Are you finding yourself browsing online job boards with no clear focus or purpose?

Unsure of what your next job looks like or even what it’s called!

Searching and browsing aimlessly can often be a fruitless and demotivating process, particularly if you’ve not yet got a clear handle on what it is you want next. However, online vacancy sites can provide a really helpful base for research and information.

Whether it’s, LinkedIn, TotalJobs or Google, here are some ways you can turn your aimless job searching into a more purposeful research tool.  

1. Ask yourself key questions to help focus your curiosity:

  • Who is recruiting?
  • Which recruitment agencies are advertising?
  • What are the salary ranges?
  • What skills and qualities are regularly being asked for?


2. Review job descriptions and person specs from a different lens:

  • ‘Would I like to be doing those activities and how does it play to my strengths?’ rather than ‘Can I do this, am I good enough?’
  • Don’t be put off by not meeting ALL criteria – if you’re researching, it can help you figure out if there are any gaps you would need to address before applying or if it could be gained on the job.


3. Widen your search criteria.

From a research perspective, it can be useful to widen your search criteria such as location. This can give a clearer sense of what roles exist more widely, as well as reveal if some opportunities are more sought after in a particular part of the country, or across a wider geographical area.

4. Search profiles and not just jobs on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is an amazing resource for providing insight into other people’s career paths, training and qualifications, organisations worked for, connections made and groups followed. You may not wish to connect with individuals directly, which is fine, so it can be worth keeping your privacy setting switched on whilst researching.

5. Keywords vs Job Titles

Having a job title to search will often make it easier, but what if you don’t know what the jobs are called or what the roles look like? Sometimes job titles can be a bit ambiguous and it’s not clear what you’d be doing (until you read the actual job description). Consider using key words in the job boards’ search engine, that relate to your strengths, skill-set or particular qualifications or expertise you’d like to use.

6. Avoid searching for your current role

That is, if you’re looking for something different! We tend to gravitate towards what we know, what we recognise, and end up with search results that are the same (or very similar) roles. Then wonder why there’s nothing out there for us!

7. Mix up the online boards you visit.

If you tend to Google or use just one or two popular sites, like Indeed or Glassdoor, you may not be tapping into all (advertised) opportunities. Deep dive into some of the recruitment agency sites and explore their search engine more fully. There are also niche online job boards that specialise in all sectors of industry that you may be less familiar with.

If you’re not sure where to find the jobs that you’re looking for, or need a refresh of your job search strategy, reach out for a free consultation and find out how my career coaching can help.

You can also download my FREE ‘Where is my career going?’ workbook, which encourages a more reflective, deep dive into what you’re next steps could look like.

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