When it comes to your job search, there’s no arguing that the Internet is an incredibly valuable tool. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, online search has become the most used tool for job seekers. But even though the posts are there — are the jobs themselves? The research team at Reviews.com aimed to answer this question with a six-week long study. They consulted with experts and hands-on tested the most popular sites to determine which ones had fresh, frequent, and relevant unique posts. Here are a few takeaways from their research:

  1. Rather than looking at each post as a potential job, consider the metadata offered instead. Job listings can show you what companies are looking for new people, what credentials they are seeking, and people you might know that already work there to help get a foot in the door.
  2. Think of each company’s culture when applying — cover letters and resumes should be tailored to each employer, and sites like Glassdoor.com can help give you a better understanding what working there would really be like.
  3. Be proactive when it comes to your search. Applying online is only the first step — network and reach out to current employees at a company you are interested in. A good referral is harder to get than an online application but holds far more clout than a resume in the pile!
  4. Staying positive throughout the process is key. Job sites are tools – not a crutch, so making offline networking a priority can expedite your search process and make it a more productive one.

A quality job site can scrape for new and fresh postings and send you regular alerts and notifications, giving you a strong indication of what is out there. Keep in mind: the site can’t get you the job, only you can. Networking and finding advocates both online and in person are the most effective ways to see results.

For more information on how Reviews.com conducted their study, along with their top picks for the best job sites, go to: http://www.reviews.com/job-sites/