Despite this month’s recently reduced unemployment numbers in countries like the US, Canada and the UK, there are still millions worldwide without permanent work, whether full or part-time. Official government statistics suggest that in countries like the US, job creation slowed, while job growth in Canada simply remained steady. In the UK, though there are more jobs available, they are spread unevenly throughout the country.
Government figures often don't take into account those that have decided to become self-employed, have lost access to benefits, or have dropped out of employment altogether. So the 'Great Recession' is still impacting the global economy, and while small gains exist in some areas, nothing has changed enough for economic forecasts to be completely upbeat.
There is still some good news however: while job losses have occurred in industries such as media, IT, and retail, there are other industries that have rebounded and are definitely improving. In sectors such as manufacturing, construction, social work, real estate and health care, there is growth for those seeking work in these fields.
For many who lost jobs, it is an opportunity for reinvention: once the initial shock of being out of work has tempered, the entrepreneurial spirit strikes and long-held dreams can be realized, even with all the hard work and risk that being self-employed carries. For new graduates, unemployment can be a real fear, but many companies offer internships that will provide that all-important foot in the door. It is also important to remember, too, that volunteering not only brings its own rewards, but may also lead to a permanent opportunity down the road.
In the meantime, most job-seekers need to be savvy about their job search and determine how best to spend their time. It's common knowledge that many job seekers find work through people they know, so it's no surprise that HR staff and recruiters concur. These experts suggest an '80/10/10' plan, where 80% of time is spent networking and reaching out to contacts, 10% focuses on researching jobs and applying, and 10% is doing other activities to keep you engaged and connected with family and friends.
When it comes to online job and career websites, there are innumerable choices ranging from job listing aggregator sites to job search engines, and many are also global. Most also offer social media options and mobile app access.
Impossible to choose from them all, here, nevertheless, is a look at ten website resources that offer everything from job postings and résumé advice, to company insights and mentorship, all of which may help in a job search.
10 Company Connector
Back in 2010, a former Colgate employee realized that many traditional job search websites were failing to stay relevant. In an age where job seekers were looking to make connections too, different tools were needed. The result is Company Connector. This website matches professionals with appropriate employers, but the value to the job seeker comes in offering the inside scoop on what it's like to work at these companies.
Via anonymous access, company employees worldwide can answer questions from job hunters relating to hiring, compensation, professional development, and company culture. As an incentive, those providing the information can join a rewards program called Karma. Points are earned incrementally that, in turn, allow the information providers themselves to gain access to information elsewhere.
More of a niche job search website, Dice is a US resource targeted at job searchers in the technology and engineering professions. Like many of the other websites, the site offers the ability to upload a résumé, search job postings by keyword, job title, company, and location as well as by skill and employment type. There's great advice on crafting specific skill résumés, as well as general information, news, a blog, and also a section called Dice TV, which carries media clips relating to each post.
StartUp Corner is full of useful and interesting information if you're a budding dot com entrepreneur. Dice has two mobile apps; one for job search and the other a career guide, for the iOS and Android platforms.
Currently in Beta, US website Startwire is a relative newcomer in the area of job search, launching in 2012. Since then, the site has experienced explosive growth and now boasts over 2 million users.
A major difference between Startwire and other services is that job searches can be organized, jobs applied to in about 60 seconds, and all job applications saved in one convenient place. Using a browser plug-in called Tracker, the tool stores all jobs that have been viewed, regardless of which website it was found on, and makes intuitive job recommendations. Of even greater value to some job seekers is the way Startwire addresses the issue of the 'black hole', the part of job searching where applications disappear and feedback is missing. Applicants can now receive automatic updates about their applications and its current status with an employer.
Guided by a desire to connect people, organizations and resources to better the world, the Idealist website was launched in 1996 and is a leading global non-profit career website. Funded through donations, grants, and fees for employer advertising, the site reaches millions of users every month and has connections with over 90,000 organizations.
Those who are considering a non-profit career or looking to volunteer will find there is plenty of advice and information on the site, including webinars and web chats. Alongside permanent jobs and volunteering opportunities, there are internships too, and Idealist also attends grad school job fairs. On March 11 this year, Idealist will launch a new network, and already 15,642 people have signed up from over 145 countries.
For those looking to pivot from an old career to a new one, or are thinking about opening their own business, PivotPlanet can help. A fee-based career website, the company has a database of advisors with experience in many industries. They can be matched with job changers who want information and advice. At an affordable cost, starting from as little as $40 US, it is possible to arrange a one-on-one video or phone session with an advisor, or even meet in person for mentorship. Experts are vetted and appointments can be set up using social media accounts.
Available in more than 50 countries and in 26 languages, Indeed is a global job aggregator site that offers millions of job listings for free. Jobs can be searched by keyword, title or company name as well as location, and there are advanced search options too. It is also possible to create a profile and add a résumé for employers to find. Other resources include job alerts, salary search, job trends and, on the US site, company reviews via their 'Best Places To Work' section. Also on the US site is a variety of job search tools, such as browser plug-ins, forums and an RSS feed.
Developed by the CareerArc Group, the TweetMyJobs website is part of a larger suite of careers sites including Internships.com. TweetMyJobs is a site designed to work best with social and mobile networks. Employers can advertise positions via automation that pushes jobs out to Twitter job channels, Facebook, and mobile applications.
Job matches for job seekers are customized to the individual, and members can determine by what method they wish to receive their alerts. TweetMyJobs can also send your résumé via Twitter to various employers while, through integration with Facebook, alerts can be sent to users notifying them of connections at their targeted companies. Covering the spectrum of job seekers, the TweetMyJobs website can help veterans with their job search, offering job channels and job listings specifically for them.
With over 23 million members and a recent $50 million financing injection, Glassdoor has become a significant global career resource since it began in 2007. Like most job websites, it offers job postings, salary searches, and company reviews, but a key difference is its interview section, where successful and unsuccessful, candidates can post information and insight relating to their interview experience.
Glassdoor employer listings may also include company images, often posted by an organization's employees. Very active on social media too, a mobile app for iOS and Android platforms is available for download.
One of the largest job search resources, the California-based company began in 2005 and operates job search engines in 24 countries and in 12 languages. Access to jobs is free and open on all platforms from web to social, email to mobile. Removing the need to find and search numerous job boards, SimplyHired aggregates job postings and delivers them the way you choose.
As with other sites, résumés can be uploaded while job trends, salaries and company reviews can all be researched. The SimplyHired blog offers useful advice and there is also a YouTube channel with media clips available for viewing.
Started in 2003, LinkedIn® is the social networking site for professionals and is currently said to have about 277 million members worldwide. The site's aim is to connect professionals with others in their industry, and with recruiters/employers seeking staff. Members create a profile that includes a photo, details of their education, experience and other pertinent information. This profile then acts as a form of résumé for others to view and can be used for applying to any jobs listed on LinkedIn®.
Most people opt for the basic membership which is free, but there are fee-based options available. Group activity is encouraged and it's easy to find groups relevant to your industry where you can join in discussions or post a comment. LinkedIn Corporation recently acquired Bright, a job search site that matched candidates with jobs using a combination of data science, algorithms, and a specific profile score, so expect to see new functions on LinkedIn® in the future.