The best job search websites in 2021

Best job search websites

Before reading this article, a disclaimer: do not expect a ranking of the best job search websites hereafter. Indeed, there are at least a million different job search websites out there, and anyone claiming to make such ranking has very likely not visited just one per cent of all of them. Instead, in this article we are going to discuss about the different types of job search websites existing, their strengths and weaknesses, and who should use them. Finally, we are going of course to talk about us, and how we designed our value proposition to serve our customers differently from our competitors.

Assumptions and scope of analysis

In this analysis we try to identify trends about job search worldwide. We voluntarily focus on online recruitment, although according to many specialists (like here), the vast majority of job positions is not even advertised (that is called the hidden job market). We also exclude advertisement through radio, local newspapers, and small paper ads left on bulletin boards of local stores, universities or other job agencies: they can’t be the best job search websites if they are not websites.

We will not spend too much time talking about the best job search websites in a single country. We want to talk about the best job search websites for a global audience.

Similarly, we will not discuss about the career page of organization’s website. Although applying on the company’s webpage is a good method, most companies in the world do not advertise their job positions this way, as it requires a good knowledge of Internet technologies, or a team of professionals to do it.

And the best job search websites are...
And the best job search websites are…

Competition analysis

National employment agencies

When they are available, national employment agencies sites often constitute one of the best job search websites. These structures are in general government-funded, and their mission is to accompany as much as possible candidates to find a job. In order to do so, they employ counselors, who follow a defined number of candidates in their job search: help to build a resume or a cover letter, job suggestions in accordance with the candidate’s requirements, advice on career plan, training offer, sometimes even financial support… And the best thing in all this, they are often free to use.

However, most of the time, national employment agencies suffer the same drawback, wherever they are:

  • because they are free, every counselor has (too) many candidates to follow. Therefore, you may feel just like a simple number sometimes. In worst cases, you can even expect a long delay between your appointments with a counselor
  • probably for the same reason, the profile of people using these services tends to be low-skilled candidates. Candidates with higher skills usually prefer using other tools, that we are going to describe later. Therefore, if you are highly skilled, it is anyway unlikely that you would find jobs that match your criteria.

Despite all these shortcomings, national employment agencies are still suited for many candidates, and therefore deserve their place among the best job search websites.

Example of national employment agencies:

The Arbeitsagentur portal
The Arbeitsagentur portal

Professional networking sites

Impossible to write an article about the best job search websites without mentioning networking sites. Among them, LinkedIn is by far the most known, it has today 740 million users worldwide, but they are also more local versions, such as Xing for German speaking countries, or Viadeo for France.

The main purpose of professional networking sites is to build a professional network. In that way it is very smart, as nurturing a network can help in unlocking many opportunities (remember the hidden job market?). Of course, next to this feature, it is also possible to post a job, or apply for a job.

Although these tools are available for everybody, in reality, they are mostly suited for white-collar workers. Indeed, networking is easier when you are already member of an exclusive club, and the alumni network of universities is often where professional networks start. In short, if you don’t have at least a college degree, these sites may not be the best job search websites for you.

Generalist job boards

There are so many generalist job boards that it is unrealistic to try to mention all of them. The most known include Indeed, which claims to be the biggest job search website in the world, with 250 million unique visitors a month. There is also Monster, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, CareerJet, ZipRecruiter and so on. On these sites you can usually leave your information, such as your CV, but also create job alerts based on criteria or keywords.

Indeed portal

Because they are generalist, they constitute the best option for most people. In fact, many of the best job search websites would certainly be generalist websites, just because of their audience.

Niche job boards

Niche job boards are not what comes first to the mind when you try to consider the best job search websites. Their audience is very limited by the size of their niche, and therefore have often very few jobs to advertise, or few candidates registered. Examples of such sites include job boards specialized in specific profiles such as executive or expert (The Ladders), doctors (Practicematch), students (Save the student), accounting (AccountancyAge), and many others.

Unless you are already established in your niche since a long time, or even better, if you are influential or an expert (except for student job sites, obviously), it may not prove useful. However, if you are, the benefits can be huge, as you are then hunted by many employers, who can pay a lot to attract you. That is another effect of the niche strategy: the profiles are so exclusive that recruiting there is very expensive, but the profiles are all of high quality, and the salaries can go high.

Classified ads

You would probably not expect to find classified ads websites among the best job search websites. Most of the times, the job ads are extremely brief, and the description let people think they do not require a lot of skills or experience. Which is why they are so massively used by people with little to no experience and/or education.

Among the biggest players, there is Craigslist, which has many local versions for the cities where it is present. Other local variants include Gumtree (UK). When you visit these platforms, the navigation is extremely simple, and often, posting a job ad is free, making it accessible to the highest number. However, applications received there are clearly not as good as what you could find on a more specialized job board.

Temporary employment agencies

Even though temporary employment agencies rarely provide you with your dream job – after all, it is only a temporary job at the beginning, meaning your contract is highly flexible – they still constitute a good way of getting a job. The best job search websites when you consider temporary contracts include Adecco, Manpower, Randstad. You would typically go for it if you are educated up to associate degree, although it can happen, unfortunately, that some people overqualified for the types of job they advertise still apply, after looking for a job unsuccessfully for a long time.

One big advantage of the companies we mentioned in the previous paragraph (and some other of their competitors too) is, they all have local branches. It is easy to meet with a real counselor and discuss in detail about your career. But once again, their counselors have to follow many candidates, so do not expect a high follow-up.

How to be better than the best job search websites?

We have seen a good overview of the best job search websites you can find on the Internet. Now in case you haven’t followed our history (have a look here), we also want to launch a job board, with the ambition of doing better than any of these. So, how do we do that?

A personalized support for jobseekers

A common characteristics of all these “best job search websites” is that for all of them, whenever you do a job search, you have two options: you gave some keywords to the site, and it returns results based on these keywords, or the websites scans your information, and proposed you jobs related to these keywords. In practice, it means jobs similar to those you already did in the past, or your current one. If you want to look for something similar but slightly different, you must know exactly what changes you want, otherwise they won’t help you.

The problem with that approach is that it forces you to know things often out of your reach, unless you have in your network people who can help you, or you are willing to pay a huge sum to get the information.

Suppose you live in a country A, and a company wants you to join them in a country B, for a great salary. You would be flattered, of course. But when they give you the salary, you have no idea if it is the typical salary for someone of your experience, how much will it be after taxes, how are your diploma recognized. Of course you would search on Google to get these information. But that means most best job search websites are not good enough to provide this information.

That is why when we created Jinn, our first focus was to build a comprehensive career database, capable of providing answers to questions related to jobs, education, skills, but also salaries, company reviews, entrepreneurship. In order to build such database as quick and complete as possible, we made it as a wiki, so that anyone can contribute. With these data, we can better guide our users to what is the best for them, including by suggesting careers they may not have consider before.

The Jinn career explorer
Jinn career explorer page

Making skills sharing easier

Similarly, some of these best job search websites will tell you how good is your profile for a job advertisement. If you miss some skills, they could even tell you, although few sites can do that. For those who can, you will still need to take action by acquiring the missing skill or knowledge by yourself, outside the website. Many good websites exist for that: Coursera, edX, Udemy, Skillshare

Which is why everybody can create a course on Jinn. We start from the principle anyone is skilled in something, so we help our users first in figuring out the skills they know better. In a second time, they can propose online courses in their area of expertise, and sell them for the cost they want. This is a similar business model to Udemy, but the difference is that you can directly showcase the skills you taught or learned in your profile, making it more attractive for potential employers on Jinn.

A better verification system

Trust is a key element in a relationship between an employer and a candidate. Unfortunately, it is too frequent that either the employer tells a different story of what it is to work for him, or that an employee exaggerates some aspects of his resume, In any case, this certainly does not lead to a win-win situation. The best job search websites do not tackle this, so the alternative is to perform a background check, which is costly.

Jinn proposes that all skills of a candidate are verified by other users. After all, the opinion of others make you a reference for others. This feature is open only to former colleagues and classmates, in order to avoid skills recommendation traffic. Depending on the recommendation level, you can reach several grades, from specialist to senior expert, and earn advantages related to these grades. It is of course possible to submit documents showing evidences of a skill mastery to earn these grades.

A quality follow-up

Although some sites explicitly claim to be the best job search websites, they also share another characteristics: you are entirely in charge of your career. In the best case you have many resources from the website, in the worst case you are simply alone to decide whether you are taking the right decision or not. A pandemic and multiple lockdowns later, we realize how important are human contacts, and how Zoom meetings do not replace social interactions.

To be truly considered among the best job search websites, it is important to offer these interactions to users. This can be done by partnering with local stakeholders such as companies, universities, chambers of commerce…Career fairs, group meetups and even webinars are a good alternative. Of course, organizing these events mean having experts willing to participate. which brings us to the next point…

A career marketplace

Wait a minute, what is a career marketplace? Well, it is our marketplace, in which any service or good related to careers can be sold by any user, for the price he or she decides, in exchange for a commission. This is something the best job search websites do not offer. Concretely, you can of course buy or sell courses, webinars, books or e-books, coaching sessions, analyses, tickets for career fairs…

But the part we are the most proud of is, you can also sell a profile creation for other users who struggles with the tool, or with technologies in general, and who is looking for a job. Once again, you can set the price you want for this service. That way, you can monetize your mastery of Jinn, and help your friends in getting a better career by using our services. In other words, your contribution to helping Jinn becoming one of the best job search websites benefits you as well.

Wrap up

The best job search websites differ a lot, depending on a user’s profile or geographic location. In this post, we tried to explain the pros and cons of every job search website, their pros and cons, and the audience they target. Here is a reminder of the main points raised in this analysis, and what kind of website should you consider as the best job search websites.

Platform typeSuited forProsConsExamples
National employment agenciesEverybody, although mostly for low-skilled candidatesPersonal career counselor following you

Financial support

Training support

All for free
Often a poor follow-up, due to the high number of candidates

Jobs offered not highly qualified
Jobcentre Plus

Professional networking sitesMostly high-skilled candidates and candidates with experience in a big company a universityExcellent to build a network
Excellent for b2b opportunities
Not suited if you are low-skilled
No career suggestions
No follow-up
Generalist job boardsFor everybodyHigh number of job postings in all domains
Not possible to build your network

No follow-up
Invisible Job board
Niche job boardsFor candidates targeted by the nicheLow competition for vacancies

Jobs can be paid very high
Member of high qualities
Few job postings, since access to the network is exclusiveLadders
Classified adsMostly for low-skilled candidatesExtremely easy to post a job or applyJobs advertised are often underpaid

No follow-up

No career suggestion

No possibility to highlight a previous experience
Temporary employment agenciesFor everybody, although it is mainly used by low-skilled candidatess Large amount of jobs available

Physical career counselor to follow you
Only temporary work…

Jobs are often not highly qualified


The best job search websites, according to your profile

Knowing all this, we are building a tool, Jinn, that could overtake the defects of the best job search websites existing currently. This is a long task, but you can join it and make it much faster, by registering to Jinn, and contributing to the career database.