Indeed.com, the largest job board in the world, currently has over 65,000 jobs open just in Boston, Massachusetts. If you live in Boston, how would you choose the right postings for you?
5 Criteria for Choosing Your Next Job
When you see an interesting job posting, use this five-step approach to analyze the posting to choose the best jobs for you.
Your job search will be less discouraging when the jobs are a good fit for you. And, the results will be better, too.
1. The right job title
First, of course, to find the right jobs, you would add a job title to the location in your search criteria. But, which job title would you add? Hopefully, you would use the job title your target employer(s) use for the job you want next. This isn’t as simple a matter as it might seem.
For example, perhaps you are an administrative assistant and want to be a senior administrative assistant in your next job. How does you target employer describe that job? They could use the title “executive assistant” or “sr. administrative assistant” or “senior admin assistant” or something else entirely. A site like Indeed.com will help you try to figure that out by showing job postings with similar titles. Other sites do not.
2. The right employer
When you have a list of job postings with the right job title, the next question is which employer is best for you.
To determine the best employer, check the employer’s website to see what you can find. Then, use Google, Bing, or your favorite search engine for more research. For example, do searches like the twelve below.
To get started, do a simple search on the employer’s name to see what the top search results are. This can be very helpful.
Then, look for good news:
- “[company name]” “revenue up”
- “[company name]” expanding
- “[company name]” hiring
- “[company name]” announced
- “[company name]” “new jobs”
- “[company name]” “new location”
Also, look for bad news that might make you want to avoid an employer:
- “[company name]” scams
- “[company name]” complaints
- “[company name]” “lawsuit pending”
- “[company name]” “layoffs”
- “[company name]” “profits down”
(Replace [company name] with the employer’s name for the searches above, and be sure to use double quotation marks – ” ” – around phrases in your query, as they are used in these examples.)
You may find nothing using a search engine. Possibly you could discover information that makes you want to avoid this employer or, conversely, puts this employer at the top of your list of target employers. You won’t know until you do the research.
NOTE: If all you find are job postings associated with the employer’s name, that’s usually a sign that the employer is not legitimate and the jobs are scams. A genuine business must do more than relentlessly hire new employees to continue to operate.
If the employer is a restaurant or other retail business, reviews on a site like Yelp! can be very enlightening.
Also, do a search on Glassdoor.com, which offers not only reviews of employers but also typical interview questions. If this employer is included in Glassdoor, you may discover some very interesting information.
3. The right location
Speaking as someone who commuted for more than two hours every day (round-trip) to a job over 50 miles from my home, I can only say what a relief it was when I no longer had to face that commute. Yes, if you are taking public transportation, you can certainly get some things done, from reading books or listening to music to writing reports on your laptop. But, somehow, whatever you manage to accomplish doesn’t make up for that enormous time lost. So, think about that when you are considering a job. Would it be worth the commute?
4. The right duties and/or responsibilities
Sometimes the job title, employer, and location are great, but the job requires you to spend a portion of every week or day doing something you hate to do. Maybe you hate bookkeeping duties, even “light” ones – or maybe you love them. Maybe you hate to write reports – or maybe you love to. Check them out so you don’t apply for a job that would make you miserable and put you back in the job market too soon.
5. The right job requirements
Checking the job requirements described in the job description can be a big time-saver. Perhaps it specifies that applicants “must” have an advanced degree or certification that you don’t have. You have done the job, so you know that the requirement is senseless. But, reasonable or not, if you don’t meet the requirement, applying for the job may be a complete waste of your time.
A Little Analysis Will Save Your Valuable Time
Employers are buried under an avalanche of applications and resumes whenever they post a job. To stand out from the crowd of applicants, you need to apply for jobs that are good fits for you and for your career. Analyzing the job postings before you apply will save you time and effort as well as helping you avoid frustration and, hopefully, a new job search too soon after landing this next new job.
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About the author…
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 2011, Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoach since then. Susan also edits and publishes Job-Hunt.org, is a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a columnist on HuffingtonPost. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+.