Job sites provide job seekers with the ability to access many opportunities from a variety of sources with a click of the mouse. However, the output from searches can be overwhelming if you only utilize the front page of these sites.
Taking a more targeted approach by tapping the advanced search capabilities of job boards and job search engine sites like Indeed, SimplyHired, Dice, Monster, LinkedIn and Career Builder can help you to focus on a more manageable and relevant list of jobs.
A shorter, but better matched, list will help you save job searching time. There will be fewer job listings that aren’t a good fit to read through. When you apply for jobs that are as close a match as possible, your chances of getting chosen for a job interview will increase.
How to Use Advanced Search Options
Most jobs sites have a link on the front page which will take you to the advanced job search page. It’s typically in a small font under the main search box and named:
- Advance Job Search
- Advanced Search
Click on the link to get started. It will bring you to a page where you can specify criteria to refine your search by more options than the keyword and location options on the front page of the site.
Advanced options, depending on the site you use, provide a variety of ways to refine your search to generate a list of job openings that are more closely matched to your qualifications and requirements.
Examples of Advanced Job Search Options
Each job site has a different set of search options to use to include (or exclude) certain jobs from the search results. Narrowing your search criteria by the factors that are most important to you will you give you a shorter but more relevant list of available jobs.
- Date Posted
- Keywords (include or exclude)
- Job Function
- Radius (Within X Mile)
- Type of Job (full time, internship, seasonal, telecommute, etc.)
- Zip Code
For example, if you are a nurse looking to work in either pediatrics or oncology you might tap that feature to find just nursing jobs in those specialties. If you want to work for a hospital, or for a doctor’s office, you can use keywords to get a list of job openings that include just the employment option that interests you.
If you have skills that you want to use in your next position, you can enter those skills as keywords. Here’s a list of skills with both general skills, and skills for many different occupations.
Another useful advanced option is the ability to leave out a keyword. For example, you might be looking for an entry level job and want to eliminate ads that state "previous retail experience" is required.
If you are targeting nursing assistant jobs that don't require formal training, then you might eliminate the words "certified" or "CNA."
Search With a Series of Keywords
You can also generate a list of jobs that meet all of a series of keywords. Let's say you are looking to narrow your list of openings in marketing. If you want to focus on jobs as a brand manager in consumer products that require an MBA, then you might use each of those terms to get a targeted set of options.
You can use keyword searches to brainstorm possibilities around a favorite skill or certification. Even though you may not know exactly what you would like to do, inputting keywords like "Spanish," "Excel," or "Children" will give you some ideas of how to apply that skill.
Search by Category or Type of Job
Career Builder allows you to search by categories of jobs, and this can be helpful if you have difficulty finding appropriate keywords or want to look only for jobs with certain qualifications within specific sectors.
For example, you might know that you want to use your knowledge of statistics but only within the marketing field. So you can use the keyword "statistics" and select the "marketing" category.
For new graduates, note that you can select the category "entry level" to generate a list of first jobs. Current college students can select the job type "internship" to get a list of options for the college years.
You can also specify the level of education appropriate for your situation. The job type function also allows you to focus on or eliminate part-time, seasonal, full-time, contract, temporary or volunteer positions, depending on the site you’re using.
Search by Job Title
If you are looking only for jobs with a specific job title, try using the advanced function on Indeed where you can search by exact phrases within job titles. For example, if you were sure you wanted to work as a writer or financial planner then you might input "Writer" or "Financial Planner" within the title search box.
CareerBuilder allows you to exclude a word from job titles, and this is useful if you want to explore roles other than highly advertised ones within a sector. For example, if you were interested in education but wanted to stay clear of teaching then you might exclude the titles of "Teacher" or "Instructor" and choose the category of Education.
Select a Location
Another useful advanced feature is the ability to select a specific radius around a location if you are bound to a defined area, want to restrict your commute, or have a dream job location.
With some sites, you can search by “metro area” in addition to city, state or radius. This is a good way to limit the search results to places where you know you want to work.
Advanced options also enable you to set date parameters to eliminate older postings and to focus your energy on more recent jobs. You can also screen out jobs from agencies or filter in only jobs from employer sites.
Expanding Your Search
Advanced options enable you to combine several different criteria. For example, you might search for a position in the advertising industry, at a particular company which requires creativity. However, know that you run the danger of limiting your search too much if you input too many different elements.
You can start by including many criteria, but be ready to remove less important factors if the list of jobs generated is too restrictive. Also, recognize that not all jobs are coded properly so you should search in a variety of ways if you aren't satisfied with your output.
Try Different Sites and Searches
Be aware that search results vary from site to site. Don’t presume that you’ll get the same results on Indeed as on SimplyHired, for example, even though they both list jobs from many different sources. The query factors and the code that generates the results are different depending on which site you are using.
It’s important to not miss out on what could be a perfect job, so try a variety of advanced search options and job sites to make sure you’re getting good matches.
When You Apply
Take the time to match your qualifications to the job when you’re completing job applications and writing resumes and cover letters. The better a match, the more likely your chances of being considered for a job.