Recommended Job Boards
Whether for research or for application, some job boards rise above the rest for ease of use, reputation, and information shared.
LinkedIn came to the top because of what they now share with applicants on the site’s Jobs tab. As of this writing, some features are:
- Seeing who at the company has posted the job (with a link to their LinkedIn page!)
- Viewing the top 10 skills the job poster says are needed for the job, and how your skills (in your profile under Skills & Endorsements) compare. This is huge!
- LinkedIn is always on that list because of its global reach.
- Volume of jobs that are posted on LinkedIn coupled with the fact that recruiters favor the platform.
As an aggregator, Indeed collects descriptions from many other sources such as company websites and other job boards. The upside of this approach is that it provides a lot of jobs in one place and offers email notifications when a candidate’s profile matches a job description.
It also excels because:
- It keeps track of candidates searches, so you can look at them again.
- It gives relatively realistic estimates of salary levels; until American companies list salaries in their job postings like many European companies do, this may be the best available.
- It gives reviews of the company by current and former employees.
- It links to company sites.
Professional Association Boards/Niche Boards
Another way to increase your chances of selection is to apply to jobs posted on professional association job boards. National and local chapter job boards list positions only for their members, which means less competition.
Jobseekers can also access niche job boards in their area of interest to further streamline the job search process. For example, DICE.com (Technology), Constructionjobs.com (construction jobs), idealist.org or charityvillage.com (non-profits), or Workhoppers (Freelancers).
If you have a specific career goal in mind, try an industry-focused job board. Employers and recruiters rely on such platforms to find qualified candidates who know what they are looking for in a career. For example, www.careersinfood.com lists all kinds of jobs for professionals in the food and beverage industry. It offers a variety of great tools for job seekers to find the right company or the right opportunity. iHire also has 56 industry-specific talent communities—from iHireDental to iHireConstruction and beyond—that connect job seekers with employers more efficiently.
If you are a college senior or recent grad, check your college’s job board if they have one (check the Career Center page). They’ll likely learn the recruiter’s name. In both cases, they’ll have much less competition than you see on the “big” boards and may even have more network connections.
Alternatives to Online Job Boards
The old adage is still true—it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Begin networking! A job application through a website is not enough, even with your genius resume! You still must find contacts in the company you are applying with and cultivate relationships to support your application. Because of the short timelines in many application processes, this strategy is less effective when used with an application than when used without an application, before a job is listed.
Association job boards also have another advantage over advertised job listings. You can use member directories to find members of the organization in order to research their challenges, goals, and culture before you apply and interview. In the process, you may also find positions that are not advertised. These “hidden” jobs comprise about 75% of the job openings and are your best bet for locating great positions with little or no competition.
It’s also recommended for you to apply to jobs using the company websites rather than job boards. When a job seeker applies through a job board, he/she needs to establish a connection with the employer or key decision-maker beforehand through LinkedIn, in person, follow-up, or via referrals.
Networking serves as a key piece in job searching along with showcasing compelling brand marketing collateral. Through networking, you may learn about leads that haven’t been published and this may lead to getting nominated by company insiders for those jobs.
The objective for this tip sheet wasn’t to put you on either side of a job board love/hate spectrum, but rather to encourage you to see the angles at which you can approach these online portals with some hope of return on investment.
Ruling job boards out altogether may or may not be your best solution. Just as a resume needs to be targeted to each job description, your approach to job boards should be targeted towards your needs.
Whether you avoid job boards or not, being educated in the pros and cons of the resources available will help you as you work to secure a job in today’s fast-paced job market.
Still Have Questions?
Let’s stay in touch! If you have questions about how to successfully leverage job boards during your job search, please connect via LinkedIn and send me a message!