Best Free Job Search Websites

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Our Picks

Indeed.com Review

Indeed.com aggregates job listings from all over, increasing the chances of finding a potential match. Users are mostly keen on its website and mobile app but cite weaknesses like duplicate and old listings.

For all the barbs lobbed at this job-search engine, Indeed.com reviews are quite strong. On Trust Pilot the site earns a score of 9.2 out of 10 from users who cheerily write about the large volume and high quality of the listings, the frequency and accuracy of email alerts, and their success at getting interviews and quickly landing a job. The satisfaction rating tallied at Viewpoints hit 84 percent compared with an average 66 for other job search sites. A headhunter who posted an review at Viewpoints generally gives it a thumbs-up, citing its search engine structure as a big plus. Because Indeed.com amasses job postings from employer and other job-listing sites, the commenter explains, users are more likely to learn of openings than if they had searched sites filled with postings submitted exclusively by recruiters.

Still, this professional and job seekers themselves have some nits to pick. Indeed.com reviews complain of repeat postings and others that are old, some that don't list the company name, and some that seem to be scams. The site's mobile app for iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Android devices wins plaudits, but users grouse about its limitations, noting that applications for many jobs cannot be sent from a mobile device and the app isn't always up to date.

Indeed.com offers a variety of convenient features. You can save favorite job listings and arrange for personalized emails for jobs that match your interests and qualifications. Ratings and reviews of companies supplied by employees give you a picture of the workplace environment, which is the kind of information you want before submitting an application. If you would like employers to seek you out, you can post a resume on the site. You also can find and compare salaries with the salary search tool. The site tracks hot job trends and maintains several forums that encourage user interaction and provide a sense of community.

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Monster.com Review

After wading through postings from recruiting agencies and random pop-up ads, users find quality listings but say resumes don't get noticed and customer service is poor.

Users appreciate the expansive database of jobs on this site, according to Monster.com reviews. A user poll conducted by Lifehacker, which unearthed that sentiment, ranks it among the top five job search sites. Even so, griping abounds. Users aren't happy about all the spam found on the site and given that it also serves as a showcase for resumes, they say that getting the right person(s) to actually notice yours isn't all that different from random luck. PC Mag is high on this job search site, calling it one of the ten best. In support of its conclusion the expert review notes stand-out features such as salary negotiation tips and a privacy setting that prevents companies of your choosing from seeing your resume (as in, let's keep this from the boss). The short review also mentions elements that bug users, including ads that pop up before search results and worthless posts from headhunters. Monster.com reviews posted on Get Human assert that the site falters in customer support; users give it an average score of 2.9 out of 5 for support quality, communication, and responsiveness.

A mobile app for iPhones and iPads earns a very low score in Monster.com reviews at the iTunes store, where users grumble about limited functionality (e.g., no advanced search, struggles to refresh job listings). The Android app fares only slightly better in comments posted at Google Play; users grouse about crashes and malfunctions, poor search results, and not being able to edit their profile.

Monster.com does double duty as a job search site and a resume posting site. It offers a variety of career resources, such as career advice, advice forums, career management tools, and articles with job search tips. The site provides profiles of many companies (no input from employees, however) and salary information based on industry and location. You can search openings by job title, company name or keywords, and location; save the results; and keep track of your applications. When posting a resume, Monster.com will distribute your resume to a targeted group of recruiters for the hefty price of $67.95; for a professionally written resume, the minimum fee is $180. The site also facilitates job searches through professional networking with its BeKnown tool, which is hosted on Facebook.

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CareerBuilder.com Review

CareerBuilder.com offers several novel features (e.g., self-tests for career suitability) but is burdened by reports of fraudulent job postings and spam jamming inboxes.

The take-away from CareerBuilder.com reviews is "don't bother." At Viewpoints, for example, the job search site scores a 56 out of 100, well below the average of 66 for job search sites. Many CareerBuilder.com reviews complain about emails and job alerts for positions that are outside job seekers' fields of interest and level of expertise and the heavy presence of get-rich-quick scams. One reviewer reports he was inundated with spam and unsubscribing to the site didn't stop the inflow. And while job seekers appreciate the sheer number of postings, reviews assert many turn out to be useless. The company encourages users to contact its trust and site security team with concerns about fraudulent posts, but comments posted at Consumer Affairs indicate that queries receive quick but unhelpful responses and no guidance about how to stop email and phone contact initiated by unscrupulous organizations.

The apps for Android and Apple devices let you do most of the things you would on the website. CareerBuilder.com reviews of the app posted at Google Play are mixed but more favorable than for the site itself. Some app users have trouble with some of the functions (e.g., setting up an account, refreshing job postings), some note you can't update a resume on the app, and some say it can't be used to actually apply for a job although that's supposedly one of its features; others assert they found jobs using the app and are big fans.

CareerBuilder.com offers the usual array of services, including job search and resume posting. There is a salary calculator based on job title and location, a tool for keeping track of saved jobs and applications, and a variety of tests you can take to learn more about career suitability. One unusual feature is the hireINSIDER tool, which lets you assess the competition (number of applicants, education levels, years of experience, etc.) once you've applied for that position. The search feature lets you search by audience (e.g., diversity jobs, jobs for veterans) and you can manage the type of emails you receive and tailor job alerts with selected keywords. Additionally, the site maintains a fee-based resume upgrade service (starting at $179) and provides resources and advice pertinent to your industry and current work experience.

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Buying Guide

Online job postings are the go-to free resource when you're engaged in the hunt, but job search website reviews reveal that the popular sites are not created equal. While each is unique in its own way, our research found that all are imperfect in many of the same, as well as some different, ways. There's no doubt that job search websites can be helpful, and certainly far better than highlighting classified ads in the newspaper. They can only do so much, however, and while scores of users gleefully claim success with the help of these services, the hard work of finding work continues to sit squarely on your shoulders.

Job Search Website Guide

We read through job search websites reviews for four of the largest sites and explored their pages on our own. Indeed.com lands atop our list for its extensive postings, relative accuracy, and practical features. Monster.com wins a second-place slot with its large database and a couple of unique features even as other elements clearly frustrate users. Despite some novel features, CareerBuilder.com sinks to last place due to user accounts of scam postings and too many others that are of no value. We also researched SimplyHired.com, which holds its own for ease of use and helpful information but is dogged by many of the same complaints that hover over this sector of the web.

Free job search websites have a lot in common. They contain filters that help users focus their quest, save search results, and send email alerts regarding relevant openings. Many also offer career tips, provide salary estimates, present job market trends, and/or host community forums. Special services, such as upgrading a resume or crafting a cover letter, invariably come with hefty fees attached. Job search websites reviews indicate that users consider a constellation of such features to be the bare basics -- what they crave are sites that are user friendly and serve as honest brokers.

High on users' wish list for free job search sites is what we'll call "truth in posting". This concept covers lots of ground, from timely postings and no duplicates to assurances that listings reflect actual openings and claims of having been posted "XXX days ago" literally mean XXX days ago. Users also desire protection against the spam that often shows up in inboxes after sharing email addresses and personal information with a website, and they welcome safeguards against scams hidden behind what seem like legitimate posts. And not surprisingly, they want access to the sites on the go, which means a mobile app for mobile devices.

The job search sites we researched satisfy some of these criteria and others, not so much. Indeed.com, for example, earns an 84 percent satisfaction rating in job search website reviews at Viewpoints partly for its function as an aggregator of job listings from company and other job posting sites. Nonetheless, users gripe about duplicate listings, postings that could be scams, and job notices that are woefully out of date. Job search website reviews for Monster.com are also mixed. PC Mag praises several features (e.g., you can block specific companies from seeing your resume) and dings others (e.g., ads and recruiters' postings pop up before your search results) while users blast customer service (e.g., can't get through to a real person). SimplyHired.com, another job search aggregator, provides valuable information about local job markets and a user-friendly interface, according to job search website reviews, but job hunters complain about ancient postings, occasional virus attacks that arrive via emails ostensibly sent through the site, and email addresses that seem to have been shared with marketers. The consensus opinion of CareerBuilder.com is decidedly dim. Comments posted at Viewpoints gripe about useless alerts and spam emails, the heavy presence in search results of what appear to be scams, and job postings that are generally worthless.

Each of these sites offers a mobile app but none seem ready for prime time. The app for Indeed.com fares relatively well in job search website reviews even though users grouse about out-of-date listings and the inability to apply for a job through the app. Monster.com's app seems to lack critical functionality, such as sorting search results by date. The app for SimplyHired.com hits a sweet spot with users who like searching and saving on the go but would like a filter for job posting dates. A consistent complaint in job search website reviews about the CareerBuilder.com mobile app is not being able to upload a resume or use it to apply for jobs even though descriptions of the app say you can; in fairness, though, both limitations pervade the job search mobile app universe.

Craigslist and LinkedIn are also well-known players but perform slightly different functions from those in our sample. Craigslist was a non-starter because job search websites reviews caution that the very low cost for posting an opening (free in many locales and no more than $100 in others) means scams are more likely to show up. Even so, reviewers stress that Craigslist is a valuable source for temporary gigs and jobs at start-ups that can't afford to advertise on the major job search sites. LinkedIn is a professional networking site with its own particular social norms and some fee-based job search functions that are all about network connections. This service is undoubtedly a boon for many job seekers but we deemed it too narrow a resource for the majority.

Bottom line: There's no easy or sure-fire way to land a job. Free job search websites can be helpful in terms of providing an overview of the type of positions available, and there's no harm in signing up with more than one. But a job search site is just one tool in your storehouse of job search tactics. Experts are quick to remind job hunters that networking -- with people you know and people they know -- is usually the most effective way to connect with a potential employer and garner an offer.

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Additional Products We Considered

SimplyHired.com Review

SimplyHired.com reviews say usability and practical information are hallmarks of this job search site. Career Alley lauds the simple user interface on the home page and the customization options, such as email alerts, that surface after clicking through. The review in PC Mag approvingly highlights the data on local job markets, including companies with job openings, industries that are hiring, and changes in job trends. Users are less enamored, however. At Cash Steer their reviews warn of a variety of flaws: old postings or already filled jobs, postings that are portals to scam sites, email alerts that may lead to a computer virus, and email addresses that are shared with marketers.

The mobile app, on the other hand, gets a better reception in reviews posted at Google Play, although some users would like to see the same filtering features that appear on the primary site, especially for posting dates.

Technically, SimplyHired.com is a job search engine -- it aggregates jobs posted on job boards, employer sites (including government and not-for-profits), and newspapers. You can keep track of saved opportunities and applications, calculate salaries based on industry and location, follow job trends, read the blog for career advice, and post your own resume. If you know where you don't want to work, you can block specific sites from showing up in the results. There is also a "social job search" application for Facebook that lets you discover where your friends currently (and previously) work(ed) so you can leverage that network.

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