Job boards are the most common method of job search. But there are some things that you should know as a job seeker about job boards.
First of all, not all job boards are created equal. Second, even though most job seekers rely on job boards almost exclusively as their primary job search method, job boards are not the most effective job search method.
Read on to find out what you need to know about job boards:
1) The best job boards
Some of the best job search boards are Indeed.com and simplyhired.com. I recommend these job boards because they aggregate job listings from across the Internet and make it easy for job seekers. Without these job boards, job seekers have to go to many different job boards to find open positions in their fields. However, for job boards that focus on jobs in specific niches, there are specialty job boards that can be helpful. Here are just a few: idealist.org (nonprofit jobs), dice.com (IT jobs), hcareers (hospitality jobs), flexjobs.com (work from home jobs), and usajobs.gov (federal government jobs).
I also recommend LinkedIn for job search, particularly because of its social feature. When applying for jobs, you can easily see who in your network is connected to the employer that has the job opening. That can be extremely useful as you try to get an edge when applying for the job. And professional associations are very often an overlooked resource. They too have their own job boards, and they are very specific. Unlike the mega job boards, you will only find positions related to your field on the professional association sites.
2) How to maximize your search on job boards
The best thing to do is to create job alerts that are specific enough to cull though the myriad of job listings and send you relevant results. One of the major complaints that job seekers have is that they have to sift through lots of jobs that have nothing to do with what they are looking for. Creating a good job alert is critical to maximizing your time on a job board. When you do that, you allow the machine to do the work and then you can focus your time on responding to openings that match your criteria.
3) Other methods of finding employment
Most people (60-80%) find their jobs through networking. Other job search methods that trail far behind networking are applying to jobs on job boards, using a headhunter, and attending job fairs.
4) Best practices
If you are spending most of your time searching for jobs on job boards, you should reverse that and spend most of your time networking. And it will be to your benefit to actually combine the two. You can use job boards to identify vacancies and then follow up by trying to network your way into the company. This can be a powerful combination of two job search methods.
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