Job hunting websites: Which ones are worth it?

Now, as I’m sure you’re well aware, there are about a bazillion job-hunting websites out there. Some are for graduates, some are for just job-seekers in general – but there are LOADS of them. Googling ‘graduate job website’ gave me over 87,000,000 (!!) results! Some are obviously going to be more useful than others, but where to start?

Panic not, I am going to try and help! I’m signed up to a fair few of these sites, and have over a year’s experience navigating their seemingly endless pages. So here is a little guide to the ones I use most, and whether you should too.

With most of these sites, you can either just search and scroll, or sign up to their email bulletins. These ostensibly take the hard work out of navigating their website: you enter your criteria, and then the job adverts come to you! Magic, oui? Not necessarily. Let me tell you, some of the ones that email me are just plain annoying. (But I can’t quite bring myself to leave their mailing list, just in case the next email brings my dreeeeeam vacancy… ah, sad times!)

The ones I use most often are:

1. Guardian jobs
2. Milkround
3. Prospects
4. Reed

Numero uno, then: Guardian Jobs.

Now I quite like this one. In fact I should probably have saved it for the end, it’s so good! It’s a perfect layout, clear and easy to use and to navigate – some sites are pretty mental on the eye (I’ll get to them later!). And there’s good extras on its sidebars too – links to a Twitter feed and email sign-up and to their career advice pages. It covers everything, but isn’t overwhelming.

it’s good quality too – it’s been recommended to me by industry types, so it’s clearly got a good reputation. I like the categories they divide vacancies into; I think there’s a decent amount and variety, so that everything’s covered without getting too nitty-gritty. There’s an individual ‘Graduate Jobs’ filter as well, which you can use to subdivide an industry or across the board. Lovely!

In fact, the only bad thing I  have to say is that it’s maybe, well, too good! It’s a bit of an obvious go-to job source. On the one hand, this could mean the calibre of jobs posted on it is better than some other websites. But on the other – you’re probably one of thousands who are reading it, making competition maybe even higher.

2. Milkround

Ah, Milkround – something I’m sure you’ll be familiar with as they’re big on campus sign-ups. They were at Cardiff anyway! Also, can someone please explain to me why it’s called Milkround? I’m sure there’s a pun there but I’m just not quite getting it…

Anyway. The good stuff is that it gives out regular emails, which contain vacancies covering a variety of sectors – although in the past I have noticed it to be quite Finance/Accounting and Engineering/Science heavy – annoying for a Humanities student, but that’s where the Graduate Schemes are, it seems! This is a good site for those training schemes, rather than jobs. In fact, that’s the only thing I’ve ever really used it for.

The website’s clear, although there aren’t as many job type filters as the Guardian, and it’s obviously more aimed at graduates than general job-seekers.  And if I’m going to get really anal, the fonts a bit small! I think they’ve tarted the site up a bit since I was last on there (I tend to click on the direct links in the emails), making it a bit more colourful and easier to navigate. Good stuff. A good one to sign up to, as the emails are better than the main site (I think), but maybe not to spend your whole life poring over.

3. Prospects

Bias alert. I’m not a big fan of Prospects. But I’m going to look past that as it does have some good points – it’s just their emails are REALLY annoying! They aren’t really relevant to what I’m searching for (I get loads about legal training contracts), despite my specifications when I signed up, and I get SO MANY each week. At least Milkround keeps it to one a week, and one weekly round-up (a bit more like a newsletter). I’ve been tempted to direct it to my junk mail on a near-daily basis. Way way too many, and only about 10% are relevant. I’ll often click on something in a Milkround email, but these ones I hardly even read.

That said, it offers good careers advice, especially the parts of the website that explain in quite some depth what certain jobs actually entail. I tend to use it more alongside other job websites – a bit like when you have a ‘Dictionary.com’ tab open while writing an essay…!

4. Reed

Now Reed advertise themselves as ‘the UK’s #1 job site’. Hmm. I don’t really agree. Okay, it has LOADS of jobs on there – a positively overwhelming array of filter categories greet you on the first page – but quantity isn’t always a good thing. Again, it’s not a graduate-specific job site. Even though there is a graduate section, I’ve found it hard to find relevant vacancies. And again, the font’s too small! I sound like an old biddy, but hours of scrolling through job listings really takes it out on your eyes. I do like their ‘search by location’ feature though; when I do use it I tend to always search through this bit.

Like Prospects, their emails can also be a bit annoying and irrelevant, and I don’t think I’ve ever found something on there that’s useful. That might be to do with the industry I’m looking at though – PR doesn’t have a listing as a category, it’s lumped in with Marketing, but the two aren’t necessarily synonymous. One of my personal beefs! They do look like they’d be good for people looking to temp, though. Reed have also been in a spot of trouble in the news lately about their dodgy graduate internships, maybe that’s why I’ve been put off…

 

So there you go, a quick low down of the big guns out there. My advice would be, sign up to as many as possible. Spread your net as wide as you can – OK some of these are likely to cross-advertise, especially if you’re looking for something in a particular region. But if you’re looking for a job, look everywhere. If they’re annoying,  at the end of the day they could just ping into your inbox with a little slice of gold inside!

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