3 Reasons Why Job Boards Could Hinder Your Search

A job seeker shows frustration over a posting on a job board.

At one time, job boards were the way to go for job seekers. It's where you could post your resume for employers and recruiters to view, and apply to job openings.

But today, it's a different story.

The modern-day job search has changed, and finding your dream job is about personal branding and leveraging your professional network.

Think about if you were a hiring manager. Would you be more likely to take time to interview a candidate you don't know except for what's been given on a submitted cover letter and resume, or someone who's been referred to you? A referral has much less risk, and that's why networking has a higher success rate than job boards when it comes to securing a position.

This doesn't mean that job boards are dead because there are plenty of niche job boards worth going to as a job seeker. But you can't build an effective job search strategy around applying for jobs on job boards.

Here are a few other things about the limitations of using job boards when you're a job seeker:

Recruiters May Never See Your Cover Letter And Resume

Just because you apply for a job on a job board, doesn't mean an actual person will ever look at your cover letter and resume.

More than 85% of companies are now using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to review and rank resumes according to skills, experience, and keywords. The simple fact is that companies use internal algorithms, so ensuring a strong ranking is extremely difficult. A recent HR manager told me that they get an average of 400 resumes for each position and only look at the top 10-20—meaning 380 resumes are not even reviewed.

In many instances, before a job posting goes up on the job board, it's already been shared around internally at the employer and by trusted sources. So, it's likely hundreds applied before the posting even made it to the job board.

Many Job Openings Don't Get Posted To Job Boards

Some job postings don't make it to job boards, but stay internal.


Big job boards can be overwhelming with job postings (both relevant and irrelevant) to you. This is a similar perspective for the employer when they get an overwhelming number of applicants for the job opening posted to a job board.

It's also reason why some may prefer to work solely with recruiters or find other means to source the right talent. If you're not networking with the right contacts, you're missing out on opportunities that will never be found on job boards.

Recruiters Have More Resources To Find Talent

Recruiters have many resources beyond job boards to find talent for open positions.


Recruiters and hiring managers have professional networks too! Whether it's a professional acquaintance, or reaching out to their own workforce, they can put together a list of potential candidates before even posting a job.

In addition, many recruiters also use LinkedIn to find talent.

Resumes that get posted to job boards are still viewed, but there's a good chance the information is outdated, which is one reason why hiring managers and recruiters are relying more on LinkedIn where information is generally more current.

Networking is the answer!

The best way to get a job is to put together a bucket list of companies that you want to work for and network your way onto that company's radar before they even post a job opening.

However, if you do want to apply for a job that you come across on a job board, make sure you go the extra mile to get past the ATS. Instead of applying to the link on the job board, do some research and find out who the hiring manager is, and take steps to get your updated cover letter and resume in front of them.

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This post was originally published at an earlier date.