The best way to find your next job online

Welcome! You’re here, and you want to know best way to find your new job online. You may well just be keeping an eye on roles that are coming up in your discipline, which is always a good thing to do, but chances are you are you are actively looking for your next job.

You are probably aware of the leading institutions in your research area, but what about other options? Higher Education is a growing industry and the trend is upward worldwide. New universities are being built all over the world from Central and South America to Central Asia, the Middle East, and all over Africa. Gaining international experience, particularly early on in your career, will benefit you, especially when you look to work on collaborative projects.

So, what is the best way to find your next role, whether in a new region or area, or a completely different country? The most obvious answer is online, either through your personal network, via social media, within an email group, or through a jobs board.  We have covered the importance of your own network and social media in other posts, this one looks at jobs boards.  So how do you make the best use of a jobs board and what is the difference between a jobs board and jobs aggregator?

Take one step back and begin with a search engine

When you begin your search, you may just be browsing on your phone or you will have a full screen on your laptop. Most job sites are mobile friendly and some also have a free mobile phone App. It is a good idea to start with your favourite search engine.

Type in a job title, together with the word job, for the type of role you are looking for. The search will probably bring up, depending on your research area, two or three ads at the top of the list. These ads may well be for roles listed on general jobs boards/aggregators that you already know, such as Indeed in the UK, but do scroll down a few pages noting the URLs. There may be jobs advertised on an employer’s jobs board, a society’s site or a journal site, possibly even a forum. You will also likely see blogs on the topic somewhere in the list, or news about an up and coming big conference in your area of research. Some of the job sites you find will invite you to sign up for email alerts. Be wary of signing up to too many searches too quickly as you will get email overload. This can mean that you may miss a good opportunity, so use a structure for your search and find out which jobs boards advertise relevant jobs for you.

It is a good idea, as it will save you time and avoid security problems, to keep a list of passwords to the various sites where you register. We recommend using a password manager such as Last Pass.  Click here for a list of five password managers you could use.

Using a search engine will send you off in all sorts of interesting directions. That’s why it is a good idea to structure your search a bit by looking first at job sites. They are quick and easy to access and you don’t need to pay to join. Once you begin signing up for email alerts be sure to at least skim your email notifications. More on that subject when we take you through the key points to remember when registering on a site.

What’s the difference between a jobs board and a jobs aggregator?

A jobs board is paid for by the organisations that advertise their jobs on the site. It is a cost-effective alternative to print advertising, especially when an employer wants to reach a wider international audience.

A lot of large institutions will use a media agency to buy all their advertising for them in both print and online. These institutions may have an agreement in place with a media buying agency and funnel all their jobs to the agency, who will then place the adverts in the most relevant medium using an allocated budget.

A jobs aggregator site has software set up to collect job ads from employer websites, and other jobs boards then list them all on their own aggregator website.  This means your prospective employer may or may not know if their job is advertised on a particular website, especially if it is has been picked up by a jobs aggregator.

So how do you tell the difference between a jobs board and a jobs aggregator? It can be difficult. As a job searcher, it may not always be obvious if a site is an aggregator or a jobs board and that is why you should be wary about where you upload your CV, or registering on every site.

It is also worth noting that the Journal or Societies jobsites are likely to have only the more senior roles, rather than the early career vacancies. This is because of the high cost for advertising on these very specialised sites.

In summary, a job advertised on an institution’s job site may find its way on to several other job sites either through a jobs aggregator; or because the Human Resources Department uses an agency to buy a package of advertising with the aim of reaching a wider audience. This will mean that the line manager of the role may or may not know about all the places where the job has been advertised. You may also find job adverts from a job site posted on social media platforms, for example on Twitter or LinkedIn. The social media post may be automatic or the job may have been posted by one of your potential new colleagues to reach their own extended network.

Using a jobs board as a research tool

The reason to use a jobs board, instead of just an internet search engine, is to help to focus on relevant jobs. When you pick a jobs board to help you in your search you will probably begin by selecting your area of research and then refine your search by geographic location and perhaps by salary.

A search on a dedicated jobs site should bring up a range of appropriate jobs in your area of research. As you begin your search you may well find that the list of jobs is quite broad and there may be options to further refine your search in your subject area. At the beginning of your search keep your subject area generalised to give an overview of the range of job titles for roles that you would be suited for. By keeping a broad geographic location you will also get a feel of how often institutions in different regions are recruiting, and gain an understanding of the level of recruitment and turnover, or perhaps even learn about a whole new department being set up.

Why register on a jobs board?

Having said that you should be wary of uploading your CV, why would you register on a job site? Whether you are actively searching or just keeping an eye on the jobs coming up in your area, having an email alert set up on a relevant jobs board will save you time. It will also give you a prompt to see what is on the horizon before you are not actively looking for your next role.

Key Points to remember when registering on a jobs board:-

  1. If a site requires you to set up a user name make sure it sounds professional. Perhaps use a combination of your name and research area.
  2. Complete all the information on your profile. Once you are registered update your profile regularly with your areas of expertise, so you can be sure to have a tailored and relevant job listings sent to you. Be sure to keep all your digital/social profiles up to date.
  3. Be realistic about choosing geographic location. Where are you prepared to move to?
  4. Manage privacy – some job sites will also have other email communications available. For example we produce a Careers Bulletin. These types of mailings can prove helpful. Do also check if your details will be passed to partner sites, or to a third party. We don’t do this but other jobs board, particularly those focused on CVs will share your information.


Registering on a job site to receive regular updates about research and teaching opportunities, together with careers advice, will equip you well in your job search. However, when you come to apply for a particular role it is best to do this directly on an employer’s careers or jobs site. Most large institutions use an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and you will need to tailor your CV to fit the role you are applying for that job.  Global Academy Jobs directs job searchers directly to the website of the recruiting institution, without asking for further information from applicants. If the employer does not have an ATS we provide a direct address for email applications, but all jobs boards a different.  Some will ask you to apply through the jobs board and sometimes a recruitment or search agency will manage applications for an employer.

The only note of caution here is about providing your CV and details to a recruiter who has not specified a clearly defined role with a recognisable employer.  When you see an advertisement of this type check the recruiter’s bona fides, and how they plan to use your information, before sharing too many career or personal details online.


Well-funded research addresses issues that are viewed as problems. Problems will never be solved in single research facilities or even single countries. We must be able to collaborate internationally and international experience early on in your career makes collaboration easier. Explore a wide range of options and locations as part of your search because new opportunities appear constantly all around the world.

We, of course, invite you to register as a candidate on our website as we are truly global and list academic opportunities all around the world. We don’t share your information with any other organisations. When you register as a candidate, you can receive email alerts for new jobs and twice a monthly Careers Bulletin full of careers advice and tips on everything from CV writing to making the most of your online profile, to networking at academic conferences to writing successful grant applications.

Join us and make the world your oyster.

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