Job Search Tutorial: How to Use Job Boards


Job boards promise to provide the world of employers by simply posting your resume and waiting for them to make a path to your door.  Although that sounds enticing, knowing how to use job boards will give you the best results for your time.

Passive job searching can be the most frustrating and least productive of all alternatives. Not only will you find yourself among millions of other individuals, but the most sought out employers tend to be chased, rather than chase. You will find yourself offered positions that don’t apply to you or offered the least desirable positions because they have to be sold to desperate job seekers.

In addition, when a new account is uploaded or a resume is updated, subscribing employers get alerts and are able to, at the click of a button, send thousands of “opportunities” out. Thus someone in an executive job search could get a data entry solicitation on Dice or multi-level marketing/commission sales offers on Indeed, Monster or CareerBuilder.  These auto-sends are mass mailings and are not distributed based on reading your profile. They only hope to reach individuals by broadcasting.

To search a database, the content needs to be indexed. Full indexing on job boards can take weeks. When you newly post to a job board, you are not immediately available to employer search. Each time you change your resume, you can void your index and wipe clean the index which allows employers to find you. Be careful about changing too often and be aware, that each time you change, you will get emails for hard to sell positions.

Post your resume and wait. If an employer wants you, in time they will find you. Because of the time it takes to index, the right employers contact you months after posting or after you have accepted another position. There have even been job seekers who have been contacted years after posting; long after they forget they even put a resume in the database.

The easier it is to apply to a position, the higher the likelihood of extreme competition. Not only might you find yourself among thousands of applicants, you might also find it hard for the employer to find you. It is common for job board users to spend hours submitting to hundreds of positions thinking they are actually accomplishing something.

Only apply to positions for which you qualify. Take time to address employer needs if possible. Apply only to positions that link directly to a company website. Be mindful of how long a job has been posted and the deadlines for submission. As a recruiter, I talked to a company with a hiring freeze. The human resources representative told me that in spite of making it clear to job seekers, through outside sources, more than 70,000 people had applied to jobs that didn’t exist.

Then Internet is the wild west of the cyberworld. Job seekers are a target market for interim insurance, start you own business ventures like drop ship websites, and instant job offers to process checks for overseas companies. A recent client of mine received a “job offer” from xxx (Fortune 500 Company) from an email similar to She was informed by me that the url should have been a tip off as to the validity of the offer.

It is common for both job boards and gray world businesses to prey on the insecurities of job seekers. A very common scam is resume evaluations. Either a job seeker is offered a free evaluation which is full of reasons why their resume is not good (almost anyone gets the same letter) or a job seeker applies for a job and is told that they do not qualify because their resume isn’t good enough, “but we can recommend a resume service that can help you get better results.” Often companies such as these operate overseas beyond the reach of law.

Job boards provide listings to which you can directly apply. You are more likely to find what you want by applying directly than waiting for the employer to find you. Keep in mind the most effective means for finding work are as follows with the most effective listed first.

Networking and referrals
Direct company contact
Getting noticed by recruiters
(If a recruiter contacts you, there is interest, if you contact a recruiter, 95% of the           time, they are either the wrong recruiter or do not have orders for the position you are seeking.)
(Perfect for networking, getting noticed by recruiters, and applying directly to                 companies.)
Job Boards
(People still get work through job boards, but they can be labor intensive. Using them properly can increase your chance of success.)

Start from the top of the list and work your way down. That will make the best use of your job search time.

For more advice on job boards and search, Find a Job in 30 Days click here.

About Peter J. Hunter

More than 10 years experience as an Executive Resume Writer assisting company leaders and Fortune 500 executives in the preparation of dynamic job search documents.
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