THE BLOG
07/12/2013 05:19 pm ET Updated Sep 11, 2013

Recruiting Website Overload: Picking the Right One for Your Job Search

Before the advent of the Web, job searches were conducted by tapping into networking and good old-fashioned classifieds ads. But today, job seekers have a breadth of tools at their fingertips for tapping into job openings far and wide, and it's resulted in recruiting website overload.

Job aggregators list millions of jobs, pulling from company websites, newspapers, and job boards. With so many websites out there to help with the job search, how can job seekers cut out the fluff and ensure they're targeting websites with job openings that meet their specific skills and needs? Unemployment can make job seekers feel as though they have to spend hours hunkered down at their computers, shooting off resumes that are often lost in a black hole. Too often, they hear nothing but silence in return for their inquiries.

Nonetheless, recruiting websites are a powerful tool for finding open positions -- if you use them correctly. Here are a few tips for picking the right recruiting website for your job search:

Focus on features. The best recruiting websites have options that allow you to narrow your search as much as possible. Look for websites that allow you to filter by industry, title, company name, location, salary, education, or years of required experience. Some sites let job seekers get even more specific, including filters like "dog-friendly" or "socially-responsible" workplaces. Don't shy away from these advanced search options -- as a job seeker, you're allowed to be picky to find a position in which you'll truly be happy.

Be selective. Many job seekers make the mistake of applying for any open position they're remotely qualified for -- they just want any old job, and a recruiting website allows them to apply en masse. But company recruiters know how to spy an applicant who is applying willy-nilly: their cover letters are often generic and broad, their resumes don't match the required experience, they have typos, or they include the wrong name in their greeting or email.

To avoid this trap, find recruiting websites that only feature jobs in certain industries, like hospitality, communications, or accounting, or jobs that fit a certain criteria, like hourly, work from home, or freelance positions. These can help you to narrow your search and ensure you stay selective.

Set up alerts. Many recruiting websites will send email alerts when an open position matches your resume, skills, or experience. Ensure your recruiting site of choice includes these capabilities, as well as the ability to upload your resume and input your skills or other personal information. Remember: applying early has its advantages, too. Set up alerts to your mobile device to get the information on open positions before other job seekers get a chance.

Get off the Web! Some say job seekers should spend no more than 10 percent of their time searching and applying for jobs online. The other time spent job searching should be devoted to networking, researching companies, and pursuing leads in person.

Finding top-notch recruiting websites is great, but it's important to block out your time so you can conduct informational interviews, visit your alma mater's career center, or attend career fairs and networking events. Don't think that a recruiting website is the end-all, be-all of your job search: making moves in person is just as important.

Recruiting websites are a great asset for any job seeker -- use these tips to find the right one for your job search.