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One of the most frustrating things about searching for a job using emailed job search agents is having to wade through many irrelevant job posts to find one good job opening. 

While some sites’ job search agents are notoriously bad about providing relevant job posts (skip them!), other sites will provide you with strong leads if you supply them with the right information in the right way.

What is a job search agent and how do you use it?
Most job boards have a job search agent or job alert feature that lets you enter your job criteria and have lists of relevant job links emailed to you regularly. 

A job search agent can also be set up to send listings to your cell phone or instant message account. Many employer web sites also let you to set up search agents to send you new jobs when they are posted. Typically you can create up to five job search agents per job site, so you can look for a variety of jobs using different job search agents.

How to set up and maximize your job search agent
Every job board’s job search agent is a bit different; we’ll use Indeed for this example.
1) Visit www.indeed.com.
2) In the “What” box, type in the job title you want.
3) In the “Where box, type in your zip code.
4) Click the “Find Jobs” button.
5) Click the link at the top of the page that says, “Get new jobs for this search by email.”
6) Add your email address into the box.
7) Click the “Distance” drop-down box and select how far you are willing to drive. Default is set at “within 25 miles”. Once you have submitted your request, Indeed will send you an email to activate your job search agent.
8) Activate the job alert by clicking the link in the email message.
9) Once activated, you will see a page with job listings. If the list of jobs is too broad or irrelevant, click the “Advanced Job Search” link on the far right.

How to fill out the advanced job search boxes to get the best results. Use broad search criteria (and leave some optional boxes blank) to receive the most results. Visit Indeed’s job seeker search tips for detailed help: http://be.indeed.com/intl/en/tips.html

Advanced Job Search
With all of these words:
LEAVE BLANK

With the exact phrase: Type in the job title you want within quotation marks, e.g. “financial analyst”. You can use complex phrases (Boolean logic) to fine tune your search, e.g. (manager OR director) and healthcare. According to Indeed, this will return all jobs that contain the term healthcare and either the word manager or director. Keep revising your search string to improve your results, e.g. (manager OR director) and (healthcare OR pharmaceutical).
With at least one of these words: LEAVE BLANK
With none of these words: Type in words you want to avoid such as “sales” or “entry level”.
With these words in the title: LEAVE BLANK (you’ve already included the information in the “exact phrase” box).
From this company: LEAVE BLANK UNLESS YOU ONLY WANT TO WORK FOR THAT COMPANY.
Show jobs of type: All job types | Full-time | Part-time | Contract Internship | Temporary. If you only want a full-time job, indicate that here to avoid all other types of offers.
Show jobs from (drop down): LEAVE IT AT THE DEFAULT SETTING: All web sites
Salary estimate: LEAVE BLANK

Where and When
Location:
LEAVE IT AT THE DEFAULT SETTING: within 25 miles.

Age: Jobs published: LEAVE IT AT THE DEFAULT SETTING: anytime.
Display: Select 50 results per page, sorted by relevance

Sign up for job search agents from major and employer job sites and then maximize their usefulness … after all, it could help you Get a Job!

What tricks have you learned to maximize your use of job search agents? Or, what questions do you have about job search agents? Share your comments via the Contact Us tab. Thanks! Kathy
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