Job Boards With A Buzz.
I have regular conversations with candidates going through our outplacement process and it kind of goes like this: Job boards suck. They lament not being able to find a needle in a haystack. I say quit wasting your time on the job boards because many of the boards represent jobs that you either have no shot at getting, have been filled, or don’t want. I’m reminded of people in casinos who sit in front of the slot machines mindlessly dropping coins, and fully expecting to hit it. So while I’m against using job search boards as a primary job search resource, I’ll indulge you with some tips on how to optimize your time if you choose to go that route.
Define which job board(s) is best for YOU.
It seems to me that there are about as many boards today as there are jobs. You’ve got the big boards, or whom I refer to as the Wal-Mart Boards: Career Builder, Monster and LinkedIn. Then you have the more industry specific boards such as Dice, Coroflot, Creative Hotlist, and hundreds of others broken down by industry. And then there’s the RSS syndicated feeds (job boards that pull from other job boards) which include numerous national and regional newspapers as well as sites like Indeed and SimplyHired.
I have my own guide to our top US job board niche sites. For each category, the top niche job sites are listed. These sites must maintain top Google, Yahoo, and Bing search engine rankings. They must maintain high authenticity, credibility, and not require a registration or fee to be useful. So go to Buzzing Job Sites, pick your niche board and have at it.
Submit your resume and cover letter using these techniques:
- Search job boards and the websites of employers that appeal to you. Print out the job postings that you’re interested in pursuing before you apply.
- Use a highlighter to mark the keywords and industry language used to describe the requirements and responsibilities of each position.
- Compare those words and phrases to the language that appears in your current resume.
- Figure out how and where to add the most relevant keywords to your resume, assuming you have the specific knowledge, skills and experience. Applicant tracking systems will search for keyword matches – the more matches, the better, which often determines if a recruiter opts to view your resume.
- Once you’re confident that your resume reflects a strong match, go ahead and submit it.
- If the system requests a cover letter, write a short one that expresses why you’re a strong match and why you’d like to join the organization. This is a chance to tout your research on the role.
- Never submit a generic, one-size-fits-all resume or cover letter. If you really want the position, you’ll customize all documents for each job.
- Once you apply, network to find an internal referral to make a personal introduction.
Managing the job board component of your job search.
Look, you have limited time and numerous sites to comb through. Job search is a job. Being a job seeker is hard work. You’ve revised your resume over and over, sometimes archiving 100s of renditions of your resume and cover letter. You’ve submitted your resume to who knows how many job boards, staffing agencies and random open jobs on this company or that company’s website. You want to follow-up on the job you’ve applied for, or better yet, a recruiter calls you to talk about a job. But, for the life of you, you can’t remember which job it is they’re calling about. We’ve seen candidates who keep a running tally on an Excel spreadsheet of which jobs they’ve applied for, when they applied, if they know anyone in the company and when they followed-up on the job. We’ve subsequently seen these candidates land jobs quickly.
Remember the big picture. Do not spend a lot of time on job boards aimlessly looking for opportunities. I’ve seen many that seem to have a false sense of accomplishment because they spent a good deal of time on the boards looking for work. This type of activity can really cause a job search to languish.
Buzz Smith is SR Curmudgeon & VP Consulting services for OPI National Outplacement. OPI National Outplacement and Career Transition Services is Located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Buzz can be reached at 865.531.9154