Thursday, March 22, 2012

How to Curate Your Own Personal Job Feed (Some Advice from Harvard Business Review)

Remember the days when looking for a new job involved the Sunday newspaper classified section and a black magic marker? Thanks to technology, looking for a job today seems to require an advanced degree in data analysis. There are millions of positions posted online across an ever-changing landscape of job boards, company websites, social networks, apps, and more.

What's a job seeker to do? You have to become a curator of your own personal job feed, narrowing down all of the various websites and listings to a truly personalized stream of opportunities. The best way to do this is to set up a select group of bookmarked websites and email alerts that you view every day. Here's how:

1. Get specific. If you were searching for a pair of shoes online, it wouldn't be a very good strategy to go to Google or another search engine and type in "shoes." You'd more likely visit the website of a retailer that caters to your specific style and budget, then search for the type of shoes you want — the style, the price range and perhaps the color or heel height. The same goes for job hunting. A common mistake among job seekers using the biggest job boards — such as,,, and — is to search too broadly.

Your first step in cultivating a personal job feed is to get clear on the exact terms that best match the jobs you want. If you cast too wide a net, such as searching on "marketing" or "Atlanta" or "writing skills," you'll receive too many results that waste your time and energy.

Always use the Advanced Search page for any job board you visit, which allows you to enter multiple search criteria (such as marketing jobs in Atlanta that require excellent writing skills), and be as specific as possible in terms of industry, location, experience level and other factors (such as specifying "online marketing" or "copywriting skills." Yes, you may occasionally miss out on a listing here or there, but you'll make up for it in the time saved culling through hundreds of postings that don't fit your needs.

2. Increase your niche know-how. The term "hyper-local" doesn't just apply to news; it also applies to jobs. Many employers want to weed out unqualified candidates, so they only post jobs on dedicated job boards for their industries. One of your tasks as a job seeker is to find the niche job boards for your field.

Read the rest here.

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