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By Alexis Grant
The job-search community is buzzing over how a new network of websites at the .jobs domain will affect employers, who can list openings there for free, and other job boards, whose business models rely on companies that pay to list jobs. But largely left out of the conversation is what these 40,000 websites and their umbrella site, universe.jobs, mean for job seekers.
So today we're answering the question you really care about: If you're job-hunting, are the .jobs sites worth your while?
While the project has great potential, particularly because the domain is likely to rank high in
"It's not a great leap forward in terms of the job seeker's experience," says Chris Russell, a job board consultant and CEO of AllCountyJobs.com. "They're just duplicating content ... There are already too many job boards out there."
Finding a .jobs site that fits your needs is as easy as typing your occupation into your browser--say, for example, nursing or engineering --and adding .jobs rather than .com. You can also search by city: austin.jobs or washingtondc.jobs or seattle.jobs. City-occupation combinations likeseattlenursing.jobs are expected to be live by the end of this week.
Click on one of the thousands of posts on those pages, and universe.jobs will redirect you to the listing on the employer's website, rather than asking you to apply through their system like some popular job boards. Others job-search sites, like SimplyHired for example, already offer that feature.
"We don't have an application database, so the job seeker applies directly to the company's website, which is exactly what employers want," says Bill Warren, executive director of
Career coaches often advise job seekers to steer clear of job boards--or at least avoid using them as their sole tool--and instead focus on networking or other more targeted approaches. Companies sometimes receive hundreds or thousands of resumes in response to job-board listings, which means a candidate's application might get lost in the shuffle. Networking and building a brand online may be more effective because it encourages your contacts to come to you with opportunities before they're posted on job boards.
"Companies put less than 10 percent of their jobs on commercial job boards because of the cost," Warren says.
Because it's free, .jobs sites include positions that aren't listed anywhere else, Warren says. The automated websites scrape jobs from about 6,000 company sites, and 41 state workforce agencies upload jobs as well, resulting in more than 752,000 positions. About two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies list their openings on universe.jobs, he estimates.
But the network of sites does not include positions from some companies that are listed on other well-known job boards, largely because
For now, all cities with populations of 5,000 or more have a .jobs domain, Warren says, but the network will soon include sites for less-populated areas, too. Companies also can buy their own .jobs domain, such as microsoft.jobs or mitre.jobs, with the option of building it out themselves or coordinating with the association. By the end of this year, the network will grow to 100,000 sites, Warren says.
One of the reasons why the .jobs domain has potential--and why it has for-profit job boards up in arms--is because URLS that include .jobs are likely to rank well in
"[Search-engine optimization] will be a big factor, but the bigger factor will be the user experience that the .jobs sites offer," Franzen wrote in an e-mail. "Since they're throwing 40,000 sites out there right away, it's quite clear that they're not focused on building quality communities ... They're aimed at ranking well in the search results." He cited job seekers' lack of familiarity with jobs.com as proof that having a great domain doesn't make you an automatic leader in the job-search market.
Available at Amazon.com:
Careers - What the .Jobs Domain Means for Job Seekers
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