The Best Free Job Posting Sites
Good news: There’s no need to pay to search for jobs. All the best sites are free. (Some are even free for job posters too.) We conducted a month-long test of the top 13 job sites to find the free ones worth your time. Post volume and quality matters, but it's the meta-data these sites surface that's most helpful.
It’s free to search and to post, so it’s no wonder that new listings hit Indeed first. The no-frills site is the Google of job sites: a simple interface, tons of relevant results, and unmatched filtering.
You don’t have to pay to find great job opportunities. The majority of job posting sites — probably every one you can name — let users search and apply to jobs for free. The real cost you have to worry about is time. You want a job site that’s going to make it easy to find (and apply to) fresh, relevant posts, not one that’s going to send you on a scavenger hunt through cyberspace. With that in mind, we evaluated 13 of the best job sites on a few things: freshness, post quantity and quality, and the usefulness of its search filters, mobile app, and daily email alert.
Our Top Picks
Indeed is free to job seekers and posters. So it should come as no surprise that it took first place in our overlap test — it has the most unique new posts the first day they showed up anywhere. It also took second place in our frequency test, just behind Glassdoor in overall number of new posts.
Indeed takes a no-nonsense, no-frills approach to job hunting. The site isn’t much to look at — it’s far from the streamlined interface you find with Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter — but it gets the job done. Think Google or Craigslist: plain blue text listings on a white background. No company profiles or whiz-bang animations pretending it’s your job concierge.
Its filters are some of the best in the industry, so you can home in on exactly the type of job you want. Narrow down the results by salary, distance, job type (full-time, part-time, internship, etc.), company and experience level. Indeed saves your recent searches, including your filters, so you can return to them at any time with a single click.
Glassdoor, which impressed us when we reviewed the overall best job sites, is also free to search, but its fee for job postings can reach as high as $599 for 10 postings per month. That being said, it was the hands-down winner in terms of usability and post frequency. It had 30 percent more new posts than even its closest competitor: 22 new posts per day compared to Indeed’s 17.
It doesn’t have as many filters as Indeed, but you can still narrow your results by posting date, company ratings, job type, and distance. The interface enables you to view and save postings in a preview window on the results page, so you don’t have to open up a bunch of tabs. It might not sound that cool, but when you’re sorting through dozens of new posts every day, trust us, it is.
Glassdoor goes beyond simple postings to give you a feel for each company and its culture, so you can better assess if it’s a good fit for you. If Indeed is the Google of the job search world, Glassdoor is its Yelp. Employer profiles include photo albums, salary info, and comments on the work/life balance and benefits from the people who know best — current and former employees. All reviews are completely anonymous, so if a company doesn’t deliver on its promises, you’ll know about it. This information is key to finding out if that open job is one that you’ll love.
LinkedIn is better known as a business networking hub, but it also has a section for job postings. It didn’t do spectacular in our tests — it only scored average for quality and post frequency, in part because job postings can cost employers up to $1,500 each. It has some nice filters, so you can quickly focus on exactly what you’re looking for, and both searching and applying are free. For $25 per month, a premium account grants access to additional information like the company’s hiring trends and how you compare to other applicants. LinkedIn also gives both its free and paid users the option to let recruiters know you’re open to new opportunities, so they can come to you.
The real value of LinkedIn still lies in the networking opportunities it provides. You can chat with others in your industry in its discussion forums or message employers directly. It can also show you how you’re connected to other LinkedIn users — especially those who currently work at the place you’re applying or who knows someone who does. Our experts couldn’t stress enough that while all the posting is done online, all the hiring is still done by people. It’s a lot more likely you’ll land an interview from an internal referral than a web form.
How We Found the Best Free Job Posting Sites
Our 13 Finalists Cut for Usability Beyond Monster Resume Library Trovit Finalists CareerBuilder Career Jet JobIsJob LinkUp SimplyHired ZipRecruiter Top Picks Glassdoor Indeed LinkedIn
We cut any job posting sites without these basic features: filter by date, mobile app, and a daily email alert. Our next criteria required some testing. We spent a month collecting data for “Nurse Practitioner,” “Financial Advisor,” and “Software Engineer” jobs in Dallas, Texas.
We tested the 13 sites to see how easy they were to navigate. We looked for an intuitive layout and a clear path to apply. Filters for narrowing down results and the option to save or email jobs were also a plus. Pop-ups, application errors, and layout inconsistencies, on the other hand, were not appreciated. In one case, Monster congratulated us on a successful application before we’d even filled out a single field. What? We cut it and four other contenders that failed to measure up and moved on with our nine finalists.
Each job site has its own search algorithm that finds job offers that match your criteria. Some work better than others — and some postings are more of a pain to use than others. We evaluated the remaining sites to see which consistently offered the most relevant and useful postings.
- First, we looked at freshness. We looked at the top 50 results, noting the oldest and newest postings and the average posting date. We also made sure those posts linked to valid job opportunities. Simply Hired failed this round: the first four posts were all more than 30 days old and one of them didn’t specify the city, just “Texas.”
- Then, we tracked how many new postings appeared on the site every day for two weeks. Glassdoor ran away with it, averaging 22 new posts per day, while CareerBuilder brought up the rear with an average of three posts.
- We also checked out how much overlap there was across our top sites on the first day of a new post. Ideally, the same jobs would show up across all the job sites at the same time, but that’s not what happens. Certain search algorithms are better at aggregating jobs from other sites and each site’s popularity determines how many organic posts it receives. Indeed won this round, but Glassdoor wasn’t far behind. ZipRecruiter fared the worst.
- Finally, we measured quality. Did the post match our keywords and location and provide a direct link to the original job posting? They also had to get us to the application within two clicks. We evaluated the posts on the site as well as the jobs we received by email alert. The race for the top was tight, but last place was indisputable: CareerBuilder scored only 25 points out of a possible 50.
The Best Free Job Posting Sites: Summed Up
Did You Know?
Most job sites don’t return high-quality results.
Even our top picks only met about 65 percent of our quality criteria. That’s not great. Part of the problem is the search algorithms aren’t always the most accurate. In one case, a JobisJob search in Dallas, Texas also returned results for Dallas, Iowa. And there’s a telephone problem here: job sites pull postings from other job sites. The further you are from the source — the employer’s actual job posting — the less useful it’s likely to be. We saw posts that looked new on the job site, but found were already filled on the employer’s job board.
The real value you get from job postings is free info.
While the job postings themselves may not be the most helpful, they can still provide you with useful metadata to drive your job hunt. A quick search can show you who’s hiring, what cities they’re looking in, and how soon they want to hire someone. Then, it’s all about what you do with that information. You could apply for the job online, but you might be better off doing a little more research and outreach to find or make a contact at the company.
Because networking is still your best bet for actually landing a job.
The way we search for jobs has changed, but the way companies hire hasn’t. You don’t want to be just another resume in the recruiter’s inbox. Instead of just filling out the online application, take some time to reach out to someone at the company, ask them about the job, and try to build a relationship with the employer. Yes, that takes some legwork, but it’ll considerably up your chance of landing the job.