Tips for Using CareerBuilder.com to Job Search

Started in 1995, CareerBuilder.com, CareerBuilder.com has grown to be one of the most utilized employment websites in the world. From a startup company to a major career resource serving with thousands of employees and tens of thousands of daily users, CareerBuilder is arguably the best employment resource serving the vast majority of career industries.

Loading Your Resume

As with other employment websites, CareerBuilder.com provides users an opportunity to upload or manually construct online) a resume that employers and recruiters can then view to determine your fit for any of their open positions. Unlike a few other major employment sites, CareerBuilder’s upload system fails to accurately translate some educational requirements, and the system upload does not identify and list specific skills listed on your resume. The upload saves time still because it generates an accurate listing on the positions a user identified on the original resume along with details on the time frame during which a user worked at a given position. Remarkably, the upload does an incredible job of transferring details of a user’s responsibilities and achievements at the jobs listed on their resume, though you need to access the edit feature to see that information.

Education Guidance

While the resume upload will transfer general education data listed on a resume over to your CareerBuilder profile, There are details that are missed. Make certain to use the edit feature to add specifics to your education including the type of degree earned and the date of graduation. Additionally, for those with initials in their name indicating specialized training (i.e. CPA, CPCC, NCC, etc.), the CareerBuilder upload feature will likely add an entry with specialty designations grouped together as if it were an actual institution. Delete such entries and make certain to add them to the “skills and qualifications” section instead.

Professional Skills and Certifications

As mentioned earlier, the CareerBuilder.com fails to identify and list a user’s skills in the way that a few other sites do. Therefore, users need to manually construct a list of “skills and qualifications.” Separated by commas, enter your skills and certifications. The space in which to list skills only allows for about 230 characters. Consequently, make certain to list those skills that are most impactful to the work you have completed AND the work you are seeking employment for. A good idea and practice is to review job ads related to work you are seeking and incorporate skills in the ad into this section on CareerBuilder.com, making sure to include any and all relevant skills you are proficient in. As your career goals change and you learn new skills, remember to revisit this section of the site and update accordingly.

A unique feature of CareerBuilder stems from the “Skills and Qualifications” section. This section provides an opportunity to notes whether or not you have management experience and, for those with management experience, an indication of how many people you managed at one time. Also, this section allows for the identification of languages a user speaks. For those proficient in more that one language, be sure to use the available “add” button and add the additional languages. The more languages you speak and list, the more opportunities will open for you.

Cover Letters

Cover letters are pivotable in grabbing the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. To that end, CareerBuilder includes the option of adding a generic cover letter with which to identify yourself, your skills and your achievements. Unfortunately, the most effective cover letters are ones focused on a specific job. Since it is unlikely that a site user would know when a specific employer or recruiter would view her or his profile, a general cover letter is truly all that would work here. Make certain to use the space to summarize your experience, skills and achievements that most pertain to the career paths you are pursuing. As with a regular cover letter you would mail or email to a hiring manager, include statistics when possible (i.e. “I increased company earnings by 15% during my 1st quarter of sales.”) For employers viewing a cover letter in CareerBuilder, be mindful and understanding of the limits the cover letter space provides; search through any such online documents for the skillsets needed by a hypothetical hire. Bottomline is that general cover letter are limited in scope and specifics.

Searchability

One of the first decisions CareerBuilder.com users are faced with is whether or not their posted resume should be “visible to employers searching resumes.” For those actively looking for work, you generally want recruiters and company owners to be able to review your resume. Why? Because a lot of company jobs are NOT advertised. Such employment opportunities have a bit of chance to them, which simply means a quick glance at your CareerBuilder profile by a recruiter could lead to your being asked in for an interview for a position that pays well.

Job Search Engine

With your profile set, you are set to begin your job search. Simply put in the title of a position you are seeking and your zip code and CareerBuilder quickly presents a listing of relevant jobs in the area. A nice feature here is when scrolling do and reviewing a job ad, a prompt appears providing a secure link to the company’s website to directly apply for the job. There is no need to navigate endless folders and links to apply. For instances where job openings appear that are similar in job responsibilities to what your seeking, do additional searches with those terms. I searched for “proofreader” and “copy editor” jobs surfaced. I in turn did a search for “copy editor” and more than doubled the number of jobs found available through CareerBuilder’s search engine.

“Career Development and Learning”

CareerBuilder.com is a goldmine of information and career tips for most career paths. Often cited by news outlets nationally and internationally, the site provides articles and guidance on resume writing, cover letters, job interviewing, and negotiating salaries.  Found within the Career Development and Learning tab at the top of the CareerBuilder main page, click on the “Career Advice” link and you will be quickly transported to a vault of information with easy to manage search engines to assist. Given CareerBuilder’s history of providing sound career advice, it is comforting to know they provide a link through which you can search on topics the company has been covering for over a decade. Beyond the general search option, provides links to more focused topics which include, resumes, salaries, skills and interviews. I find these links more productive than the general search option, but using both is highly recommended.

Additionally, the “Career Advice” page provides a link to “News and Trends.” Click on the link and you will quickly gain access to articles ranging on topics from the companies that are now hiring to guidance on what not to do during a job interview. The articles provided here are great resources and often quite timely in regards to tips to enhance a job search during different seasons/holidays throughout the year. However, the listing of articles and their respective topics appears quite random so I advised you use the provided search tab to look for articles on specific topics.

Explore Careers

Heading back to the “Career Development and Learning” section, site visitors will find an “Explore Careers” function that is worth exploring. Twenty-two categories of career industries are listed here with links to between 3 to 30+ job titles. Regrettably, the job titles listed are in no way covering all potential jobs or career paths. For fellow social scientists, this is especially true for us. That said, CareerBuilder.com provides an associated search link so those of us with unique, hard-to-find jobs can still search relatively quickly.

Once you have selected a job title to investigate, the system provides a wealth of information including a general description of typical job duties for that career along with salary average both for your location and nationally. The search also brings up relevant articles that further clarify what a typical workday includes for professionals in the selected role.

Don’t forget to utilize this section as it includes a “job alert” feature. With a click of a button, you will be able to set up daily or weekly alerts as to when new jobs are posted. For the record, you can set up job alerts for multiple types of jobs.

My Career Path – Beta

Currently in Beta test mode, CareerBuilder.com is experimenting with a function that allows jobseekers to compare the national average salary for a job type with the average salary for the same job in your area. For those already employed, you can quickly see where you rank salary-wise. This information is especially useful when negotiating starting salaries or in making a case for a raise.

Along with the salary data, this Beta page also list articles relevant to the job you are searching as well as a link to recent positions that are available. As the company is conducting this Beta test, please be sure to give feedback on your experience with it to help gauge if system changes are warranted. All in all, CareerBuilder.com is an industry Giant for good reason, and no career search is thorough if a jobseeker fails to utilize this incredible resource.