Everything is reviewed on the internet. From Yelp to Trip Advisor to long-winded screeds at the bottom of every Amazon page, the culture of evaluation has become a hallmark of the modern age. This aspect of online culture gives more leverage to consumers. At the same time, it also empowers you as a job seeker…which is why snooping online reviews can improve your job search.

A good reputation is crucial in business. An entire PR industry thrives as a result of this fact. In recent years, however, this dynamic has expanded beyond the relationship between consumers and companies. Now, it also influences the interaction between job seekers and potential employers.

This is good news for you. In the old days (of, say, the early 2000s), job seekers didn’t have much information about companies they were applying to. A firm could have high turnover, could have a dysfunctional culture, could burnout employees in high numbers…but no one outside the organization would know. Disgruntled workers quietly left and another batch of enthusiastic dupes applied to replace them.

Things have changed. Sites like Glassdoor make it possible to publicize a toxic workplace. Potential candidates can learn from the experience of previous employees and have a better sense of what working at a company is like.

Still, an argument could be made that job seekers don’t pay enough attention to employer reviews. One survey conducted by Indeed showed that 83% of candidates were influenced by reviews when deciding where to apply. However, the same data indicated that just 46% considered a firm’s reputation when deciding whether to take a final job offer.

It’s good that more than 8 in 10 job seekers use reviews to sift through potential employers. But less than half considering reputation in their job-selection decisions? That suggests that candidates still don’t take employer brand seriously enough.

With that in mind, here are three reasons why snooping online reviews can improve your job search:

Eliminate Toxic Options

Some workplaces are nightmares. However, like a haunted house, this might not be obvious from the outside. The office might look normal. The recruitment process might not give off bad vibes. The dark mojo might not even surface during the onboarding stage. But, eventually, everyone who works there heads for the exits.

Reading reviews can help you avoid these career black holes. Former employees have posted warnings. You just have to heed them.

Prioritize Your Efforts

An effective job search often comes down to resource allocation. You only have so much time to invest in any particular application. As such, you need to know what opportunities to prioritize and which ones you can leave until later.

A quick trip to an employer review site can help you make those power rankings. By scanning the commentary on the site, you can determine which companies deserve your deepest attention.

Let’s You Ask Better Questions

At the end of a typical job interview, you’re usually given a chance to ask some questions. Often, it’s difficult to know what to say. Looking at employer reviews can help you craft meaningful queries. You can pinpoint areas of concern based on previous employees’ reviews. With your questions, you can determine if they present a meaningful problem for you.

Knowledge is key when you’re looking for a job. Employer review sites can provide some information. But if you want to leverage the deepest-possible industry knowledge, turn to a high-powered staffing agency, like PrideStaff.

Contact PrideStaff today to accelerate the advancement of your career.

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