52 cats | Main | Halloween 2005

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Jobs for people like me

From the Department of I know Better, But I Do It Anyway.

Several online job posting services have started offering RSS feeds by keyword or zip code. Most of these feeds are actually postings that were scraped from other web sites.

In an effort to broaden my search to find a job, I recently subscribed to Indeed.com (tagline: one search, all jobs) and Simply Hired (tagline: job search made simple). I used a radius of 15 or 20 miles from 62701, the zip code for downtown Springfield, for my search term. Even though it would include jobs for which I'm not qualified, I figured this would be easier than trying to determine all keywords for things like clerical, secretary, legal secretary, bookkeeper, etc.

So, today I'm scanning the headlines from these feeds. Between the two web sites, there were about 60 to 70 jobs listed in the Springfield area. Among other problems, very few of them are actually located in and around Springfield. One job for an administrative assistant is looking for someone with a master's degree.

The best jobs I've gotten in the past were via word of mouth or help wanted ads in the newspaper. I did get one really good job once from an employment agency. But, that was in Chicago.

Update: I decided to apply for the administrative assistant job on the off chance that the master's decree requirement is a mistake. Standing by.

Update 2: After clicking a series of links and registering with America's Job Bank, I finally land on a listing at beyond.com which states: "The opportunity number you have entered is either no longer available or does not exist." This does not surprise me. Hence, the subtitle of this entry.

Posted by Marie at October 30, 2005 9:15 PM


Hi Marie,

Wishing you the best in your job search....

Quick tip: Using Simply Hired's "advanced search" feature can greatly help create better accuracy for listing results. I generally instruct users to use the "search within job title" function if they are looking for a specific job (this helps eliminate the listings where a keyword (such as administrative assistant) was mentioned in the listing only). The two examples will be shown below...

Using administrative assistant as a keyword:

Note how the listings in the search will pull anything with "administrative" in the listing description.

Using administrative assistant within the "Search within job title" feature:

While there are fewer jobs in the second example, it is more accurate than the first search. You could also use additional words within the "within job title feature" to help pull similar jobs (clerical, assistant, secretary, executive assistant, etc.)

Please feel free to contact me (damon@simplyhired.com) if you want additional tips on making your search more accurate.

Damon Billian
Simply Hired Community Marketing Manager

Posted by: Damon Billian at October 31, 2005 10:45 PM

Marie - You can cast a broader net if you use 'Springfield, IL' as your location - the default is a 25 mile radius around whatever location you enter.

Just to make it a bit easier (fewer results to comb through) I've created a feed for jobs within 5 miles of the geographic center of Springfield - http://rss.indeed.com/rss?q=&l=Springfield%2C+IL&radius=5

Good luck and let us know how your job search goes.

david parmet

Posted by: david parmet at November 1, 2005 10:12 AM