What Features Should a Job Search Engine Have?

Job search engines are a vital part of any job hunt. Here’s what features you should look for when choosing a job search engine to find work.

portrait of Rachel Miller, Ph.D.
by Rachel Miller, Ph.D.

Published on April 27, 2022 · Updated on April 29, 2022

Edited by Giselle M. Cancio
Share this Article

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

What Features Should a Job Search Engine Have?
Feature Image: Kilito Chan / Moment / Getty Images


Whether you’re a recent graduate on the job hunt for the first time or an experienced professional looking for a new job, your search will no doubt involve job search engines. In a 2017 survey by Glassdoor, respondents indicated that they used nearly eight different job search engines while job hunting, a number that has likely only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But what makes a job search engine valuable to job seekers? Below, we break down five key features to look for.

Easy Profile Curation

The digital job profile is the new business card. And today's job seekers want job search sites with tools that make building and curating their online job profiles as easy as updating their social media statuses.

Look for job search engines with built-in assets like mobile integration and document management. These elements allow users to showcase their skills, talents, and portfolios to potential employers in just a few steps.

The ability to curate your job profile and manage documents like work samples, resumes, and cover letters can also expedite the often-tedious process of filling out application forms. Job search engines automatically fill in applications for you using basic information gathered from your resume or profile.

If you are submitting a high volume of applications during a job hunt, job search engine features like document management and auto-apply can save you a lot of time.

Artificial Intelligence That Works for You

All major job search engines use artificial intelligence (AI) to help identify, categorize, and organize applicants and posted positions. Specifically, most use an applicant tracking system (ATS), which scans your resume and application to determine if you are a good candidate for a job.

There are plenty of strategies for optimizing your resume for ATS. However, you should also evaluate whether a job search engine has AI that actively works for you. Job search engines that use AI to automatically match you with employers or invite you to apply to jobs can help you extend your search, increasing the likelihood that you’ll find a number of positions that are a good fit.

The AI used to evaluate applications should work on behalf of both applicants and their potential employers. Once you have curated your job profile to perfection, utilize the job search engine AI to find the right jobs to apply to.

Advanced Search Filters

There is so much to evaluate when matching your qualifications to jobs. You shouldn’t need to do the heavy lifting when figuring out the basics like location, estimated salary, and type of position. A job search engine with the proper search filters can allow you to refine your hunt without wasting time.

Looking for a job that will allow you to work remotely? Want to know if the posting meets your basic salary requirements? Advanced search filters can answer these questions, weeding out positions that don’t fit your specifications.

You don’t want to set your sights on a job that’s only looking for applicants who can make the commute to the office if your dream is to work from home.

Saving Jobs

With hundreds of jobs posted daily to job search sites, it can be hard to keep track of every one. A seasoned job seeker may have their own concoction of Excel spreadsheets and Google docs that archive all the posts that caught their attention. But with the ability to save jobs on the job search engine itself, you can avoid managing your own list of saved positions.

You need the right tools to curate your profile on a job search site, and you also need a feature that helps you keep track of all the jobs that look interesting to you.

A save function can be especially useful if you, like most job hunters, find yourself scrolling search engines for hours. You may not remember your 3 a.m. scrolling session, but the right search engine can help you save all the postings that looked perfect for review in the morning.

Employer Transparency

A 2019 Yello survey of Gen Z job hunters found that their top priority was being treated well during the application and interview process. Respondents viewed an employer's poor treatment of applicants and lack of respect during the hiring process as signs of a lacking company culture.

A job search engine that allows candidates to read reviews of potential employers from current and former employees can be essential to figuring out what an organization's culture is like.

The millennial and Gen Z workforce has demonstrated that they don’t just care about their paychecks. They want to work where they are appreciated. And they have standards when it comes to balancing work and life.

Access to honest reviews about potential employers can tell you what to expect from an organization and its culture.

Best Job Search Engine Features

  • Easy profile curation: Built-in assets like mobile integration and document management expedite filling out applications.
  • AI that works for you: Look for job search engines that use AI to automatically match you to jobs that are a good fit.
  • Advanced search filters: Filters such as location, estimated salary, and position level can let you refine your hunt without wasting time.
  • Saving jobs: This function allows you to keep track of all the jobs that look interesting to you and the ones you apply to.
  • Employer transparency: Access to current and former employee reviews is a great way to asses an organization's culture.

Frequently Asked Questions About Job Searching

true What are the best job search sites?

With the number of different job search engines on the rise, what is the best job search engine to use? Sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Monster remain favorites among job seekers. Meanwhile, aggregators like Google Jobs and niche search engines like College Recruiter offer options for broadening or narrowing your search, respectively. At the end of the day, the best job search sites are the ones offering the tools you want. Whether that’s AI that works for you, a save feature, or employer reviews, keep in mind the tools that help you the most.

true What preparation should you do before searching for a job?

Looking for a job isn’t just about employers evaluating you. Take some time to think through what you want out of a job beyond a paycheck. Quality candidates spend just as much time determining what qualities they want from an employer as they do thinking about their own qualifications for a position. If you’re looking for work-from-home flexibility, need work-life balance, or want to ensure the organization's culture aligns with your values, prioritize these attributes during your search. Knowing what you want in an employer will make you feel more confident during your search.

true Is job hopping a bad thing?

Employers don't view job hopping as negatively as they once did, but switching jobs still has pros and cons. Job hopping can help workers earn higher salaries, but it might make a candidate less attractive to hiring committees. Nevertheless, today, employers don't necessarily expect company loyalty. It's now expected that a worker will hold more than one job or position during their career. Staying at a job for at least a year can keep you in good standing with potential employers, who now know that the old rules around job hopping are a thing of the past.

Job search sites are a great tool for recent grads to find employment. Check out the six best job search sites and get tips for applying. Making a career shift takes a series of steps. With the help of a career coach, we came up with a three-step process to help you do it the right... Taking time off between jobs benefits workers. And it can be easier to ask for time off than you think. Learn more about scheduling a break between jobs.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.