Ryan Jones Blog – dotCULT.com Ryan Jones Blogs About Internet Culture, Marketing, SEO, & Social Media

May 7, 2007

The Best Job Search Sites

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 4:56 pm

If you don’t read my blog often, you might have missed the fact that I Need A Job. So before we get into it, if anybody needs a LAMP developer or SEO expert, please let me know.

Because of this, I’ve been looking at almost every place possible for a job. Some sites have been good, others not too good. Here’s the ones I’m going to review:

  1. Monster
  2. HotJobs
  3. CraigsList
  4. ComputerJobs
  5. Dice
  6. MichWorks
  7. MotorCityHelpWanted
  8. Hidden Network

Ok, On to the reviews:


When it comes to job sites, Monster is probably the first one people think of. Thanks to their advertising, a Monster ad seems to be everywhere you look.

PROS: Monster has TONS of jobs on it. By far, it has more jobs than any other site I’ve mentioned here. It also lets you upload your resume for employers to view and contact you.

CONS: The interstitial ads for university of phoenix and other online colleges are annoying. They’re also confusing. When clicking “Apply” for a job, you might see a form asking for basic information like name, address, etc. Only after filling it out and getting to the bottom do you realize it’s an ad for information about college – NOT the actual employment offer.

Monster also doesn’t seem to remember that I’ve click no to an ad. Over the past week I must have told it about 30 or 40 times that I’m NOT interested in getting an online degree – yet they still ask every time.

I’ve also noticed that some spammers are using the resume database for emails. I used a new email address for my job searching and I’m getting spam on it. While many of these emails I consider spam are actually job offers, they’re offers for ridiculous jobs like talent search agent, model scout, mystery shopper, etc. They’re nowhere related to my resume so I consider them spam.


HotJobs is Yahoo’s foray into the job search market.

PROS: The search feature is easy to use and the sub options on the left can prove helpful if you get a lot of results.

CONS: I’ve already did a post about this but the biggest problem with HotJobs is SPAM! Most of the jobs it returns for me are all the same “mystery shopper” job advertised for every city in Michigan – Every Day! See the post linked above for a screen shot.


Craigslist is perhaps one of the least known about job search sites out there – but it shouldn’t be. (I’ll get to this in the CONS section) In fact, if you clicked the link above you’ll notice that the Craigslist founder Craig Newmark even stopped in to talk about job spam. Hopefully he’ll stop back for this post too.

PROS: Craigslist offers a feature that no other job board offers – User flagging. It doesn’t have the spam problem that HotJobs has because users can flag a posting as spam and have it removed. I’m not sure how many flags it takes, but it does do a good job of removing spam. I’ve noticed by checking back that most things are caught within a day of being live.

Another pro is that everything is done by Email. If you want to apply, you’ve got a link to send the poster an email. It doesn’t make you jump through all the “create an account and password, upload your resume, login” hoops that some of the other sites require. That’s a big time saver.

Another thing I love is that there aren’t any ads at all on Craigslist. Craig makes enough money simply by charging to post jobs and it seems that he’s happy with that. It would seem that Craigslist cares more about user experience than maximizing profits – that’s a lesson that Monster could learn.

CONS: Not many people know about it. Before I got laid off my secretary asked me where a good place to post jobs are (little did I know she was posting a want ad for MY job). I ran through the usuals and when I got to Craigslist she said “what’s that?” Because of this there aren’t a lot of jobs posted. Take the Internet Engineer category for Detroit – only 6 jobs in 7 days this month.


Computerjobs.com is another little known job site. Instead of focusing on all jobs though, it tries to only focus on computer related jobs.

PROS: The narrow focus of computerjobs makes it great for IT professionals looking for jobs. Searching for HTML here as opposed to Amazon doesn’t return jobs like secretary, personal assistant, mystery shopper, or model talent scout. The search feature also offers tons of options, and there aren’t any annoying ads like Monster. The spam level appears to be non existent as well. The job descriptions are well organized making it easy for me to skim to the salary, requirements, or contact information.

CONS: While I like the way the search feature is laid out – it doesn’t work! Do a search for PHP Michigan and you’ll see results in Florida and Boston. After doing a search, the first thing I see is a list of 10 featured jobs that aren’t relevant to what I searched for. This is great for a front page feature – but it doesn’t fit after I’ve searched for specific jobs. I can see it confusing many users.


I Like Dice. Like ComputerJobs, Dice is also focused toward technology jobs. That saves time.

PROS: The layout of Dice is clean yet professional. The search box is right in the middle where it’s the first thing I see. It also offers what I think is the most crucial feature of an online job search: the ability to sort by date. When I click on a job description, the apply button is located both at the top and bottom. This makes it easy to find and saves me time if I’m coming back to a job I already viewed. As far as the amount of spam goes, I haven’t been able to find any yet on Dice.

CONS: There aren’t that many jobs jobs on DICE as compared to other sites. Also, the job descriptions aren’t standard. While the summary at the top seems to be the same, the various sections like requirements, about the company, etc aren’t standardized. This makes it hard to skim a job description for various information without reading the whole thing.


In order to get unemployment in Michigan you have to list your resume with Michworks.org. Since I had to do this anyway, I figured I’d review it.

PROS: Michworks is a state funded site so there aren’t any annoying ads like Monster has. They don’t have to worry about turning a profit and that’s a good thing. The distance from city in the search is useful too. It allows me to enter my home city and make sure it only returns jobs with a 25 mile commute or less.

CONS: The search needs work. Most notably, searching for PHP returns any job that links to a .php file. One of the first results I get is for a truck driver job because it has a link to http://www.driverfinder.net/jobads/job.php?cw=1&jid=1898 for people to apply.

The other big downer is that you have to have an account to apply. I don’t like that. I don’t like creating accounts anywhere.


I saw this site on a billboard in Detroit the other day so I figured I’d check it out.

PROS: Sadly, I couldn’t find any pros with this site

CONS: I can’t find the search box on the main page. It’s just not there. The “find a job” tab seems to be already highlighted – leading me not to click it – but it’s the only way to make the search box appear. It took me 3 visits to the site and about 20 minutes before I figured this out.

Aside from being very slow, the search just plain sucks. It has “sponsored listings” at the top that aren’t related to what I’m searching for, and some of the results aren’t relevant.

Worse, trying to apply for a job is like pulling teeth. Applying for this job took me to a list of more jobs on topusajobs.com. Clicking the “Apply” button there took me to a search page on employmentguide.com. Doing the same search there, I was unable to find the original job I tried applying for.

It seems this site just takes you in circles without actually letting you apply for a job. I’d avoid it at all costs. Looking at the setup, it would seem that they have similar sites around other metropolitan areas; I’m not going to list them though.


Hidden Network is that list of ads you’ll see on some blogs. Check out Worse Than Failure or Jeremy Zawodny’s Sidebar for an example.

PROS: The search results are great. No ads, no hoops to jump through, no hassles – just a clean table of results. I can change what I see, I can change keywords, locations, etc.

CONS: You have to find the ads on somebody’s website. If you go to the hiddennetwork.com homepage you can’t search for jobs. I don’t understand that. Also, the list of keywords is limited. I have to choose from a preset list instead of searching for specific words I’m interested in.

If you live in one of the technology hubs like the Bay Area you’ll find some interesting jobs here with startup companies. If you’re looking in a place like Detroit you won’t find anything.


The top 3 in terms of spam filtering or least spam:

  1. Dice.com
  2. Hidden Network
  3. Craigslist

Best Search Functionality

  1. Dice
  2. Monster
  3. HotJobs

Best User Experience (no annoying ads, registration, etc)

  1. CraigsList
  2. MichWorks
  3. Dice

Best Overall:

  1. Dice
  2. Craigslist
  3. Monster
  4. ComputerJobs
  5. Hidden Network

Other Observations

There’s one other thing I wanted to get off my mind. Another annoying thing I’ve found is companies that require registration before you can apply for a job. I applied for a job with one company today and they made me fill out 5 or 6 pages of web forms before I could even send in my resume. I had to create an account and a password and security questions and everything. To me, that’s just overkill.

Here’s a better example. In 2004 I applied with Quicken loans for a job. I didn’t get it, but I still had to create an account and everything. Now in 2007 I tried applying for a different job. I couldn’t remember my username or password and there wasn’t a feature to request it by email – so I had to create another account with them.


So there you have it. That’s my 2 cents on job seeking sites. I’ve learned a lot about how to improve a job website, but I haven’t found a job. The fact is, there just aren’t that many jobs in the Detroit area. I’m afraid I might have to move.

If anybody else knows of any jobs sites out there that I missed, please leave them in the comments and after I look for a job myself I’ll add my review.


  1. ah, I’m no big deal, but thanks!


    Comment by Craig Newmark — May 7, 2007 @ 8:37 pm

  2. Ryan:

    Great blog, have you tried Indeed for your job search? We search jobs from across the Web – let us know what you think.



    Comment by Jason — May 8, 2007 @ 8:08 am

  3. Thanks Jason… I tried out indeed today and actually found 2 jobs to apply for that I didn’t find elsewhere.

    Great site! LOVE the comment feature. It’s great to see comments other people left about working at companies.

    Comment by Ryan — May 9, 2007 @ 12:54 am

  4. Who knows some links for freelancers?

    Comment by Denis — May 10, 2007 @ 6:55 am

  5. Craigslist has a bunch of those type of jobs,

    you might also want to try sites like getacoder, getafreelancer, findafreelancer, etc.

    Comment by Ryan — May 10, 2007 @ 12:53 pm

  6. I though you raised some good points. I’d like to hear your comments on http://www.itjobfeed.com . Even though it’s UK based

    Comment by Jack Vamvas — May 13, 2007 @ 10:12 am

  7. Jason,

    Have you ever seen http://www.devbistro.com ? Try it out and let me know what you think (any comments are welcome!)


    Comment by James — May 15, 2007 @ 10:53 pm

  8. Oops, I meant to address Ryan. Sorry 😉

    Comment by James — May 15, 2007 @ 10:57 pm

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