Job searches used to be limited to what you could find in the newspaper classifieds, but those days are quickly falling behind us. The internet has opened up a world of new opportunities, but in some respects, it’s made job hunting more complicated. Where do you look and how do you sift through the thousands of available jobs to find that needle in the haystack? We’ve put together this guide to answer these questions and more, so you can find the perfect job — and job site — for you.
Our research team consulted with industry experts and tested out 25 job sites to figure out which provided the greatest value to job seekers. We looked at how user-friendly the site was, post relevance and frequency, and the search tools available to help you narrow down your results. If the job site offered any additional resources apart from a search to help job seekers connect with new opportunities, we considered these as well.
Indeed is our top choice because it consistently offered the greatest number of new and relevant job listings in our tests. It’s a good place to begin your search, but depending on what you’re looking for, you may find one of our other finalists to be more useful. Read all of our reviews below to learn more about each job site and who it’s best for.
The 4 Best Job Sites
Other Job Sites We Considered
We also considered these 21 job sites. Many of them do a good job of helping you conduct a basic search, and some are just as popular as our finalists. After testing them out, however, we didn’t feel confident enough to recommend them over our top picks. Some didn’t post new jobs very frequently and others were buggy and difficult to use. Still, if you have trouble finding something you like with our top four, you may have better luck with one of these sites.
- The Ladders
- >Nexxt (formerly Beyond)
- Resume Library
Choosing the Right Type of Job Site for You
There are two main types of job sites: job boards and job search engines. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Certain industries, like IT and mass media, also have their own job sites that are worth checking out if you’re in one of these fields.
Job boards are what usually comes to mind when you think of a job site. Employers post jobs on here for job seekers to view and apply to. These sites are typically free for job seekers, while employers can pay anywhere from $90 to several hundred dollars for a single posting. Because of the high cost, these jobs usually only appear on one or two sites. That means less competition for you as an applicant, but it also means you’ll have to search multiple sites in order to find all the newest opportunities.
Job Search Engines
Job search engines also enable employers to post job listings directly to their site, but the bulk of their posts are aggregated from other job sites. It works like Google. You enter a request and the site’s search algorithms scan all of its databases and return the results that match. This saves you time by searching multiple job sites at once, but the algorithms can’t always be relied upon to deliver relevant results. And when the time comes to apply, you may get bounced around between several different websites before you find the actual application.
Niche Job Sites
Niche job sites only offer positions in a certain field, like STEM or journalism. They generally contain fewer, though often more lucrative, job postings, so you may want to begin with one of these if there is one for your industry. Some examples include Dice for technology jobs, MediaBistro for mass media and HealthcareJobsite for — you guessed it — healthcare.
How We Chose the Best Job Sites
When choosing the best job sites, we focused on the site’s accessibility, how easy it was to use, the relevance of its search results, and what tools it provides to help you narrow down those results.
We wanted to provide the best recommendations for everyone, so we didn’t look at any local or regional job sites. All of our finalists offer thousands of jobs nationwide. We favored companies that had strong mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. In today’s busy world, you may not have time to spend hours at a computer looking at jobs. You still have to look, however, if you want to find one. A mobile app gives you the freedom to search and apply whenever and wherever you choose, so you’re always connected to the latest jobs.
A job site that’s too complicated to use or errors every time you submit your application is discouraging and a waste of time. We tested all of our sites on how simple they were to navigate and search. Glassdoor performed the best in this category thanks to its unique interface that enables you to view your search results and full job listings at the same time. We also looked at the ease of the application process. Ideally, you’d be able to apply right from the job site, but we didn’t fault the sites that redirected us elsewhere as long as there weren’t too many steps before we could see the actual application page.
Thousands of search results aren’t useful if half of them aren’t even in your field. Each job site has its own search algorithm which evaluates all the posts in its database and pulls the ones it feels match your request. Some algorithms work better than others, and we compared them all to see which consistently offered the best results. Post frequency is also an important component of relevance. Jobs don’t stick around on job sites for very long, and there’s a chance that a month-old posting is no longer available. A fresh supply of new listings is key to a job site’s usefulness.
Search tools break down into two categories: active and passive. Active search tools are the site’s filters that help you focus your search. You can narrow down your results by keyword, location, job type (full-time, part-time, etc.) and more. Passive search tools bring the jobs to you. You can set up a job alert so any new opportunities that match your criteria are automatically sent to your email. Some companies also enable you to post your resume directly to the site. Prospective employers can search this database and reach out to you directly with inquiries or potential opportunities with their company. The best job sites employ a mix of active and passive search tools, so you can look for jobs in the way that’s most convenient for you.
Full Reviews of the Best Job Sites
Best for the most job listings
Indeed is arguably the best-known job search engine, and it amasses hundreds of thousands of new jobs every week. Part of the appeal is that it’s free to list jobs — a rarity in this industry — so companies are more likely to post here. Its search algorithm is also one of the best. You may come across the odd irrelevant result, but most of them will dovetail nicely with your search criteria.
Why We Chose It
Indeed is the best choice if you only want to search a single job site. It scours newspapers, job boards and company career pages in order to deliver you the most comprehensive set of job listings anywhere on the internet. Employers can also post jobs directly to Indeed for free. When you find one you want to apply to, Indeed will either redirect you to the site where the original listing was posted or take you to its own application form. You don’t have to create an account on Indeed in order to apply, but doing so can save you some time because your information will automatically be imported to each new application. You can access your account from your computer or mobile devices, thanks to the company’s Android and iOS apps.
Its search algorithms do a great job of homing in on the jobs that match your criteria, and there are several filters you can use to narrow your results even further. These include distance from your location, salary range, job type, company and experience level. All your searches are saved so you can return to them later with a single click and you can save individual job listings as well. If you’d rather take the passive approach, Indeed also enables you to set up job alerts and post your resume to the company’s searchable database.
Indeed tries to make itself a resource for potential job seekers to help them understand industry trends and learn more about the companies they’re applying to. It doesn’t do this as well as our other top pick, Glassdoor, but there are a few useful tools. When you search for jobs, you’ll see a star rating next to each employer and clicking on it will bring you to a list of reviews from current and former employees so you can get a sense of what the company is like. There’s also a job trends tool that shows which jobs and industries are growing and what the most popular locations are for each position.
Best for company insights and research
Glassdoor’s name embodies the transparency it stands for. It doesn’t just want you to find a job. It wants you to find the right job and to feel confident in your decision. When you search for jobs, you’re presented with dozens of statistics and reviews to help you compare multiple offers, so you know you’re getting the best one. There’s also tools to help you determine a reasonable salary and prepare for common interview questions in your field. As for the jobs themselves, Glassdoor didn’t have quite as many posts as Indeed, but it came in at a close second for post relevance and frequency.
Why We Chose It
Glassdoor had the cleanest user interface of any job site we looked at. Your search results are displayed in a column on the left and clicking on one shows the full job description on the right side of the screen. There’s no hopping back and forth between tabs. You can filter, save and explore jobs all on the same webpage from any smartphone, tablet or computer. When you’re ready to apply, just click the blue button on the job description. Many companies require you to apply through their website and these will be clearly listed as “Apply on Company Site.” Others enable you to apply through Glassdoor, which you can do with or without creating an account.
Glassdoor flips the script on job searching and requires employers to really sell themselves to you if they hope to get applications. Companies must provide detailed information about their organization, mission and why you should work for them. Current and former employees are also invited to share their opinions, so you can see whether there’s a big discrepancy between the marketing materials and the reality. The Ratings tab shows what percentage of current and former staff would recommend the company to a friend and approve of the CEO. It also shows how these ratings have changed over time. All of this data enables you to drill down into your search results in a unique way, so you can eliminate companies with poor reviews, for example, or only focus on businesses of a certain size.
The site also provides additional research tools to help you prepare for interviews and negotiate a fair deal. Its Salaries section shows the average salary for your profession in your area and nationwide, and its Know Your Worth tool looks at how well you measure up to your competition. You answer a few questions about your work experience and it’ll give you an idea of your market value, which you can use as your baseline when negotiating a salary. Its Interview section lists questions other job seekers have been asked at interviews in your field and search area. Reviewing these can give you time to formulate responses now so you’ll be more prepared when you arrive at the interview.
Best for networking
LinkedIn has become a staple of the modern professional. Its job search tools don’t compare to Indeed or Glassdoor, but there’s no better place for making new professional connections. You can reach out to companies and hiring managers directly or make it known that you’re in the market for a new opportunity and let them find you. No matter how job seeking continues to evolve, it will always help to have someone at the company who can make the right introductions, and any tool that helps you make these connections is definitely worth taking advantage of.
Why We Chose It
LinkedIn’s job search tool boasts hundreds of thousands of jobs and a good set of filtering tools so you can sort through them. In addition to the keyword and location searches, you can narrow down your results by company, posting age, experience level, industry and job function. Set up a search alert with a single click and you’ll be notified of any new jobs that match your criteria. You can also look for jobs from your mobile device, though you’ll have to download the separate LinkedIn Job Search app. When you’re ready to apply, hit the Easy Apply button. You must create a profile to apply to LinkedIn jobs, but doing so will save you a lot of time in the long run because it eliminates the need to fill out a new application for each job. Instead, employers will be sent directly to your LinkedIn profile.
The real appeal of LinkedIn is the ability to make connections with other professionals in your field. You add your contacts just as you would on any other social network and then LinkedIn shows you second- and third-degree connections that could help you score an introduction. There are also industry-specific groups you can join to chat with others in your field and possibly make connections this way as well. Freelancers may want to check out LinkedIn’s new ProFinder tool, which functions as a marketplace to connect independent contractors with new clients.
All of these tools are free to use, but upgrading to a Premium plan could be a worthwhile investment if you want to improve your chances of being hired. Your first month is free and after that, the plan costs $30 per month. It gives you access to LinkedIn’s online professional development courses and Applicant Insights, which shows how you measure up against other candidates who are applying for the same position. You also show up as a Featured Applicant in recruiter searches and you can reach out to these recruiters directly to inquire about open positions.
Best for hourly work
You can find part-time and hourly work on any job site, but Snagajob deals in this exclusively, and it’s earned itself a name as the premier job site for part-time work. Its filtering tools aren’t as comprehensive as some of our other top picks and there are no additional resources to help you learn more about companies or industry trends. That said, it’s free and simple to use and the filters it does have enable you to surface the best jobs for you quickly and easily.
Why We Chose It
Hourly work often gets lost in the sea of salaried positions on traditional job sites. Snagajob only accepts hourly jobs on its site, and that in itself can shave valuable time off your search. You can speed things up even more by filtering your results by keyword, location, distance, job type, industry and company. Results can be displayed in a traditional list view or on a map, so you can easily see how close the business is to where you live.
You can save searches if you want to return to them later, or set up job alerts and have new opportunities delivered straight to your inbox. There’s also an Express Interest option to let employers know you’re open to new opportunities. Fill out your profile with information on how many hours you want to work and when you’re available and then sit back and wait for employers to reach out to you. You must create an account on Snagajob before you can access anything but a basic search, but this doesn’t take long to do. Once you sign up, you can view your account and conduct searches at any time from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Frequently Asked Questions about Job Seeking
Job hunting is a unique experience for every person, every time. There are different ways of going about it, from reaching out to friends for an introduction to responding to online job postings. No matter what approach you take, you’re likely to have some questions along the way. We’ve answered some of the most common job seeker questions below.
How do I know if a job is a good opportunity for me?
This is something only you can answer for yourself. If you’re not sure if a job’s worth applying to, ask yourself the following questions:
Is this something I want to do?
Ideally, you want your job to line up with your interests, professional goals and lifestyle. A really exciting opportunity may even be worth setting aside a high salary elsewhere, but that’s something you have to decide. Sometimes it’s not always possible to find a job that’s exactly what you’re looking for. In that case, focus on the aspects of your current or past jobs that you’ve enjoyed, like interacting with others or expressing your creativity. Look for jobs that meet this criteria.
How does the salary compare to the average?
Do some research to see what others in your area make for doing the same job. Glassdoor’s Salary tool is a good place to begin. If you can, check multiple sites and take an average of what you find. Use this number as your baseline when comparing different job opportunities. Don’t forget to include benefits as well. Health insurance, a 401k match and a yearly bonus can go a long way toward making up for a below-average salary.
Do I want to work for this company?
Check out the company website and learn about what their mission is. Make sure it lines up with your beliefs and goals. Then, look for employee reviews of the company on an independent site. If there’s anything dark lurking behind the shiny marketing language, you’ll find it here. You want to make sure you choose an employer that you feel comfortable with, so dig in to the company’s work environment, culture, growth opportunities and management practices to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
Why aren’t I getting responses to my applications?
It’s frustrating when you’re sending out dozens of applications and you haven’t gotten so much as a single request for an interview. There could be many reasons for this, and we cover some of the most common ones below.
You’re not following the employer’s directions.
Make sure you include all required documentation. A resume and cover letter are a must for any job description, but you may be asked to provide additional items as well, like a list of references or a portfolio. Most employers aren’t going to track you down if you fail to include the requested information. Instead, your resume will just end up in the garbage.
It’s equally important to not provide more information than the employer is asking for. Don’t send a bunch of letters of recommendation or sample work if you’re not asked to. You may think this will help you stand out, and it will — as someone who can’t follow directions. This isn’t the impression you want to create, so read the job description carefully and do exactly as it says and nothing more.
You’re using a cookie-cutter resume.
You should have a unique resume for every position you’re applying to. Look at the job postings and scan for keywords and skills that match your background. Highlight these things in your resume and your cover letter. Some companies, especially large corporations, often employ Applicant Tracking Systems to pre-filter resumes so only the best ones reach the hiring manager’s desk. These tools scan for keywords throughout the text and eliminate the ones that don’t have them. So a personalized approach to each resume is essential. Yes, this takes longer, but it’s a more valuable use of your time than sending out 50 copies of the same resume and waiting for replies that never come.
You’re not marketing yourself well.
Your resume and cover letter is your opportunity to tell a potential employer why you’re a good fit for their company. It’s important to be specific when detailing your past achievements and connect your skills to what is mentioned in the job description. This will give employers a better idea of how you would fit into their company than vague, general statements, like “Great at meeting deadlines,” that could apply to many people. Specific details are also more likely to stick in a hiring manager’s mind, and that’s key to landing an interview.
You’re not proofreading.
This may seem trivial, but it’s actually pretty important. A bunch of grammatical and spelling mistakes tell employers you didn’t put a lot of time into your application and you don’t really care about the job. Carefully proofread each copy of your resume and cover letter before you send it. If you don’t feel confident in your own abilities, ask someone else to proofread it for you.
Should I apply to a job if I don’t fit all the requirements?
There’s no such thing as a perfect candidate, so don’t rule a job out just because you don’t check every box on the employer’s list. In many cases, it’s worth it to apply to a position you’re interested in even if it seems a little out of your league. The worst they can say is no. And if you’re smart about how you approach the situation, there’s a good chance they could say yes.
Don’t go too far out of your league.
A new college grad has no business applying for a senior management position at a Fortune 500 company. Make sure you fulfill most of the requirements in the job description and that your experience level is close to what the company is asking for. It’s okay if you don’t fit the criteria exactly, though. Most of the time companies provide job training to new employees anyway, and if you only stick to what you already know, you’re not doing anything to improve your job prospects for the future.
Focus on your skills.
You may not have the five to seven years of experience the company asks for, but often this isn’t as important as having the tools for the job. In your cover letter and resume, highlight the skills you’ve learned from your previous jobs that you believe will translate well to the new opportunity. Don’t lie, however, and claim skills you don’t have. On the off chance you make it through the application process, you will be asked to prove yourself and then the game is up. If you’re asked about a particular skill that you have little to no experience with, be honest. Employers may be willing to overlook this, depending on the importance of the skill and the strength of your other qualifications.
Leverage your connections.
Personal connections are still one of the best ways to score job interviews, and they likely always will be. If you’re fortunate enough to know someone at the company you’re applying to, try reaching out to them and asking for an introduction instead. You can also gain connections through professional associations and social media sites like LinkedIn. A good contact can get you in the door, but you still have to prove your qualifications to the boss, so make sure you feel confident in your ability to do the job before asking your friend to stick their neck out for you.
When should I follow up with an employer about my application?
Hiring processes can take a long time, especially if a company has thousands of applications to sort through. Don’t worry if you don’t hear back right away. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of the running. But if a few days stretch into a few weeks, it may be worth reaching out to the company to find out what’s going on.
Some job postings tell you when to expect a reply. Don’t reach out to the company before this date. You also shouldn’t reach out if the posting specifically asks you not to call or email. Oftentimes hiring managers do this because they are too busy to respond to everyone, and disobeying their orders won’t create a favorable impression. If a job description doesn’t say anything about an expected reply, wait at least a week before contacting them.
When you do reach out, you can do so online, by phone or in person if you live near the company’s office. However you do it, keep it short and professional. Express your interest and briefly explain why you feel your skills make you a good fit for the position. You can also ask about where the company is at with the hiring process and when they plan on making their decision. If you don’t hear back by this date or you don’t get a reply to your follow-up at all, that’s usually a good sign that a company doesn’t feel you’re the right fit. In that case, it’s best to move on and seek out new opportunities.