This is the third article in my Job seeking advice articles. There are a fair few online job search/recruitment resources and I’ve listed the ones I’ve used/know of with details of what they are best used for and written up some advice about how to go about setting yourself up on the sites and how best to use them.
As my background is in communications and working as a self-employed contractor in the South West of England I have also included specialist sections on Communications, Marketing and PR and on contracting and details of agencies in the South West of England.
Why use Recruitment Websites?
I sometimes look back on the days when I first started looking for work and wonder how I managed to get it all done, have a semblance of a social life and not get disheartened by the rejection letters or worse the “no response”. Using online recruitment websites helps to reduce/make easier the physical labour, communication and repetitive tasks. However, the core principles behind getting yourself noticed and ultimately employed remain the same – see my Hints and Tips for Job Seeking article for more on these principles.
Apart from the labour saving benefits of using recruitment websites it is also worth noting that these days they are not so much a choice as fast becoming a necessity. The labour saving benefits of using them are not confined to the job seeker, but also to recruitment agencies and employers looking for candidates. It is so much easier for them to search the internet for likely candidates and to find out more about them through their online presence. To find out more about maintaining an online professional presence see the second article in my job seeking series Networking and Your Online Professional Presence.
How to use Recruitment Websites
It really is simple to use recruitment websites, the main work is in the initial setting up of your user profile. Once you’ve set up your profile, uploaded the relevant documents (CVs/Covering Letters) and created a saved job search or two you’re ready to go. Next time you visit the website you simply log in, click on your saved search, or look at the role categories and browse the job summaries. If you are interested in a role you can open the full role profile and then if you want to make an application you click on the button to apply and fill in any additional information requested and attach the relevant CV and Covering letter.
So what do you need to register a user profile? Although each of the recruitment websites has their own systems for registering and they all have the common elements that you need to complete.
Hint – When you’ve created your first profile, copy all the free text and save it on your computer. This will allow you to reuse the information again on other recruitment websites and also ensure consistency between your profiles.
Here are most of the common elements that recruitment websites will likely request (you may not be required to fill out all the information, but I strongly recommend that you be as thorough as possible – this will help with making your profile more attractive to recruiters and also help to pre-populate any applications you wish to make):
- Contact information
- A short summary about yourself
- Your qualifications and education
- Your work history (with a brief summary of each role & your responsibilities)
- Your skills (an opportunity to select your key skills and level of ability)
- Vocational qualifications and training
- Professional memberships
- A short summary of the next position you are seeking
- Role preferences (i.e. part-time or full-time, temporary, contract or permanent)
- Your commutable distance (i.e. how far from home your willing to travel to work each day)
- Your current salary/salary expectations
- The ability to upload a copy of your CV/create a CV on the system (you may also be able to create multiple CVs designed for different role/profession types)
- The ability to upload a copy of a covering letter/create a covering letter on the system (you may also be able to create multiple covering letters designed for different role/profession types)
- Set up a detailed saved job search (ensuring you don’t have to input all your parameters every time you want to do the same type of search and also allowing you to have it emailed to you on a regular basis)
It takes a bit of time to set up all your profiles, uploading your CV and creating cover letters, but once you’ve put in the initial work, it can be relatively easy to keep them up to date as long as you keep on top of them and are aware of what is on each of them. Take your time setting up your profile, don’t rush, fill everything in as honestly, clearly and succinctly as possible and keep a record of all your free text entries on your computer.
Once you’ve got a job you don’t need to delete your profile either, simply select that you don’t want it to be visible in searches at the moment, this will remove it from the public search. This way next time you’re looking for work you can just update all the information and documents and then select to make it visible again. This is an especially useful function when you do a lot of short-term temporary/contract work.
It’s worth bearing in mind the following points when using recruitment websites:
- Only sign up for recruitment websites that have roles available in your desired profession and at the skill/experience level you are seeking a position for.
- Ensure that you only sign up with as many recruitment websites as you can personally keep up to date.
- Ensure you bookmark all your recruitment websites and your profiles on them.
- Keep a record on your computer of all CVs and Cover Letter templates that you upload to your recruitment website profiles.
- Whilst job searching regularly update your CV (min once every 2 months) on each of the recruitment websites. (This ensures you always stay near the top of the search lists as they always show most recent CVs first)
- Be careful to check regularly that your profiles on different recruitment websites don’t contradict each other.
- Create specialised CVs and covering letters for specific roles wherever possible.
- Always follow up an online application with an email and/or telephone call to the recruiter.
Generic Recruitment Websites
These are the generic recruitment websites, which tend to recruit for entry level up to middle management and a few senior manager roles. They have roles from a wide variety of professions and sectors, from IT to drivers, Pharmaceuticals to catering. They usually have a bias to permanent full time roles on their lists, but they do have part time, temporary and contract as well.
Jobsite is my first port of call in the generic recruitment websites as it does have a large number of specialist and senior contract roles that are often not on the other generic sites.
Specialist Marketing, PR & Communications Agency Websites
These are links to the recruitment websites of specialist recruitment agencies. Many of these websites give you the ability to register and create a profile in the same way as the generic recruitment websites.
These specific recruitment agencies I find best for looking for contract/interim or permanent internal communications/change communications/employee engagement and marketing roles and/or within financial services.
Artis HR – Specialising in Employee Engagement, HR and Internal and Change Communications roles primarily within the South West of England
Sanderson - Based in Bristol and focusing on IT, Govt/Defence, HR, Finance, Business Change & Transformation roles based in the South West
VMA Selection – Specialist Communications and PR agency
Badenoch & Clark – Specialist Communications, Marketing and PR agency
Ball and Hoolahan – Specialist Marketing agency
Michael Page International – Marketing and Communications agency
Chapple – Specialist Change and Communications agency
Hudson – Wide field of roles, but with many in the Financial Services sector
Xchange Team – Marketing, Media and Communications agency
Aston Carter – Specialist Consultancy, Finance and IT
JFL Search & Selection – Specialist Internal Communications, PR and Marketing Communications agency
Consult Executive – HR agency recruiting specialists in Organisational Development, Talent Management, Diversity and Change Management and experts in Learning and Development, Reward, Employee Relations and Communication.
Hays Marketing – Marketing arm of the Hays recruitment agency
Melcrum Internal Communications Jobs
Melcrum – Internal Communications Jobs is the recruitment website element of Melcrum, which is a privately held research and training business who provide support to senior-level communicators. They create a number of recognised training programmes that help communicators to achieve recognition and qualifications within the profession.
The Internal Communications Job website brings together the cream of the mid to senior level internal communications roles from the most respected specialist agencies and across the globe into the one location. If you are an internal communicator looking for your next role then signing up with the Melcrum – Internal Communications Jobs website is a must.
The website also has PR/marketing agency links and has a wealth of quality roles regularly uploaded and links to some of the best recruitment agencies specialising in communications, HR, Marketing and PR. I personally found many of the specialist agencies mentioned in the previous section through browsing the Melcrum website.
Other articles in the job seeking series:
Hints and Tips For Job Seeking
Networking and Your Online Professional Presence
Hints and Tips For Successful Interviews
Job Hunting and Standing Out from the Crowd
Hints & Tips for CV Writing