NEWS + ADVICE
One of the Biggest Mistakes Job Seekers Make on ClearedJobs.Net
With the relaunch of our web site we’ve reviewed hundreds and hundreds of Job Seeker Job Agents. Probably 90% of them are ineffective.
Job Agents are saved searches you create that send you an email each day when positions that meet your search criteria are newly posted to ClearedJobs.Net.
If you’ve been in the market to buy a new house and received automated emails from your realtor with houses that just came on the market, it’s the same concept. It makes your job search more efficient because the information on new positions is pushed to your inbox, where you likely spend much of your day.
If you haven’t set up your Job Agent properly you may have a false sense of security, thinking that your Job Agents are doing your search work for you. And you may be missing out on jobs that could be a good fit for you.
Don’t Set Up a Job Agent the Way You Search
When you do a keyword search you have the option to refine the search results via the faceting options to the left of your search results. So when you do a live search you can search broadly and then refine your results to find what you’re looking for. That refined search is what you want to use to create a Job Agent. Check out 4 Tips for More Effective ClearedJobs.Net Job Search for tips on how to perform an effective search.
The problem we see in reviewing the Job Agents that job seekers create is that they are fine as a general search, but too broad to be an effective Job Agent. The search results bring back way too many results.
Job Agent emails are limited to 25 search results per day. Otherwise they become too unwieldy if they returned you hundreds or thousands of results based on broad search criteria.
Set up Job Agents once you have refined your search results via keywords, security clearance and geography to the results that make sense for you. You may need to create several Job Agents, especially if you are considering a number of geographic locations.
8 Common Job Agent Mistakes
Based on our review of job seeker Job Agents, these are the most common mistakes:
Mistaking the Job Agent name for the keyword field. Giving your Job Agent a name doesn’t mean you have selected keywords for it to search. For example if you name your job agent Logistics, you still need to enter Logistics as a keyword for the search.
Including a Zip Code but not a Zip Code radius. If you haven’t selected a Zip Code radius but you do have a Zip Code selected, it defaults to 20 miles. If that’s too wide a geographic area for you, consider changing it to a 5 or 10-mile radius.
Job Agents with keywords, but no geographic overlay. Depending on the keywords this is probably going to bring back a ton of results, and remember daily Job Agent emails are limited to 25 search results. There are cleared positions across the country, so choosing a geographic overlay is a good practice. And optimally choose a centrally-located Zip Code with a mileage radius vs. choosing an entire state.
Not using quotation marks with a search phrase. We’ve already suggested you review 4 Tips for More Effective ClearedJobs.Net Job Search, but a common error is searching on a phrase such as “Homeland Security” without using quotation marks. The problem is you get back way, way too many results for an effective Job Agent.
Using commas or other punctuation to separate keywords. Don’t use punctuation in Job Agents, other than quotation marks to indicate search phrases such as “Java Developer” or parentheses to create a series of options such as “Java Developer” AND (Unix OR Linux).
Searching on just a security clearance. Don’t simply search on a security clearance unless you have really restricted the associated geographic area. For example a search for TS/SCI + full scope polygraph in Virginia or Maryland is going to return too many results to be effective, while a similar search in Florida or Texas is manageable. While the search results are manageable, they may not be effective without a keyword overlay.
Searching on just a State. If the state you select is Maryland or Virginia there will be too many results. Most other states would return a manageable number of search results, but without further refinement with keywords or clearance this isn’t likely to be a very effective search.
Using words with multiple meanings. Deployed is a good example. Deployed doesn’t just mean working overseas. You deploy software. New technologies are deployed. Review your Job Agents to see if your keywords have meanings other than what you intended and refine accordingly.
You Still Need to Log In
When recruiters search a job seeker database their search results come back in reverse chronological order. So if you haven’t logged in to your job seeker account in 6 months you may be on page 9 of their search results.
To ensure you’re top of mind with recruiters log in on a regular basis such as weekly or monthly. That updates the date associated with your job seeker account and let’s recruiters know you’re still in the game.
We Can Help You
Don’t struggle with whether you’ve set up your Job Agent properly or not. Send your Job Agent to us and we’ll make sure it’s optimized for the results you seek.This entry was posted on Monday, August 31, 2015 9:39 am