Feb 1 2012
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” said Charles Dickens in “A Tale of Two Cities.” And in a similar way, the same can be said about the global job market. Except for the “best” part.
The fact of the matter is that in most economies, the job market is still somewhat bleak. Take Australia, for example. Just a few days ago came news that unemployment is likely to creep up, reversing a happy trend that saw job vacancies in the private sector decrease by almost four percent in November.
What’s the point? The point is thus: still mired in employment purgatory, millions of Australians are looking for jobs, and the “blindly send out 4,234 resumes a day” strategy isn’t the best use of their time. They need customization, ease of use, precision. They need Jobseeker.com.au.
At first, once you reach the home page, you may feel like you’ve stumbled upon the wrong site. It’s simple and clean. A bit too simple and clean. You may wonder, where are the bells and whistles? The annoying flashing ads? The company spokesman who eerily resembles a used car salesman? Answer: they’re not here, and that’s the beauty of it all – Jobseeker has the simplest, most intuitive interface in the job search business, and as we shall see, it makes navigation a breeze.
There are simply two boxes: “Keywords” and “Location.” I typed in “Android” and “Sydney,” the logic being, as far as Sydney jobs go, being an Android developer would be cool. The results popped up, and if the results look familiar, it’s no coincidence: they resemble the Google Search results, bringing an air of comfort and familiarity to the proceedings.
From there, the options are limitless and actionable: you can create an email alert for the search, calculate jobs within certain kilometer radius from Sydney (or any city), sort jobs by list date, title, location, job type, and source (e.g. job placement services.) Pretty cool.
Clicking on a job directs you to the source itself. So, in the case where I clicked on a certain position, I was taken to The West Australian, where I could read up on the iPhone/iPad/Android Developer gig. From the Search results page I could Save the job (registration is required), thereby creating an easy-to-manage dashboard of all active job prospects, which is a stark improvement over, say, trying to do it in Gmail, or Godforbid, a spreadsheet.
These filtering tools are especially cool because pretty quickly users will pick up on certain trends that will, over time, make the job-hunting process more efficient. They may soon find, for example, that jobs listed by a certain source, say the recruiting firm Skillquest, are far more attractive and applicable than from a competing firm. Another example: in the Search results, under a specific job summary, there’s a “More” link. Click on it, and you’ll find the permalink to the job, duplicate jobs, and jobs from the same source/recruiters. And the fact that jobs can be searched by “Type” – full-time, contract, casual/temporary, etc. – saves time as well.
Which brings me back to “A Tale of Two Cities.” Full disclosure: I never read it, but it takes place during the French Revolution. The French Revolution, as you may recall, was a…messy affair. Lots of angry mobs, castles being stormed, and that tremendously efficient innovation named after a French doctor named Joseph-Ignace Guillotin.
I’d venture to say that taken in context, our present-day challenge of job-hunting – especially with an easy, free, and intuitive job search platform like Jobseeker.com.au – maybe isn’t so bad after all. Sure, not the “best of times,” but certainly not the “worst.” More like “not the best, but certainly not the absolute worst of times where, among other things, you could get beheaded for looking at someone the wrong way.”