Online job boards can be a great resource when you're job hunting, but to get the most out of them, you have to know how to navigate the latest features. Beyond creating an account, uploading a résumé and connecting with your professional contacts, you can also use the sites to make new connections and learn more about the organizations you want to work for.
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Here is an overview of your options and how to use them.
LinkedIn: You've probably used the site to post an online work profile, connect with other professionals, tap into discussion groups or follow companies where you might want to work. Recent improvements have made scoring key connections even easier. Among the features to consider are the How You're Connected Tool, which helps you find who in your network knows someone you would like to connect with right now.
When you view a profile of someone with whom you aren't connected, a list of mutual connections pops up on your screen. You can then reach out to those mutual connections to help you meet the new contact or to find out more information about that person.
If you're looking for volunteer opportunities, the dedicated search page LinkedIn for Volunteers, at volunteer.linkedin.com, lets you find unpaid positions in areas such as fundraising, marketing or grant writing. It culls feeds from several sources, including Taproot Foundation, Catch-a-fire and VolunteerMatch.
Indeed.com: You can sort job postings by criteria such as geography, industry, experience or salary. You can also post your résumé after creating an account and read reviews by current and former employees rating work-life balance, compensation and benefits, and job culture.
Indeed's Job Trends button (indeed.com/jobtrends) analyzes its millions of job postings to show which industries are hiring, job titles, top locations and top keyword searches. You can click to exact job postings, sort by salary and get new jobs sent to you by email from that search.
Job-Hunt.org: This free online guide focuses on providing job seekers over 50 with articles written by experts covering topics ranging from finding contract jobs to interviewing tips, avoiding job scams, working with recruiters and the best ways to use LinkedIn and Google for job searches.
CareerBuilder.com: CareerBuilder is one of the largest boards, providing job listings, résumé posting, and career advice and resources to job seekers. It pulls from career sites of more than 1,000 partners, including 140 newspapers and leading portals such as MSN and AOL.
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