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What is a Vertical Job Search Engine?

Vertical job search engines — also called verticals or VJSEs or aggregators — are changing online job recruiting in dramatic ways. You can think of VJSEs as “Google for jobs.” That is, the verticals work like Google or other search engines, except they search only for job listings. Examples of VJSEs include Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, and Jobster.com.

Verticals represent the next level in job search and they have arrived in the nick of time for harried job seekers who can use the services without cost.

Here are some details on vertical job search engines and how they work:

  • Verticals make it possible to go to one place and see virtually all the jobs that fit your personal criteria on the Internet, so you don't have to wade through a plethora of individual job search sites. They give you the options to slice and dice your search results, based on what you want, such as full or part time, large companies or small, and so forth. And they reveal when each job was posted. Some verticals even show you where the jobs are clustered on a map.

  • Specialized search engines scrape (crawl) the Web to find and haul in job content. That is, they use automated programs (software) called spiders or robots. The ’bots go sleuthing on the Web, compiling a vast array of listings from newspaper classified ads, job boards, corporate sites, and industry associations.

  • Based on the keywords you supply, you can bring all relevant job listings to your computer in one search by using a vertical job search site. The verticals also receive online feeds (direct communications) from job boards that want their listings included in a VJSE’s inventory of jobs.

  • The vertical sites usually don’t engage in job transactions themselves but pass users along to the source of the information. The verticals can point you to specialty job boards you’ve never heard of but that are opportunity rich for your occupation or industry.

While it’s true that some of the material that vertical engines come up with also appears on large search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, or Ask.com), the general-purpose engines lack the vertical engines’ relevancy (the degree to which a job matches what you specified, or the ability to filter (sort out unwanted search results).

By contrast, job seekers using VJSEs can filter search results using a wealth of criteria. You may, for example, want to look at jobs at companies with annual revenues of more than $100 million, or within 25 miles of a ZIP code, or only those jobs based on another criterion that you choose.

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