Job boards like Monster, CareerBuilder, Simply Hired, and Indeed, are immensely popular. Many job seekers use these as a primary search tool to find jobs to apply for. But is that where you need to be to get a job? Probably not. I would never advise you to cut off any possible source for job leads, but I would say that it’s important for you to search for a job in a smart, effective way, and job boards don’t really fit that bill.
Related: 5 Great Alternatives To Job Boards
Why aren’t job boards a smart move in your search?
Jobs listed on job boards are seen by everyone—which means that hundreds or even thousands of the people who’ve seen it have also applied for it. Now, your application will get swept up in the wave of all those others, which makes it all but impossible to stand out and get an interview. Furthermore, the HR departments who receive these applications winnow them down with keyword searches that only bring up a few resumes. If your resume isn’t letter-perfect with their chosen keywords, you lose out.
You only have to think of how many times you’ve filled out one of those online applications for those listings and how few times you’ve ever received an interview (or even a call), and you’ll agree that this may not be your best bet. A lot of job seekers are discouraged by this, and take it personally, but don’t. It isn’t you—it’s the system.
What are more effective ways to find a job than job boards?
It’s always going to be much more effective for you to find a job when you tap your network or contact hiring managers directly (find the name of the person who would be your boss, or your boss’s boss, in a company and contact them directly to introduce yourself). These are both far more direct paths to the person who can say, “Yes, I’d like to interview you,” and “Yes, I’d like to hire you.” Networking has long been considered one of the best ways to find a job, and contacting the hiring manager is a form of that.
A better use for job boards.
If you search through listed jobs and their accompanying descriptions, you’ll see the key words that various companies are using to describe job requirements that you can use on your resume. For example, Six Sigma, Kaizen, Lean, and continuous improvement all describe a similar skill set. If you have one of those listed on your resume but a company asks for a certain one, you may be able to reword your resume to include that word. (Never say anything dishonest on your resume.)
When is it OK to apply for a job you see on a job board?
In my opinion, the only time it may be reasonable to apply for a job-board posted job is when you are absolutely, 100% perfect for that job (according to their listed requirements). Otherwise, it may just be a waste of time.
*Find out how to find hidden jobs and get interviews by contacting hiring managers, and find a job fast.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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