Looking for a good position is never easy, especially in tough employment markets. But even so, there are hundreds of thousands of jobs available at any given time, if one knows where to look. Many of them are posted on job boards.
A job board’s primary function is to connect companies with potential employees. And as recent studies show, companies find nearly 25% of their external new hires through these sites. Surveys have also found that up to 32% of job seekers found their jobs by either responding to an ad or posting a resume on a job board.
This isn’t surprising. According to some estimates, there are now over 150,000 job boards on the Web. Some job boards are general purpose sites, listing positions for every industry sector and employee level. Others focus on a niche market, specializing in certain careers or executive income levels.
Some sites emphasize lists of thousands of open jobs, usually aggregated from other sites, but support few other resources. Other boards allow applicants to archive resumes and offer resume writing and interview coaching options.
For recruiters, job boards offer an array of posting options based on volume, posting length and exposure. Many of these sites also feature searchable resume databases and advertising options to promote specific postings.
Whether you are a job seeker or a recruiter, when picking a job board you’ll need to consider the quality of the site and what is important to you.
Looking for employment
As a job seeker, do you want to see a broad range of positions or a site with more focus? Are you interested in career management features, such as resume writing? Would you like to view blogs and network with others? Or do you want to continue your education to enhance your career?
Key must-have features include robust search tools to filter your results for the best match. Ideally sites should also have an email alert feature to notify you when a new job is posted.
You should be able to upload your resume to a searchable database to maximize visibility to recruiters, while controlling who sees your resumes and when.
If you need to polish your resume or improve your interview skills, many sites can help for a fee.
No single job board connects you to all possible opportunities. In order to access the broadest range of jobs, and also target more specialized ones, register with one or two general purpose and niche sites. Don’t worry about cost – job seekers usually register for free. If a site does charge a fee, ensure that it is a good value proposition.
Remember that job boards are businesses seeking to promote services and clients. To avoid offers for services you don’t want, note the options you select when registering and configuring your profile. Never forget to read the small print.
Looking to hire
For companies seeking new employees, job boards remain one of the top three sources for candidates, along with employee and corporate referrals.
Some recruiters opt for sites with higher volume traffic, while others prefer the narrower niche sites for a closer fit between company requirements and applicant skill set.
Since posting to online job boards can be expensive, you want to maximize value and look at a couple of factors, such as a balance between traffic and the best possible exposure for your job posting.
If looking for volume, you can use one of a number of Web services to estimate the number of unique visitors to specific sites. However, you may find that to get the exposure you want, you’ll need to pay for more targeted advertising on high volume sites or use a smaller specialized job board.
Find jobs effectively
You’ve registered with some job boards, created your profile, and configured some automatic settings. What next?
To maximize their benefits, use the services the sites offer and continue to take a proactive role in your search.
Post your resume. To make your resume easily searchable, some sites encourage you to enter your resume using their own templates. If you are planning to target more than one kind of position, consider posting several resumes tailored for those jobs. Some sites offer a free resume consultation or critique. It’s worth finding out what they have to say.
Do more than just search for new positions. Make use of the sites’ other features. Most of today’s job boards offer career management tools and advice. Typically they include useful articles and blogs on searching for jobs, your industry, salary projections and more. Some boards facilitate networking with other people in your field.
While a job board is not the cure-all solution for your career goals, it is often an effective tool that lets you connect with potential employers and perhaps find that perfect job.
If you are looking to hire a large volume of employees, think about gravitating to reputable sites priced for companies that plan to list numerous positions. If posting a one-off specialized job, you may be better served using a more focused site.
Most job boards have more to offer than the ability to post jobs on their sites. In addition to a wide range of blogs and articles on recruiting and the human resources industry, they often provide searchable resume databases for a fee, along with posting enhancements, candidate spotlights, training, and more.
If you prefer to search for qualified candidates yourself, consider using sites with searchable databases. While surveys show that most hires still occur when someone submits an application, a recruiter can often pluck that perfect resume from the system and find a prime candidate.