Your Career Q&A: How to Find Niche Jobs


By Martin Yate March 12, 2019

Best-selling author Martin Yate, a career coach and former HR professional, takes your questions each week about how to further your career in HR. Contact him at the e-mail address at the end of this column. 

I am a disabilities manager at a major company and considering a job change. There don't seem to be many opportunities for someone with my title.  Do you have any ideas to help me with my job search?

There are several tricks for searching for and finding the specific jobs you want. To find a particular job, you may actually need to be more general in your search methods. Here are some tips to get started.

Job Titles Have Different Meanings in Different Companies

I know you have been looking for Disability Manager jobs but remember that job titles vary from company to company, even though the underlying job descriptions are pretty much the same. This means you should search for variations of your target job title.

Job titles typically have two component parts: the function and the level. In your title, "disability" is the function and "manager" is the level.

You are now searching for "Disability Manager," but did you know that by searching for "Disability Management" you can get 30 percent more search results? Also consider searching these terms:

  • Lead
  • Leader
  • Supervisor
  • Administrator
  • Manager
  • Assistant Director
  • Director
  • Vice President
  • And sometimes even the generic HR

Each of the above can be combined with the functional part of your target job, which also can be described using different terminology:

  • Disability Accommodations
  • Disability Compliance
  • Disability Management
  • Disability
  • Diversity
  • Differently Abled

Again, you can probably think of further variations.

The Job May Not Be Right, But the Company Could Be

Also recognize that search results that are quite right can be helpful. The job may not be a fit, but now you know of a company with a disability function, which you can then approach directly. Go to the company careers web page and, whether or not they are advertising a job you want, upload your resume. It's another baited hook in the water.

Put Niche Job Sites to Work

Smaller niche sites are often overlooked. I just did Google searches using the following search terms and, in each instance, found job sites specific to your profession:

  • HR job site
  • Disability job site
  • Equal opportunity job site
  • Diversity job site
  • Differently abled job site

While these sites are much smaller than the majors, the postings are far more tightly focused on your needs. 

Send Your Resume to Public Companies

Large, public companies must be much more careful about compliance with federal law and thus have disability programs that need to be managed. Here's how you find those companies. has a database of over 17 million publicly and privately held North American companies, which you can search by any number of terms: State, city, metro area, zip code, county, area code, etc. Membership is about $80 a month, but if you know the parameters of your search you can find large public companies within commuting distance. This research shouldn't take more than a day at most and will help you approach them all directly.

Packed with practical, honest, real-world guidance for successfully navigating common HR career challenges, Martin Yate's new book, The HR Career Guide: Great Answers to Tough Career Questions, is available at the SHRMStore. Order your copy today!


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Search Jobs
Post a Job


Join us for the largest and best HR conference in the world, June 23-26, 2019 in Las Vegas.

Join us for the largest and best HR conference in the world, June 23-26, 2019 in Las Vegas.



Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect