Tips for Using Monster.com to Job Search

Monster.com has been an internet-based employment resource for jobseekers for over 20 years. In that time, it has exceeded the accomplishments and services provided by competitors and even bought out and enhanced online resources that provided some competition for at least a time. Today, Monster.com is considered the king of career resource sites by many as it services tens of thousands of professionals worldwide.

Profile Creation Tips

Having been around for over two decades, Monster.com has created one of the more straightforward profile creation tools for its users. From the start, users are presented with an option to manually create a profile or upload a resume. One outstanding feature of Monster.com right off the bat is that it allows users to upload resumes from a variety of sources (Google Docs, computer hard drive, etc.). The company certainly offers more options here than most other employment websites. The upload process is easy, takes only seconds to fully process, and results in a basic yet polished online profile/ digital resume. Unfortunately, the upload has its glitches and fails to upload everything, which requires users to carefully review the profile Monster.com generates.

For a start, my resume includes a professional summary that is a few sentences in length and positioned on my resume right at the beginning; that is the typical location of a professional summary. After uploading my resume, I found that Monster.com did not upload any of my professional summary to its “summary” space. Not a big deal as it took less than a minute to copy and paste my professional summary onto my Monster.com profile. This was just the first glitch.

Moving on to the Education section of the profile, one glaring error is that Monster.com added the dates to when I started my Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees (the respective dates are not included on my resume as they are not included on most resumes). That didn’t stop the site from adding that I started both degrees in the same year (the 1970s). I was only a toddler at the time Monster.com indicated I was a college student. Needless to say, changing the dates was accomplished first. Education glitch aside, Monster.com is unique in that it allows users to add both 1-3 academic concentrations a user pursued in college as well as listing skills learned and employed during a user’s college career.

Moving on to the Education section of the profile, one glaring error is that Monster.com added the dates to when I started my Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees (the respective dates are not included on my resume as they are not included on most resumes). That didn’t stop the site from adding that I started both degrees in the same year (the 1970s). I was only a toddler at the time Monster.com indicated I was a college student. Needless to say, changing the dates was accomplished first. Education glitch aside, Monster.com is unique in that it allows users to add both 1-3 academic concentrations a user pursued in college as well as listing skills learned and employed during a user’s college career. Most employment websites just let you post a “bachelor’s” and/ or a “master’s” and possibly the major a degree was focused in. As for the “skills” listing in the education section, Monster.com allows you to add multiple skills that you learned and gained experience in as a student, which is a unique and advantageous feature for users (listed skills often become great “keywords” that draw a reader or a computer program’s attention). Don’t fail to include both concentrations and skills here, especially when those concentrations and skills connect well with the jobs you are applying for.

Next, users need to review the text detailing their listed duties and accomplishments. Instead of bullet points, Monster.com combines data into a single paragraph, which is not as easy to read. Yet, the system also automatically lists “skills” related to your posted job experience. Be very mindful of the skills Monster.com generates as some are not in any way correct. Additionally, make sure to add skills you acquired at current or previous jobs that relate well to the jobs you are seeking (skills the upload overlooked).

Certifications

Another unique feature of Monster.com’s profile is that it allows users to identify certifications obtained through college studies, continuing education units or through professional association programming. The only issue I found was that the resume upload does not do a good job at identifying certifications and/or certificates a user lists on her/ his resume. Take time to add your certifications, especially any related to the jobs you are seeking. As a side note, both certifications and completed “certificates” may be added here.

In some instances, your respective certifications/ certificates will pop up as you start typing into the respective boxes. However, oftentimes you will need to type out the full title of a certificate. You also need to provide information related to the institution through which a certificate or certification was attained.

Listing Professional Skills

Again, Monster.com does a tremendous job of scanning an uploaded resume and identifying professional skills the respective user has. In addition to listing such skills, the system also includes the specific company (from your job history) where you implemented those skills. The only downside to this feature is it will only initially list one past or current employer where you used or developed a skill. Fortunately, the programming allows users to easily “edit” the listed skills and add all the companies where you utilized a specific skill. Again, as keywords are vital to standing out from a crowd of jobseekers, make certain to spend time reviewing and adding skills in this section.

Awards and Professional Affiliations

A curious feature of Monster.com’s user profile is that it lumps awards and professional association memberships into one category. I am not certain as to why the company did not make separate categories, but that is its format. Make certain to include all relevant awards you have received as well as all professional associations you belong to that are related to your career.

Conducting a Job Search

Once your profile is completed, conducting a job search is quite easy as Monster.com’s search engine keeps things basic. You can search by job title, location, dates jobs were posted, specific companies, and job type (i.e. full time, part time, internship, temp, or other). So, if you wanted to see if the Disney corporation posted an opening for an archaeologist in the last day or so, you could get that specific with your search. Remember, the more fields you include, the fewer the results that will likely pop up. I recommend you start your search by job title and by location (zip code) and fine-tune your search from there. If that does not generate any leads, change the location to a state. Should you still not find any openings, don’t include the location in the search.

Once you find a job that matches your search parameters, review the posting for specifics. While doing so, take time to use Monster.com’s “review” features, which provide employee reviews of the company the job is with. As with any review, be cautious as people tend to leave reviews when not satisfied and not leave reviews when satisfied. Look for specific reasons why a reviewer liked or didn’t like a company. If multiple reviewers post similar grievances, do some further investigating on the web. Then, if you decide to apply for the position, the site provides a convenient and easy to access link that takes you directly to the company’s website.

Company Research Window

In addition to the reviews posted by previous or current employees, Monster.com includes a separate search engine where you can research specific companies. The search will generate details about the company’s founding, its industry focus, its office locations, and jobs the company has open at the time of your search. For those looking to work for a specific company, this would arguably be a great place to start your job search.

Monster Career Resources

Beyond being able to upload a resume and conduct a job search, Monster.com provides a wealth of resources for jobseekers. After clicking on the ‘Career Resources’ tab near the top of the company’s webpage, select Career Advice from the dropdown menu, which almost instantly takes site visitors to an online vault filled with career guidance ranging from unique articles on how to start a job hunt, how to prepare for job interviews, pointers for writing outstanding resumes, and recent trends in different industries (education, medical, accounting, etc.). This page includes resume templates, practice interview questions, and a whole host of career supports to help professionals at all stages of career (new graduate to senior management). For the record, Monster.com does offer resume writer services (at a cost) with cover letters and LinkedIn page assistance included in some packages. That said, there are a large number of resume templates (broken down by industry and job title) with which to get started on building a standout resume.

*** Monster.com states that its resume writers are ‘certified’ meaning if you pay for a resume to be written, the person writing it was trained in resume writing and certified by Monster.com and/or a professional association.

Career Assessments

For individuals looking for a career change but not knowing which new path to consider, Monster.com provides incredible career assessment resources that can help anyone identify potential jobs or industries that match up well to the individual’s strengths and interests. From the Career Advice main page, scroll down to the option to ‘browse articles by’ located on the right side of the page. From there, select Career Paths and then choose Career Assessment from the menu of options.

Articles in this section range in topics from what you can do (job-wise) with different college degrees, how to assess your career progress throughout your professional life, and common career mistakes professionals make. This page will likely seem overwhelming as it does not provide a breakdown of topics the articles cover. However, a search engine is at the top of the page which will help anyone find articles related to topics/careers they are interested in exploring further.

While on this page, I recommend all jobseekers, particularly those uncertain of what career path to pursue, to type ‘assessment’ into the page’s search engine. Among the articles that pop up are lists of various career assessments that professionals can take to help gauge what career paths might be a good fit. Yes, some assessments are expensive, but a number of good assessments are available online and free of charge. Completing one of these assessments may take an hour or more, but the feedback provided by most assessments truly helps professionals to narrow down their job and career path search.

Kayla Idayi

Kayla Idayi is an exceptional freelance writer with a deep love for the written words. She is an experienced web content writer, with articles appearing on sites such as About.com, and e-zines like Underdog Online and Classic Movies Guide. She enjoys doing research and ensures all her articles are both factual and informative.

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