Expert Interview with Joey Trebif on Building Your Online Job Site


Sometimes the biggest digital publishing lessons come from trial and error as Joey Trebif, creative director for CareerAlley, knows all too well.

While trying to land on the right formula for his site’s online content, Joey says they tried accepting guest posts for a few years, but learned they caused more problems than they solved.

While it’s challenging to write and post high-quality informative posts on a regular basis while also staying current with the latest trends and updating older material, it’s critical to the success and growth of the site.

“We learned (the hard way) that high-quality articles posted three days per week yielded more than daily articles with lower quality,” Joey says.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tips for Promoting Your Job Site

Here, Joey discusses what he likes about online job sites and why he thinks they work for job seekers, in addition to offering marketing insight on growing your site. Read on:

Tell us about CareerAlley…when and why did you start your site?

We started CareerAlley in September of 2008 at the start of the “Great Recession” as a resource to help individuals displaced by the financial crisis find a job. Collectively, we had over 30 years of job search and career experience that we felt would benefit others. We compiled what we knew about job search and initially focused on how to recover from job loss. We also created quite a few articles that listed links to company career sites that were hiring.

Who should be reading it?

Anyone who is looking to find a new job or enhance their career should be reading CareerAlley. Specifically, those who are currently unemployed, recent college grads, or those looking to change careers. We’ve published over 1,400 articles and landing pages over the last six years (we just celebrated our six-year anniversary), resulting in an impressive library of job search resources.

What excites you the most about online job searches today?

Online search has evolved dramatically over the last five years. The pace of improvements and innovations has changed the job search landscape, with smartphones becoming a very important tool for those looking for a new job.

The most successful strategies for job search have shifted as “connected” or online search has evolved. “Speed to market” has become one of the most important aspects of job search. Those who apply to jobs online after the first few days of posting have little or no chance of making it to the short list due to the sheer volume of applications.

Why are online job sites a good place for job seekers to start their search?

Most online job sites aggregate job opportunities across many sources. The sophistication of job search criteria filters and keyword search combined with the ability to instantly apply online are very powerful tools. Effective use of job search sites provides one of the most efficient tools for job search. That being said, networking and recruiters should complement online job search (don’t put all of your eggs in one basket).

What have been the most effective strategies you’ve found to grow your site’s audience?

Social media has helped our growth the most, specifically Twitter, Facebook, and Stumbleupon. The other growth factors have been effectively networking with bloggers who host similar sites or related products. Lastly, consistent high-quality content helps as well.

What methods have you tried and ditched?

In terms of job search, snail mail (for the most part) is no longer effective. Old-fashioned research followed by contacting those best placed to help you land a dream job remains one of the most effective methods of job search (made all the easier due to the Internet).

In terms of CareerAlley growth, placing ads on Twitter, Stumbleupon, and Google does not add loyal readers. We would get a spike in readers when placing the ads, which quickly fell off once the ads ended. Link strategies worked years ago, but have generally been abandoned due to pushback from Google.

What can online job board owners do to set themselves apart from similar sites?

Find something that differentiates your site from the rest and put all of your time and effort into building that theme. Maybe it’s providing information focused on a different sector (like over-40s job seekers or coaching). There are too many sites offering the same information and format.

What’s your strategy for coming up with content that’s relevant to your readers?

I look to see what’s trending for careers and job search. I check keywords trending, Twitter trends, as well as the most popular content on CareerAlley.

What innovations in online job hunts excite you the most?

Mobile apps are becoming more popular, and I believe this trend will continue. Younger job searchers are more comfortable with online chats and video chats – I think video interviews via Skype may trend to replace today’s preliminary telephone interviews. Additionally, the ease of submitting resumes for numerous jobs has significantly increased the volume of resumes that must be reviewed. Hiring managers and recruiters will need to resort to scans of resumes, focusing only on those candidates whose experience matches employers’ needs.

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