Job boards – or job search engines, are websites that enable employers and job seekers to find each other. Today, they are a common strategy in the hiring connection, allowing employers to post their job openings and job seekers to post their resumes or apply. Some allow employers and job seekers to track their conversations with each other and give employers ways to sort and rank candidates against each other. Job boards are usually free for job seekers, although there are some exceptions (typically in the area of executive jobs). They range from large-scale generalist boards, to small niche boards (technology, finance, engineering, and many more).
These are my favorite three job boards:
https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/ (a nice one-stop shop in many ways)
https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm (robust interaction and connection)
https://www.indeed.com/ (aggregator that pulls jobs from multiple places and has advanced search functions)
Keep in mind that you have a 10-20% chance of finding your dream job out on job boards, so watch your time! Do not spend more than 20% of your job search time on them.
Things to know about job boards:
- Job boards get paid to support employers, not job seekers (except for a tiny faction). They absolutely try to draw you in, but remember that they are there to serve the employer.
- Job boards are very competitive. Thousands of people see, visit and apply with the job postings. You are competing against every one of them without benefit of know who your competition is. Some sites are changing this, to let you see who you are up against.
- The big job boards are expensive for employers, so the job for you may not be posted out on those sites. And if it is posted on a job site, it is likely only posted on one of the big boards.
- Most employers search only on resumes posted within the last 30 days. So, if your resume has not been tapped in more than 30 days, employers will probably not find you.
Play it smart using job boards:
Remember that job boards can be time zappers! If you apply online, it helps to follow these guidelines:
- Pick from 3 to 5 (blend of major and niche/specialty). Then make a quick search on these sites based on your goals. Make sure they’re the right fit.
- When applying online, use keywords on your resume and applications relevant and customized to the job. Then post your resume or submit your application.
- Be clear and concise about what you want.
- Set up “job agents” on these job boards to drive jobs to you. You establish your preferred criteria, and the boards send you jobs that match.
- Fine-tune your criteria once you start seeing jobs and know that either too many or too few jobs are coming your way.
- Once you see a position that really interests you, go to your network for contacts inside that company.
- Preferably, first, see if you can get connected through your network. If not, apply online.
- If you are employed during your job search, think about posting confidentially.
- Delete any job invitations that come to your confidential resume that are not a fit for you. If the sender does not know who you are, they won’t know you have deleted it. This will save time for you and the person who sent it to you.
- Refresh your resume often (at least every 30 days).
- If you see a job you want, but you know you’re not really qualified (you don’t have at least 8 of 10 required qualifications), don’t apply for it! Even if you think, “Oh, I could do that job,” your being moved to the interview short list online is unlikely. Applying online to something you’re not qualified for can annoy hiring authorities and hurt your reputation with employers you’d like to impress. And your time is worth more than that! Put it where it will serve you well!
So, it’s back to networking and referrals – spend most of your time here! Do you have ideas about job boards? I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below.