Close this search box.


prepairing & FINDING WORK

Making the Most of
Your Online Job Search

Online job boards can be an important part of a job search, especially in the digital world. Although the old line that 80+% of available jobs are never advertised is not as true as it once was, the job market is still far from transparent and largely functions on who you know. In a 2014 LinkedIn article, Richard Grant noted that “The job market can be compared to a gated community where you need to know someone to get through the gate. In the “gated” job market, you need to know the right code to get through.” That “code” according to Grant is all about the people; those already working for those employers that you are targeting who can give you the code or get you past the gate. So… while online job postings can – and do – produce results, if you limit your job search to responding to ads, you will absolutely miss important opportunities.

A further complication is that there are countless job boards, some that are very industry or career specific others, that are more generic. Although many employers post their jobs on multiple job boards, others will have a single favourite. So, it is important for you to do your research to find job search sites that are likely to work for you, recognizing that a laser focus on a specific job board may help you target your efforts, but may also mean you miss out on other opportunities.

This is where job search engines can be incredibly useful as they aggregate listings from thousands of job boards, career sites, and recruiter postings. These engines act like Google, scouring the Internet for relevant postings that exist almost anywhere, and presenting them to you – the job seeker – in one place. The most popular one is

Remember though… a job search engine still does not get you past the gate!

If you plan to look for work online, as part of a broader job search strategy, ensure you:

Align Your Resume to Online Profiles

Make sure you have aligned your resume to your online profiles, like what you may have on LinkedIn. These don’t have to be identical but, as employers will often pre-screen candidates through a search of social media, there should be no gaps or inconsistencies.

Incorporate Keywords

Incorporate keywords for any online applications. Online Application Systems (also known as Applicant Tracking Systems) may screen out up to 75% of applicants, including those that are well-qualified, based only on the lack of key words.

Pay Attention to Dates

Pay attention to the date of postings, responding to the most recently posted ones first. Postings that are weeks or months old may no longer be active, with the employer simply neglecting to take down the ad.

Sign up for Alerts

Sign up for job alerts so you are notified when jobs that you are targeting are posted. This helps ensure you do not miss relevant posts, allowing you to act immediately.

You can use online job boards/job search engines for more than just looking for work. They can also be a great source of labour market information, showing patterns in the types of jobs that are most often advertised which can be an indication of areas where there are not enough workers to fill available positions. They can show employers who are posting frequently, which could be an indication of growth and expansion or an organization with high turnover. Seeing these patterns can also give you good information, and data, to use in making connections to, in return, help you get past the gate.

Showcase Your Work Online

One of the best ways to find work is to make sure that your own work is easy to find. As a creative, take a moment to display your best work, portfolio, demo reel and/or show reel across the web and social media platforms. If you’re a designer you may want to share your work on Behance, deviantART and Instagram. Actors, consider uploading your work to Mandy or Spotlight. If you are interested in the video game industry, make sure to check out the Art Station website.

Here is a list of popular job search sites:

Adzuna Canada: Job search engine sourcing 100+ thousand jobs and internships from hundreds of sites and providing statistics for job-seeking students. Canada’s source for job search “how-to” articles and tips.


CareerBuilder: Search for jobs in Canada and around the world.


Career Edge: Search for paid internships in non-regulated professions. Search for new jobs in Canada.


Government of Canada Job Bank: Search for jobs by province.


Indeed: Search jobs, upload resumé and research companies.


JobGurus: Job search engine to discover jobs from thousands of employer and career sites across Canada.


Jooble: Job search engine to get links to job postings from more than 9550 different job sites throughout Canada.


Magnet: A “social innovation platform” that approaches job search differently, focussing more on equity seeking groups and promoting bias-free recruiting.


Neuvoo: Job postings across Canada, with over 40,000 postings in Ontario alone.


TalentEgg: Search for co-op, internship, entry level positions, summer jobs, student jobs, full-time and part-time work. Access career guides to explore various career paths and related resources. Lists a variety of job opportunities.


Wowjobs: Search more than 100,000 jobs from thousands of job boards, classifieds, and company sites in Canada.