newspaper network, CareerBuilder may be preferable for the applicant seeking to find local employment vs. international.
The usability is top-notch, with a handy “rate this job” function that allows you to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to postings. CareerBuilder uses this feedback to customize your job search and serve you more relevant job postings. Like Monster, CareerBuilder relies heavily on advertising that will bombard your search. But the more interactive search results make CareerBuilder a great overall contender and alternative to traditional sites like Monster.
So which is the best job search engine of 2013?
Well, as you’ve probably realized by now, that depends entirely upon the applicant. While most of the major job search engines cover broad industries and overlapping career levels, some are more focused than others and all offer unique user experiences in terms of design and interface.
Ultimately, for the most effective job search, you’d be wise to browse job postings on a couple different sites. Then you’ll get a feel for more of what’s out there.
Do you have a favorite job search engine that outperforms the above sites and think the world should know about it? Share it in the comments below.
When not scrutinizing job search engines, Senior Resume Consultant Erik Bowitz works for Resume Companion. He also spends time vertically and horizontally aligning his desktop folders; this overarching efficiency boosts Erik’s effectiveness and life outlook.