Cheapism: Best free jobs sites

If only prospective employers sought you out as aggressively as some career sites do. You could just sit back and wait for your dream job to show up on a Super Bowl commercial or banner ad. With so many websites vying for job seekers’ attention, it’s easy to while away precious hours trying them all. Instead, pick your spots. Experts suggest spending most of your time networking, not clicking through endless listings.

To help you focus your search, has highlighted two free sites for job seekers:

Indeed is the Google of job search sites, aggregating postings from company websites and job boards around the web. Users can search by keyword (try entering a degree or certification, for example) and set up email alerts, so they can jump on matching results right away. The site impresses job seekers with the volume and breadth of its listings and earns much higher ratings overall than competitors in online reviews. Many point to the salary search tool, which gleans information from job listings to estimate how much users can expect to make and help them answer those dreaded requests for salary requirements. The site also includes company reviews with feedback from employees. Most important, success stories abound.

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Monster is the mother of all online job boards. Its size attracts advertising and a certain amount of spam but also plenty of quality listings, according to online reviews. The site stands out for offering free resources such as sample interview questions and resumes. A Facebook app, BeKnown, ferrets out connections users may have at a particular company or within their chosen field. As on Indeed, users can save their searches and request email alerts. Advanced search tools filter results by salary range, years of experience and other factors.

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Both of these sites offer apps for Android and Apple iOS devices, but reviewers lament their somewhat limited capabilities. Job seekers may be better off sticking with the full-featured websites, where they can not only peruse listings but also post a resume, in the hope of attracting the attention of a recruiter or potential employer, and apply for open positions. Many Monster users seem to appreciate the option to prevent certain companies (i.e., their employers) from seeing their resumes, a key feature for anyone who wants to test the water without jeopardizing their current position.

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Forbes has amassed some advice from career coaches for getting the most out of sites like these. Among the tips: Use job listings to inform your cover letters and resume. Note job requirements, qualifications, and “buzzwords” that appear often and include them in your CV. On Monster you can even enlist a professional to write a resume and cover letter for you, but those services carry sizable fees: The most popular packages cost more than $200.

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