Posted On: August 13, 2019
The three most popular job search websites today are Indeed.com, LinkedIn.com and Glassdoor.com. In the past, these websites served three distinct purposes. Today, there is considerable overlap with all three websites providing tools for job searching, company research, and job-search articles and blogs. This doesn’t mean that you can just pick one website though. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, and a savvy job seeker still utilizes all three as part of an effective job search.
Indeed vs. Glassdoor
These days, one can be forgiven for confusing Indeed and Glassdoor. Both websites offer the ability to search for jobs locally or nationally, create and publish profiles searchable by employers, research and review companies, and investigate the potential salary for a given job.
Jolene Pilgrim at SimplyHire explains the difference between the two websites has to do with their founding purpose. Indeed has always primarily been a tool for connecting job seekers to companies, and they have spent years building a network with thousands of companies across the country.
Glassdoor’s founding mission was to support job seekers by creating transparency. Current and former employees can post honest reviews of companies on Glassdoor, and while a company can respond to a review, they can never pay for their own reviews or to have a negative review taken down.
In their Best Job Sites of 2019, Review.com concluded that Indeed’s search algorithm and volume of job listings makes it the best online tool for finding job openings, but not much else. Their article described Indeed as “speed dating,” saying users can get a quick surface-level view of hundreds of different jobs, but they found Glassdoor’s company profiles and reviews far more useful when determining if a company is worth applying for.
Where Indeed and Glassdoor both fall short is in networking. This is where LinkedIn excels. Unlike other social-media sites, LinkedIn is devoted entirely to professional networking. Users can create an elaborate employment profile including work history, education, volunteer experiences and certifications, and can receive endorsements and reviews from other LinkedIn users.
Employers can also create company profiles and post jobs on LinkedIn. LinkedIn can even be set up to email you job postings based on the companies you follow and your personal profile, but don’t rely too much on these. LinkedIn lacks the job search functionality of both Indeed and Glassdoor. There is no easy way to filter the kinds of opportunities LinkedIn emails you.
The other challenge with LinkedIn has to do with accessibility. JAWS users will find Indeed and Glassdoor easy enough to interact with, but its emphasis on frames and graphics makes LinkedIn far more difficult to navigate.
Empish Thomas, a writer for the American Printing House for the Blind’s blog, Vision Aware, reviewed LinkedIn’s website and app and found the app far more accessible but more limited in its capabilities. She suggests favoring the app and developing a cheat sheet for navigating the website. For its part, LinkedIn has made a public commitment to making its website more accessible and is developing shortcuts for JAWS users similar to those on Facebook and Twitter.
The biggest website for finding job openings is Indeed.com. Indeed admits you’ll get the best results with a local search, but their filtering options allow you to get an effective pool of job openings anywhere in the country, and their job-alerts feature means you can automate your search and focus your efforts on more important matters like networking. Don’t forget to use other job search sites too, though. Region- and industry-specific job boards can be far more useful than Indeed.
Once you know what jobs are available, research the companies on Glassdoor. Unfortunately, Glassdoor doesn’t rate companies on diversity and inclusion, but you can still get an idea of how committed they are by looking at awards they might have received or articles Glassdoor has written about them. Try to read a healthy mix of reviews from current and former employers. Don’t just focus on the 5- and 1-star ratings.
You should also research the company on LinkedIn. Read the profiles of the company’s leaders and see if they are connected with any diversity and inclusion-related organizations. Use your LinkedIn network to see if you know anyone who is associated with someone at the company, or reach out to someone at the company directly.
An effective online job search means mastering the use of multiple websites. Focus on using a website for what it’s best at, and do your research to make sure you’re using each site in the best possible way.