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Job Search 2.0

Remember when finding all current job openings in your area of expertise meant simply opening up the pages of your local newspaper? Yeah, me neither, but I hear it’s true. The ’90s gave rise to a myriad of job sites. You know the usual suspects and survivors: Monster, Craigslist, HotJobs. Going to one central resource like the Sunday paper was replaced by scouring the Web for multiple sites.

Remember when finding all current job openings in your area of expertise meant simply opening up the pages of your local newspaper? Yeah, me neither, but I hear it’s true.

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The ’90s gave rise to a myriad of job sites. You know the usual suspects and survivors: Monster, Craigslist, HotJobs. Going to one central resource like the Sunday paper was replaced by scouring the Web for multiple sites.

Believe it or not The Long Tail of job sites is getting even longer. Whether you’re looking for search engine optimization jobs, entry level jobs, call center jobs or even jobs in Las Vegas, there’s a site for you. Most estimates put the number of job-related sites at 45,000.

Information overload? You bet. But there may be hope.

The Rise of the Vertical Job Search Engines
For the most part, search engines like Google were (and still are) counted on to help job seekers find the most valuable sites for finding employment opportunities. However, vertical search is fueling a new way to browse job openings.

What is vertical search? If you’ve ever used Google to find images, news or video, then you know what a vertical search is. It’s taking a specific category and searching that content exclusively. This could be real estate or cars, but for this example, it’s jobs.

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Though not an entirely new concept, vertical job search engines such as Indeed, Simply Hired and Jobster have risen in prominence over the past few years. All three allow users to find job content scraped from all around the Net, including job sites, corporate sites and newspaper sites. All three sites have secured substantial financing. As a result, more vertical search engines are live and more are on the way.

Not to be out-Googled, the big engines are into the act as well. HotJobs has been spidering job content outside of its primary postings since 2005. Google launched Base earlier this year and MSN has Windows Live Expo. All allow users to post jobs at no cost.

Even stalwart pure-plays like Monster and Net-Temps are dipping their toes in the water. Monster has rebranded FlipDog, and relaunched it in what seems to be a vertical (it’s just Monster content right now), and SearchJobs is Net-Temps’ experiment.

Vertical search is the new Black. If one or multiple providers figure out an effective way to hit critical mass with job content, while also keeping things user-friendly, a repeat of the good ol’ days and going to one resource for all the jobs might not be far away.