Job boards are likely something you don’t like to think about.
But as resume writers, career coaches, and other types of career service providers, our clients come to us seeking information on how to secure their next job. Thus, job boards probably come up more than you would like in your client engagements.
There’s no argument that searching for a job has changed tremendously over the past years. It’s still an ever-changing environment and often leaving our clients scratching their heads in confusion about the best way to go about their job search.
The typical approach for clients, left to their own devices, is to hit the Internet, find job postings online, click the “Apply Now” button, and wait for the phone to ring. As resume writers and career coaches, we may balk at this approach – but should we?
Some career professionals are seeing clients have big results when they use board jobs the right way, so we knew it was time to re-explore this heated topic. Others still avoid it like the plague. In fact, here are some different takes on it from CDI members:
Love Them or Hate Them?
Before we jump into how to best utilize job boards for job search and/or job research strategy, let’s see what our experts have to say about these online tools. While some of our members “hate” job boards, many can see the value in them; if not for conducting a job search, then for researching and creating resume strategy for their clients.
Dislike Job Boards:
- “I despise job boards because they have become the standard for job search although they are largely ineffective time wasters.”
- “If a client wants to post his/her resume on a job board, I highly discourage it—it’s very passive and doesn’t often garner any results. Talk about a non-targeted job search!”
- “While job boards are commonly known for reaching thousands of employers and recruiters, often job seekers’ applications get quickly skimmed over or lost in a portal as they are competing among thousands of job seekers locally and abroad.”
- “Job postings on job boards may be outdated or already taken (via internal hiring process) even though they are still posted. Some jobs may not even exist.”
- “According to CareerXroads, a recruiting site, only 12% of all hires can be attributed to job boards; other studies place the figure even lower.”
- “I don’t recommend clients ever spend a lot of time on them.”
- “They offer a reactive approach to job search.”
- “Job boards aren’t inherently bad, but the concern we see with many of our clients is that they rely solely on them as their gateway to employment.”
- “I really discourage my executive clients to rely heavily on job boards as I believe they should focus more on their professional network to find their next position.”
Like Them for Job Search:
- “I like that clients can set alerts for jobs of interest as it cuts down on ‘trolling’ time.”
- “All-in-all, job boards are not a one-stop shop, but when cleverly combined with networking, cold contacting, building a strong presence on LinkedIn, and other creative methods, they can help to open doors to your client’s success.”
- “I love that some job boards aggregate jobs from the internet and allow candidates to set up searches where they received an email each time a new job match appeared.”
- “I’ve recently seen a slew of clients rapidly land interviews with multiple companies when using Indeed as an aggregator to notify them of matching opportunities. In each case they only applied to jobs that were a close match for them, taking the time to tailor the resume to the company and position, and also uploading a reference page and custom cover letter. While they were coached to track down the leads via LinkedIn and the Internet for networking, in most cases there were interviews before that could be completed.”
- “While job boards are a less modern form of applying to jobs; they at the least, put resumes in the applicant pool.”
- “It’s critical that job seekers are taught to use job boards as a springboard and not the whole breadth of their job search strategy.”
Like Them for Research:
- “I think job boards can be a useful tool to research what companies are looking for in their prime candidates.”
- “Job boards can be utilized in the job search as not only a resourceful job application tool, but for researching, forecasting, and strategic planning.”
- “Job boards represent a great way for finding alternative titles and positions that match a candidate’s skill, broadening what they knew they qualified for (since some companies use very specific, niche, and unusual titles). Indeed.com (Indeed) does a very good job of finding similar opportunities and emailing those leads.”
- “The job board can be used as an aggregator. This helps the resume writer to effectively keyword-optimize and tailor the client’s resume.”
- “Some job boards have come a long way, especially Indeed and LinkedIn’s Jobs tab, and may actually change our notion of what’s useful to candidates on sites doing ‘published’ job postings.”
Regardless of your love / hate relationship with online job boards, be sure to be open to their possibilities. In fact, one respondent was proved wrong about her belief of online job boards!
I used to believe that employers were too overwhelmed by the quantity of resumes received from these postings, however, directly assisting a family member in their job search last Fall proved me wrong. It was an easy way to find jobs that matched his skills, learn about what companies to research more and look into networking further with, and quickly apply. With an outstanding resume, custom cover letter, and list of references, this individual was able to land about a 33-50% interview rate on jobs applied and had landed a position within 60 days.
What You Need to Know to Get ROI From Job Boards
In this in-depth, 7-page tip sheet, CDI members share their strategies on:
- Why they like or dislike job boards for job search and career research.
- How job seekers can effectively use job boards for research.
- How career coaches and resume writers can effectively use job boards for research and resume writing.
- Ways job seekers can get the best return on investment for their job board applications.
- Details on job board aggregators and how they do things differently.
- Suggested time/percentage to be spent on job board job search.
- Candidate types who may benefit most from job boards.
- Job boards members recommend.
- Alternatives job boards.
Download the tip sheet now:
How to Successfully Leverage Job Boards in Resume Writing and Client Job Search Strategy – curated by CDI’s Education Committee from a member survey