By J.T. O'Donnell Okay. Raise your hand if you've spent time looking for employment opportunities on websites in the last year. Well, that makes 99% of us, right? Pretty much. And I"m sure the experience can be described as 'tedious' - correct? Yep. I know. But, you know what is really fascinating? Job boards didn't even EXIST back when I graduated from school and started looking for work. (Ya, I"m THAT old.) So, while looking at numerous listings and getting a little bleary-eyed (since many don't apply to you or are bogus), keep in mind it's still easier then not knowing who's hiring at all. Additionally, I realize there are tons of job board options these days - it seems they come in all shapes and sizes. SO, here's the real question: Should you use one at all? Well, my answer is 'yes' - but which one you use depends on what you are looking to do and what you are willing to pay for. Here's why... Some job boards have the employer pay a fee to post their job opening (on average $500). Back when business was booming and talent was hard to find, these sites did really well - now, not so much. Others have the job seekers pay a fee (from $0-$3000+, depending on the services they offer). Those sites get all the action currently since the recession is in full swing and the market is flooded with talent looking for work. Which leads to my point... When it comes to paying for job leads, don't go crazy! You are paying for a service to find all the job openings that might pertain to you (there is no guarantee!) and present them to you in one place. That saves you some time for sure, but you must put a price on what you think that time-saving benefit is really worth. For example: You can decide to scour all the free sites yourself an several hours per night. Or, you could pay to have all ads presented to you for a fee, understanding that you are paying for convenience. Some companies, like EmploymentCrossing.com have been successful at streamlining this process for their subscribers on a monthly basis for under $30/month. Here's what some clients said about their service EmploymentCrossing Reviews. Others charge even more and because they find 'hidden jobs' or offer education services to help you get an employers attention. That said, know this: These services are most valuable when you realize their single greatest benefit is that they let you know who is hiring. Subscribing to one doesn't up your chances of getting hired. It just increases your awareness as to the kinds of jobs that are open and who might be interested in your skills. The heavy lifting of landing a job is still in your hands. So please, don't let a site convince you that they are going to land you a job or decrease the time it will take you to get a new postion. Those claims are false. However, if you are time-crunched and need to know about all posted career opportunities (keeping in mind that many jobs aren't posted online), then using a consolidated job listing board might be a worthwhile option for you to try. Looking for work is a time-c0nsuming process - so I'm all for ways to make it more efficient, even for a fee. But only if you know what you are paying for.
July 30, 2009