Job Search

Search Tutorial

How to Find Jobs Using the Job Search System



The Job Search System is a powerful tool, gathering thousands of new job postings daily.  It is a one-stop shop for finding new job postings, and when you have it working for you, you can channel your time and energy on other job search activities.  The key to the system is to develop one or more searches that find the jobs you are interested in.  Once you have developed and saved some productive searches, these can be set to automatically search for you on a regular schedule, and email you the results of the search.  So how do you develop a useful, targeted search?  That's what this document explains.


The Zen of Searching

The Job Search System provides tools for searching job postings using words or phrases.  These tools can be very effective, but some thoughtful play will be required to identify the search terms that work for you.  Remember, you will be conducting text searches on job postings that were written by other people.  So, even though the job you are interested may be "Legal Assistant", those writing the job postings may have used terms like "Legal Secretary", "Patent Assistant", "LA", and so on.  What you want to do is to discover the terms that are being used by employers, and search for these terms.


How to Develop a Search

The best strategy is to do a search, read the results, modify the search, and repeat.  Start with broad terms, then look at the results and read the job descriptions that are being found, and add terms as needed to broaden or tighten your search.  By gradually getting more specific as you tune your search, you will be sure to find the job postings you are looking for, without too many unwanted postings, and without filtering out ones you want.  Note that it is better to have a few unwanted postings than to miss postings you might have wanted, but didn't show up in your search results because your search was too restrictive.

Step 1: Discover the terms that work for your search

Taking the same example as above, "Legal Assistant", a good first search to try is for postings containing the word "legal".

► Type legal into the ALL of the words field on the Advanced Search form, select 1 month from the Date Posted list, then press Job Search.

Read the returned jobs postings.  If you find one of interest, see if there are other terms used that could help your search.  Be sure to check both the job titles and the full job descriptions (details).  If you find new terms,

► Add the new terms to the ALL of the words field and search again.

Repeat the process of searching, reading, adding terms, and searching again until you are comfortable that you are getting the job postings you want, and you have discovered and are using the terms that employers are using.

Scan the resulting job postings for jobs like the one you want, and read the detailed job posting to identify search terms to use in your search.

Step 2:  Refine your search to eliminate jobs postings you are not interested in.

Once you are finding job postings, the next step is to refine the search to eliminate jobs that are not relevant.  Use the NONE of the words field to enter terms that appear only in the job postings you are not interested in.  For example, if you are searching for a software development position, and are using the search term development, you are likely getting job postings having to do with business development.  You can eliminate these by adding the term business to the NONE of the words field.

Use the Location list to limit results to the locations you are interested in. Select provinces and/or locations, and click ADD, REMOVE, or RESET to build the list of locations you want to search.

Use Date Posted to limit the age of returned results.  This will speed your searches, and make examining the results easier (less to go through!).  The older a job posting, the more likely it is to be filled.  However, some job postings remain open for weeks or months, so it is best to refer back to the original posting by clicking the view original posting link on the job details page, or checking with the employer.

How searching works

Terms entered in the ALL the words or ANY of the words fields are matched against words that begin with the term, so for example the term manage will match the words manage, manager, management, and so on. Terms entered in the EXACTLY this phrase field are matched against the phrase. Connector words like in, the, with, etc. are ignored.

Search results are normally ordered by relevance, which is a measure of how well a job matches your search terms.  You can choose other settings in the Sort Results drop-down, for example sorting by date to see the most recent job postings first.


Step 3:  Email Job Alerts and Saved Search

Job Alerts are emails that are generated automatically to alert you of relevant new job opportunities.  A Job Alert, sent daily or on a schedule selected by you, is an effective way to harness the power of the job search system.  Job Alerts can help you identify and respond promptly to new opportunities so that you can be among the first job applicants.

Saved Searches allow you to save your key word search criteria so that you can use it the next time you log in.  A Saved Search is required for each Job Alert.  With a CareerAIM-Pro account, you can create an unlimited number of Saved Searches and Job Alerts.

Creating a Saved Search and Job Alert

Once you are satisfied that your search is producing good results (See Steps #1 and #2 above), you can save your search criteria and create a Job Alert:

► With your search keywords entered into the Advanced Search form, click Save Search and Create Job Alert, or click Save Search and Create Job Alert on the Search Results page.

► Next, enter a title that describes your Job Search - this name will appear in the subject line of your email Alerts.

► Click Save.

► The default setting for a new Job Alert is daily. If you wish to receive the Alert on a different schedule, click Change schedule for Job Alerts.


You're on your way

Following these guidelines, you're well on your way to finding the job opportunities you are searching for.  Good luck in your search!