September 10, 2014

The Best Places to Look for Work Online

handsSeptember 4th was Newspaper Carrier Day, named in honor of the very first paperboy in America. In 1833, Benjamin Flaherty was hired to deliver newspapers by the New York Sun.

Looking for something a little more lucrative than a paper route? The Internet offers a wealth of resources for job seekers. Here are five places to look for job postings online—and the red flags to watch out for!

LinkedIn: The professional social networking site LinkedIn is one of the best places to find a job today. The more connections you make on the site, the better your chance of finding an opportunity. Let the world know that you’re looking, and be sure to check out the job boards as well as any groups related to your industry. Companies in search of talent will often seek out qualified applicants from their network, so don’t neglect your LinkedIn profile. Keep it updated and actively participate in industry groups.

National Job Search Sites: A few years ago, sites like Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder were the best places to find employment. They’re still useful, even if LinkedIn has surpassed them in popularity, and you should consider searching them routinely in the course of your job hunt. Some sites allow companies to post listings for a fee, while others (such as Indeed) are aggregators that compile postings from other sites. Competition for these jobs is often more fierce than other, less popular sites, and the online application systems frequently make job seekers jump through hoops to submit their resumes. Don’t be discouraged if you think the job is truly a good fit for you!

Specialty and Local Job Boards: After you’ve checked the national clearinghouses above, turn your attention to smaller, more specialized sites. Professional organizations, both national and local chapters, will usually have job boards—though some require membership to search for postings. Industry-specific information sites, such as Media Bistro, will often have job boards as well as classes, workshops, and helpful articles. Government sites frequently offer job postings—beyond just municipal positions—at both the local and state level.

Company Websites: If you’ve already made a wish-list of companies you’d like to work for, check their websites frequently for openings. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that only about 15-20 percent of all available jobs are ever publicly advertised, so your dream job may never be posted. Be proactive and send your resume and cover letter regardless, and if you’re feeling particularly forward, ask for an informational interview.

Craigslist: Craigslist is more high-risk than the other resources mentioned above, but it’s not totally without merit. While you should be careful of jobs that seem shady or too good to be true, you may find hidden gems. Project-based jobs, freelance work, and temp jobs are frequently posted on Craigslist, and while they may not be the full-time career you’re looking for, these jobs can be excellent stop-gaps while you look for more permanent work.

Job Seeker Beware: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. This is doubly true when looking for work online. Jobs offering unreasonably high salaries or suspiciously easy money—well, those are almost certainly scams. Another huge red flag is poor grammar and spelling in the job posting. While the occasional typo can slip past even the most eagle-eyed proofreader, poor quality writing reflects poorly on the potential employer. Just as you should ensure your resume and cover letter are error free, be wary of job postings that are riddled with mistakes.

Where’s your favorite place to look for quality jobs? Let us know in the comments!

Read more in Job Search Advice

A self-proclaimed word nerd, Allison VanNest works with Grammarly to help perfect written English. Connect with Allie, the Grammarly team, and nearly FIVE MILLION Grammarly Facebook fans at
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