Knowing where to start and how to conduct a job search is something we don’t get to practice very often. When you find yourself in that position it can be a pretty unnerving time. There are so many different job boards to sift through and many different systems that are using a variety of different tactics to advertise a lot of the same jobs in different ways.
Most companies will be using an applicant tracking system that sends their job postings out to a lot of different job boards, which in turn directs job seekers back to their system where you’ll apply for the job. Also, if you have a LinkedIn profile ( see: Why You Should Have A Stellar LinkedIn) you’ll see ads for jobs pop up on the sidebar. Additionally, if you’ve done a google search for jobs recently and depending on your cell phone, your location and a host of different factors you could see job listings appear in all sorts of different places online. Most of these job posting get in front of you through computer algorithms using keywords in your public profile, your most recent job title, and the terms you’ve used in the job searches you’ve conducted. So what can you do with this information? Think about the wording you use while on the hunt. It can make a massive difference in what open jobs you see and where you find them.
It's important to get as creative with your job title searches as the companies are in naming them. As job markets get more competitive and companies are looking to not only find the right people but create an image around a job, the titles are becoming unique. A company might also name their jobs something different to suit their own needs. A Customer Service position at one company could be an Client Liaison at another. A Salesperson job at one company could be Account Representative at another.
As you move through your job search take some liberties with the titles of the jobs you search for. It's also important to realize there are not only different names for the same jobs but a range of jobs that surround your current or most recent that you could fit into quite comfortably.
As a job seeker, get as creative as the companies creating the jobs. Whatever the job is you’re looking for, search for similar job titles. A google search for “similar job titles to customer service” turns up some pretty interesting results: Customer Support Associate, Customer Experience Specialist, Customer Support Advisor, etc. You’ll be amazed how changing up your search terms can unlock a whole new set of job openings you didn’t see before. The more open positions you see, the more you can apply to and you might just find your dream job through hacking the job posting system.