Updated January 13, 2015

Study: Best Job Search Site - Careerbuilder vs Indeed vs Glassdoor

Job-search websites are almost as good as having your own recruiter. When you find one that you like and you feel comfortable navigating, you can fantasize about all sorts of scenarios. You can find some that cater to a niche or a specific industry, or you can turn to any of the three that dominate the market: CareerBuilder, Indeed, and Glassdoor.

You can look for your dream job in your dream location. And you can search for that entry-level gig that is more of a fit for you at the moment. The good sites make it easy for you to keep tabs on when changes in opportunities have occurred and give you obvious direction on how to apply.

Studies have shown that when it comes to the job hunt as many as 118 individuals will apply for a single opening. This means timing and ease of use are crucial when it comes to finding, sifting through, and applying for jobs online. You can get lost and lose valuable time if you commit to using more than one site. CreditDonkey is here to help you narrow your choice to the one that will fit your needs and help you find that job you’re after. We have reviewed the major job search websites to see just how they measure up.

Study Methodology

  1. Ease of Use
  2. Results
  3. Additional Resources

What’s the number-one piece of information you want from a job site? Current, adequate job listings, of course. But not all job sites offer the same type of results – or give you results in the same way. There are a number of ways job search websites can go wrong. Constant interruptions by “sponsored results” can make the already frustrating proposition of finding a job even more frustrating. While you want a site that has a high number of listings, you want to be able to sift through them easily to find the ones that matter.

Trying to find a job can be stressful enough without being bombarded by ads, fake jobs, or just an overall crammed interface. For that reason, we have not included Monster in our top three sites under review. It has too many ads and sponsored results, plus an overall crammed website that makes narrowing down results too much of a challenge.

Job listings are the start of these websites, but that’s not all they have to offer. They can also serve as a place to create a pre-employment file – a place to host your resume, give potential employers an idea of what you’re about, and list your qualifications. This is the “what else” component that can set a job search site apart from another.

Best Ease of Use: Indeed

  • Ease of Use: Very user-friendly search method, 5/5
  • Results: Yielded more results per search than competitors, 5/5
  • Additional Resources: Simplicity creates need for more that isn’t there, 3/5
  • CreditDonkey Score: 4.33

Visiting job search websites often turns into a game of musical chairs in the form of websites – you’ll get hopped around from site to site, never knowing where you’re going to land or how to get back where you started. For the most part, Indeed eliminates that problem. You get the content you want and you’re directed to the original source (usually the potential employer’s website), where you can easily apply. Outdated listings are regularly removed, and the newest listings are automatically pushed to the top of all searches (and you can clearly see the age of each listing). Whether you’re looking for a part-time summer job or looking to start your career, Indeed provides a user-friendly arena to search for, find, and apply to jobs safely and quickly.

John Koetsier of Venture Beat refers to Indeed as the “Big Kahuna of hiring in the U.S. and beyond,” and points out that the rest of the industry has a long way to go before catching up to the steadiest hand in online job seeking.

Why We Like It
There are a million reasons why Indeed does better in most categories than its competitors, and its ability to bring listings directly to you, in a simple and straightforward way, is crucial. With very few ads, limited sponsored offers, and the ability to get tailored results emailed to you daily, this site can make job hunting significantly less intimidating.

Its Downsides
You have to look pretty closely to find areas where improvements are badly needed. However, if you’re looking to create an in-depth profile and expect employers to come knocking at your door, Indeed definitely falls short of competition.

Who It Works Best For
Indeed works best for those who are both old and new to job hunting, but mostly for those who want results fast.

Best Results: CareerBuilder

  • Ease of Use: Lacks user-friendly nature, 3/5
  • Results: Draws up largest number of results, 4/5
  • Additional Resources: Advanced user profile system, 5/5
  • CreditDonkey Score: 4

CareerBuilder definitely has the most well known name in the online job hunting world. Its presence in TV ads, sponsorships, and relative mass gives them the ability to house just about everything in terms of job listing content. However, that comes at a price. While the appeal of housing the most content is great for commercial success, it’s significantly less appealing when you actually use the site. Sponsored ads, sponsored jobs, and redirects are higher than any other job search website out there. CareerBuilder will direct you to 3rd party websites regularly, taking you through ads and sponsored offers before ever bringing you to the actual listing. However, there still is a lot of great content on the website. It’s just much harder to get to when you have to spend a lot of time navigating and pushing past unwanted results. For all of its complications though, CareerBuilder does offer a unique and advanced user profile system. Here you can find advanced one-on-one services, like resume review – or even resume writing tools if you don’t have one.

CareerBuilder also offers a mobile experience that Kit Eaton of the New York Times describes as “sophisticated” and “pleasant” to browse through. One of the app’s highlights, he notes, is the ability to determine your commuting distance from your home from any listing.

Why We Like It
You will find quality content on CareerBuilder. But it will take you awhile. Known for having a large volume of listings, this site even pulls from some smaller job boards that don’t get as much traffic.

Its Downsides
It isn’t for the novice or for the easily frustrated. It’s busy, messy, and at times will take up more time than the results will warrant.

Who It Works Best For
CareerBuilder is for anyone who is willing to sacrifice time, ease-of-use, and perhaps their sanity in exchange for possibly coming across an extra result or two that they may have missed, or wouldn’t have seen on other websites.

Best Additional Resources: Glassdoor

  • Ease of Use: Very simple interface, from start to finish, 5/5
  • Results: Pulls results from all over the web and social media, 4/5
  • Additional Resources: Offers the most advanced social experience, 5/5
  • CreditDonkey Score: 4.66/5

Glassdoor is one of the newer faces to online job searching. It has a mixed approach of redirecting job seekers to other job search websites, as well as taking users directly to company websites. More and more employers are utilizing Glassdoor due to the social experience it brings to the table. While users can search through traditional means to find a job on Glassdoor, they’re also offered a fresh opportunity to research the company, compare compensation, and read employee reviews about the company and even the hiring process. This includes interview questions, length between callbacks, and number of interviews to expect on any given position. Additionally, much like Indeed, Glassdoor will send you daily personalized job lists by email.

Why We Like It
In a space where the same results can pretty much be found on all the major job search websites, Glassdoor has put an emphasis on information. That means answering the questions you want to know before heading into a job interview or submitting an application. What does this position pay in this industry? What does Company X pay this position? What does the process look like for getting hired? What questions can I expect to be asked while I’m interviewing? In many ways, Glassdoor makes the process of applying for jobs less stressful by eliminating a lot of unknowns.

Its Downsides
Fairly new to this space, Glassdoor is still perfecting its methods. You won’t be brought directly to company websites on all searches and you will see occasional ads, but overall, Glassdoor has shown users it’s 100% willing to be whatever its users want them to be.

Who It Works Best For
Glassdoor works best for the social media guru or the advanced job hunter. It is set up much like a social networking site.

Honorable Mention

Monster receives honorable mention for its large presence in online job searching. However, as we previously mentioned, the site’s overwhelming number of ads and sponsored links are a turnoff, making it hard to identify Monster as a leader anymore.

Simply Hired, though, does many of the same great things as Indeed. It’s consistently getting a larger and larger piece of the pie – growing the database by the week, and we predict it will soon become one of the leaders of online job hunting.

We hope this review of job search websites makes the decision of which to use easier. It isn’t just about what listings they show or how many. It’s about whether you – based on your comfort level and experience with different kinds of sites – can find what you’re looking for. The best sites make that easy.

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