4 Tips for More Effective Job Search on ClearedJobs.Net

Posted by Bob Wheeler

As much as job seekers get frustrated about the lack of time a recruiter spends looking at each resume (six seconds is the most quoted stat), it turns out that job seekers aren’t doing much to hold up their end of the bargain either.

In fact, a Wall Street Journal article reported that it only takes job seekers between 50 and 70 seconds to decide whether or not to respond to a job posting. While it is admittedly ten times the length of time a recruiter spending – it still doesn’t inspire much confidence.

It’s been said that all solutions breed new problems. In this case the culprit is technology. The internet has made it easier to post, look for, and also respond to job advertisements. This has created a flood of activity on both sides of the equation. The answer- yep you guessed it…technology.

By now you’ve heard of the dreaded ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and its purpose. Now, let me introduce you to its counterpart. It’s what I like to call the OTS (Opportunity Tracking System) here on the ClearedJobs.Net website. This OTS puts the same technology to work for you.

Follow along and you’ll not only learn how to filter through the thousands of active jobs on our site, but you’ll also gain a little appreciation for the way recruiters do their jobs.

  • Understand your job field and then use search strings. For example often times an organization will substitute the term “program manager” for “project manager”. In this case you can use the string: (“Project Manager” OR “Program Manager”) to cast an even wider net. The string (“Project Manager” OR “Program Manager” OR “Program Analyst” OR “Project Analyst”) is even better. The more you know about your career field the better you’ll be at crafting search strings.
  • Understand basic Boolean search terms. When you search for jobs using a basic term like project manager for example, the system will pull up every job with the word project or manager anywhere in the description. Typing it with quotation marks “project manager” however will only pull up job descriptions that have those words, in that order. Open a job description and you’ll see that everywhere the key phrase “project manager” appears in the job posting is highlighted in yellow. This is the same way key words appear on your resume when a recruiter searches the resume database, by the way.
  • Start wide then get narrow. Now you can winnow this number down based upon clearance level. Remember to select each level that you are eligible to work in – not just your current level. So if you have a Top Secret, but would also work in a job that only requires a Secret clearance you need to select both choices. Let’s say you have a strong desire to work somewhere down south, so you filter locations of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Now you’ve made it down to a very manageable number of jobs. You can further narrow your choices by Job Title or by Company.

Be careful, though, not to over filter. While it may be tempting to click a box in every category it rarely leads to success. Remember that job descriptions are written by people and therefore they may not always offer the clearest picture of the actual job. Start with the broad key word search strings. Use lots of “OR” connections and not so many “AND” connections at first. If your search returns jobs in the thousands – then begin adding the other filters.

It’s also important to note that the search function does exactly what you tell it to do, no more, no less. The way you describe your skills and the way an employer describes their needs have to match up perfectly for the system to return a hit. A single typo can be the difference between seeing hundreds of jobs and seeing zero jobs.

Search strings are an art, the more you work with them the better you’ll get. Just as the strong recruiters will approach a single search from multiple angles, so should a cleared job seeker.

  • Make the technology work for you. We get it, this journey was great, but it’s not a trip you want to take every day. That’s why smart job seekers save their search results and/or create job agents. Saving the search string allows you to log back on at a later date and quickly run the same search parameters again to see what’s been added (or subtracted from the site). Job agents take it one step further. Once established, these send you an email whenever a job that meets your criteria gets posted to the site. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t lose out on an opportunity just because you hadn’t had the time to search in a few days.

The tips above are just introductions to a good search. Remember, employers aren’t spending the money to post their openings on niche sites like ClearedJobs.Net just for public relations. They have a legitimate need to fill. Using this technology to search for current openings and to get alerted as soon as future positions are posted is key to a successful job hunt.

Bob WheelerBob Wheeler is a ClearedJobs.Net Account Manager, a Navy veteran, a former recruiter and a certified veteran transition coach. You may reach Bob at [email protected].


This entry was posted on Monday, February 02, 2015 7:35 am

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