Remember the old days when we used to have to actually go to employers to apply for jobs or read the classifieds in the paper and then call? Thanks to the Internet we can find jobs online, scope out and apply for jobs from our laptops. We can even network and get our foot in the door without stepping out of the front door. It is all very helpful, but only if you know the best places to look and the pros and cons of each.

To assist you in your online job search adventures, here’s a list of the most commonly used and the best places to find jobs online:

1. Job search sites

If you’re looking for a job online, you’ve probably already stumbled across these. Monster, Careerbuilder, SimplyHired, and SnagaJob fall into this category. When you enter what kind of job you’re interested in and where you live, these sites bring up dozens of search results in your area.

Pros: They have usually have the most listings and they allow you to submit your resume right on the website.

Cons: These sites aren’t known for having the highest quality listings. For example, you may run across a legitimate well-paying job. Or you might end up applying to a shady summer sales company. Use at your own risk.

2. Craigslist

Craigslist is very similar to other job search sites except for one thing: in most metropolitan areas they allow anyone to post jobs. This means you get lots of jobs from smaller companies that normally can’t afford to list on the other job search sites.

Pros: You get jobs listed that you might not see on the bigger job search sites. Also, you get to apply directly with the employer, instead of going through whatever algorithm is used on the larger job search sites.

Cons: Shady employers hang out on Craigslist, too. There’s no getting away from them!

3. oDesk

If you’re looking to work from home as a freelancer, oDesk is a great place to start. This site lets you set up your own profile, take tests to verify your skills, bid on jobs that employers put on the site, and collect your payment once you’ve completed jobs.

Pros: If you want to freelance but you don’t have any clients lined up, oDesk is just the place to pick them up. It sets up the whole process so you don’t have to. Also, the process that they put in place does a good job of protecting you against serious legal issues.

Cons: You have to compete against freelancers in other countries that will work for next to nothing. This makes it difficult to compete on price. Not all jobs fall into the sweatshop category, but many do.

4. LinkedIn

This site is built to encourage career networking. You find co-workers and add them to your network. They in turn build their networks. Ideally, once everyone is connected you have a connection in your network that can get you into that job you’re so interested in.

Pros: The site makes it easy to connect with and maintain your network, letting you know when people change jobs and also letting you know who works at companies you’re interested in. It also offers a great place to keep your resume and collect recommendations from past employers.

Cons: The site doesn’t work all that well if you don’t already have a network. And they save certain snazzy features for paid subscribers only.

5. Company Websites

Many companies won’t list their job openings anywhere but on their own sites. The sections where these listings are kept are usually called ‘Jobs’ or ‘Careers.’

Pros: These listings are always legitimate and you can submit your application directly on the employer’s website.

Cons: These aren’t always the easiest to use and they can sometimes be difficult to find.

So where do you find jobs online? Which ones are best? Which are the worst? Tell us in the comments below!

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