Using Dice: The Art of Effective Searches

Unless you employ effective search strategies and data mining techniques, you might not connect with that perfect opportunity, nestled as it is among all the jobs posted on Dice. Successful searches require careful crafting and ongoing refinement to each set of parameters, so follow these tips to search more effectively.

Go Broad

Begin your search using broad parameters that will yield the largest number of open positions. Because many job descriptions reflect an employer’s wish list, it isn’t unusual for the successful candidate to possess most – though not all – of the required skills and experiences. Thus, it behooves job seekers to retrieve the greatest number of possible matches. (To access the site’s full array of tools, you’ll need to register.)

Keyword Searches

Dice provides several predefined job searches, but you’ll retrieve the largest number of matches by creating and saving several searches that match your customized keyword list with the words contained in job descriptions. Although it’s possible to search by job title, remember titles vary by company, and adjectives like junior and senior don’t mean the same thing in terms of experience and pay across multiple employers.


Develop your keyword list by reviewing job descriptions for positions that interest you. Include the names of major software programs, hardware, and hard and soft skills, as well as any acronyms, abbreviations and alternate versions of the keywords you find. For example, with the search drop-down box set to "Match any words," a nationwide search using "database administrator" retrieved 618 jobs. However, this search pulled 2,149 positions:

"database administrator" DBA "data base admin" "data base administrator"

Note that unless you place quotations around "data base" the search will return every posting containing one of those words, not just DBA positions (see some tips here).

Refine Your Search

Refine Your Search ResultsAfter you run your search, use the Refine Results menu to evaluate the impact of adding or removing keywords, or otherwise changing your search parameters, until you’re satisfied that you’re retrieving every possible opportunity.

The Skill tab identifies the jobs retrieved that match the most common keywords found in all Dice job postings. These will help you find additional keywords to broaden your search and point you toward other positions that utilize your skills and experience. You can also use this information to eliminate jobs requiring knowledge, experience, clearances and degrees you don’t possess. For example, adding the term: NOT Java to your search will eliminate job descriptions containing the word Java. Just remember: There’s no way to determine whether the experience is required or preferred without reading the job description. So be careful not to limit your opportunities by setting parameters that are too restrictive.

Set Up Agents

Once you feel confident that your basic search criteria is sound, create and save a few variations to fully leverage the Dice database. (You may create and save up to five searches.)

For example, even if you prefer a fulltime job located within 20 miles of your home, a nationwide search of telecommuting jobs and local contract-to-hire positions may reveal additional possibilities.

Dice Search AgentEach Dice search agent will send up to 50 new or refreshed jobs to your in-box or designated Web page each day, along with up to 50 additional jobs that closely match your skills.

Finally, be sure to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of your search. Return to the site, login and re-run your search rather than only reviewing new jobs through e-mail. Red, yellow and green ratings remain visible for 60 days, allowing you to assess whether newly retrieved jobs are still a good match and if your current search parameters are still on target.

2 Responses to “Using Dice: The Art of Effective Searches”

  1. Peter Brennan

    I waste a lot of time in my searching, wading through all the jobs that I have already submitted a resume to.
    Could you provide a feature where I only see jobs that I have not yet submitted to?
    Some of my searches give over 10 pages, sometimes close to 15.
    This would certainly knock it down to under 5, maybe ever 2 or 3.
    It would save me a lot of time, and save you a lot of lookups.
    Also, when I visit the page again, it has different postings.
    This means that a job could be on page 3, then jump to page 2 while I’m on page 4. I have to go through the listings over and over to get them all.

  2. Thank you for your feedback Peter! I submitted your suggestion on your behalf to our Product Development team. We appreciate the suggestions that we receive from our customers, so any time you have feedback please let us know.

    Thank you for choosing Dice!

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