Job Boards for Research and Strategy
Whether or not various resume writers and career coaches like job boards, there is an overwhelming consensus that they are useful for job research and resume writing strategy.
Research for Jobseekers
Conducting research online fuels the career planning and decision-making process for many job seekers.
To identify companies that are hiring in certain sectors and locations, find the top-recommended employers via reviews, discover in-demand jobs and skills, identify different titles that match your skills and explore growing industries.
What are the pros? Searching for jobs online can sometimes lead to uncovering more career-related ideas/ possibilities and identifying a broader range of opportunities where you can apply your unique combination of skills and experience to solve problems in an organization. You can then gather data to strategize your job hunt; e.g, building up a network, using social media, researching company websites, or seeking other means such as volunteerism, committee work, or referrals to get your foot in the door.
You can also find salary reviews for certain roles to see pay scales, which can help in the negotiation process.
Job Boards for Job Search
As you have read in the responses above, not all job boards are created equal and should not be the basis of your job search. However, how you go about your job search is ultimately up to you. Read on to learn effective strategy tips for conducting an online job search.
Research for Jobseekers
Whether you use job boards or not, it’s important to create an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) -formatted resume.
Resumes posted to jobs on job boards or uploaded to job boards, must pass through ATS screening.
The first test is the format. Most resume templates use text boxes and tables that cannot be read by ATS. Professionally written, ATS-friendly resumes are formatted properly and use keywords that ATS screens for so that they will have a higher chance of being read by a human being.
The second test is content. It’s important your resume includes rich, relevant language to demonstrate that you are a good fit for the position. Customize the resume and cover letter to each position because each company and department uses different criteria and keywords, even if the job title is the same.
Despite having the option to use the resume that is already on file, customize each application for every position you are applying to and tailor the achievements to support the targeted role.
To beef up the relevant keywords, one respondent experimented with adding a ‘Snapshot of skills applied’ within each position a client held with a brief list of the primary hard skills that were important for the role. This has been done in lieu of a ‘core competencies’ or ‘areas of expertise’ section that normally gets included at the top of the first page.
Job boards are not as effortless as they appear to be; however, many job boards do give candidates the option to set up alerts if relevant opportunities are posted—set these up to be an early applicant!
Set Up Alerts
It is important to keep in mind that without establishing a clear set of parameters your inbox will be flooded with useless notifications. Search criteria should include job titles, industry, geographical radius, and salary range, so you may need to tweak these until the algorithm is aligned with your target roles.
It is becoming more apparent that text messaging is playing an ever-increasing role in the modern job search. With the end goal being to make it as easy as possible for recruiters to contact you, be sure to include text as an available option.
Create a System for Tracking
If you are planning on setting up a job board, be systematic about it. Track your movements online in order to stay organized. By keeping a simple spreadsheet, you can stay on top of your applications and progress. Here are some components to track to avoid confusion and frustration:
- Company Name
- Title / Reference Number
- Job Description (copied into the individual cell or linked tab or document)
- Job Board Used
- Application Date / Closing Date / Hiring Date
- Name of Resume / Cover Letter Used
- Point of Contact with Contact Information (if known)
- Date of Contact / Phone Interviews / In-Person Interviews
The hiring process can move at a snail’s pace, but if you are called for an interview a month after applying, you’ll be better prepared through this process.
Another trick is to track down the hiring manager and contact them directly. This will often require some investigative work, but through a combination of Googling, reviewing company websites, and running filtered LinkedIn searches you can usually pinpoint the person with hiring authority.
It’s a good idea to find your targeted contact’s email with a free email hacking tool. After applying, you can send an email to the manager to let them know how interested and excited you are about the position. Mentioning one or two of your most notable accomplishments is a great way to entice them, and of course, if they share any common ground or mutual connections this can be mentioned to establish familiarity. If the hiring manager is impressed, they can have HR flag the resume for an interview or line a meeting up directly.
Avoid the Time Suck
Statistics have shown that only 2% to 3% of jobs are filled through job boards. This is because candidates are competing with hundreds of people. Some advertised jobs are already filled but the organization is required to advertise, and some employers are simply doing market research about the candidate pool.
Don’t get sucked down the job board black hole. Job boards shouldn’t take up more than 25- 30% of a professional’s job search. Blue-collar candidates may find sites like Indeed to be the easiest way, however. But again, it still shouldn’t exceed more than 40% of time spent job searching.