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Web Job Boards Safely and Effectively
Using the evaluation criteria and techniques you learned in Choosing
a Job Site, now start your search at Web job boards.
SERVICES ARE BEST?
Many job board services
are very useful. Some are not. Some are dangerous! Our opinions on
the most common services offered:
1. Resume distribution services. DON'T!!
a fee paid by you, these services will distribute your
resume to hundreds of Web job boards or recruiters (?)
to help you jump start your job search.
use these services! You have no idea who will receive
your resume or what they will do with it, and you have
no way of recovering it when your search is over!
takes time and effort, but you should be customizing your
resume to fit the opportunity and/or the employer. That's
the most effective way to apply for a job with a resume.]
of these services collect money from you for generating
unwanted e-mail or populating the resume databases of
needy job boards, and it can sabotage your job search.
This is not a short cut! It's a potential disaster,
particularly if you still have a job.
employers and independent recruiters/staffing firms post
job openings on job boards. Some job boards try to offer
you the capability to limit your search to only find job
postings made by employers (and ignore those made by recruiters).
It's a good option to choose, if offered.
Usually jobs posted directly by employers are the best
ones to pursue because your "cost of hire" will
be less than if you are referred to the employer by a
recruiter (who is paid a commission by the employer for
sending the "winning" applicant). Even in good
economic times, smart companies pay attention to the bottom
line. They would rather not pay a recruiter's commission
if another potential employee approached them directly
and is, therefore, less expensive to hire, even if both
would be paid exactly the same salary. The difference
in "cost of hire" is the finders' fee (commission)
paid to the recruiter.
Particularly in the very highly paid jobs (executive
and top line management), the mere existence of the
job opportunity may be confidential - the employer
doesn't want the competition, the media, the internal
organization, and/or (sometimes) the existing job
holder to know that the opportunity exists or will
soon exist. So boards which cater to this end of the
employment food chain may not have many jobs posted
openly by employers. These openings are usually handled
by retained executive recruiters. Regardless of whether
or not a job is filled - they are paid to provide
a pipeline of qualified candidates, who are typically
very difficult to find.
you are a top-level executive, these retained executive
recruiters are the recruiters you want to know. Unfortunately,
the retained recruiters rarely, if ever, post their
jobs anywhere except, in some instances, on their
own Web site. They almost never use the commercial
boards. For a list of executive recruiters, visit RiteSite,
from John Lucht author of Rites
of Passage at $100,000 to $1 Million +.
vast majority of executive-level jobs you see on commercial
boards are posted by contingency recruiters (paid only
if someone they identify is hired). If you make yourself
known to the employer directly (via employer Web site,
networking, or direct mail) the employer owes no fee
to a contingency recruiter, and you may have an edge
over contingency recruiter candidates who will cost
the employer about 33% of a year's salary as an employment
job postings? Job postings are a primary source of
revenue for most job boards. So, be a little wary of a
job site which offers "free job postings" to
all employers. We now know that even a "dot com"
needs to make money, so where's the revenue coming from?
It's coming either from the applicants who are charged
for access to the jobs, from the employers/recruiters
who pay for "premium placement" in search results, or from selling access to information about the job seekers and other visitors.
None of those options are particularly good for job hunters.
As in the traditional ("off-line") world, some
advertised jobs don't actually exist. This can be for several reasons:
- Perhaps, the job was filled but the job posting was left up until it expires.
- Perhaps the employer or an independent recruiter was testing to see if anyone would be interested and/or available.
- A recruiter may feel the
need to make their applicant pool more robust in specific
- Someone may have made a simple mistake.
- It could be a scam. Scams are a growing problem. Read Job-Hunt's Job Search Scams article for more information..
be discouraged, but DO be careful!
you have identified a job that interests you, most boards
offer the ability for you to apply for the job on-line,
usually with a resume that you already have stored at
the site (be sure to read #4 below before storing that
resume!). This one-click application can be a quick and
convenient way for you to apply for a job, but there is
definitely a downside.
this application as a resume submission because that's
what it is. And, the most effective way to apply for a
job is to customize your resume to that specific job,
emphasizing the experiences in your background that map
most closely to the job's requirements.
it is often more effective, although slower and less convenient,
to complete a form for each job using text you have developed
specifically for that opportunity or to submit a customized
boards offer you the ability to store several different
variations of your resume, presumably emphasizing different
skills and experiences you have (see #4 below), and this
can help mitigate the effect of trying to use one "generic"
resume for all jobs.
are the boards that provide you with an ability to contact
the recruiter or employer directly. When such information
is provided, be sure that you use it! Follow up directly
with the employer (send an e-mail, call, FAX your resume
directly to the HR department or to the hiring manager,
etc.), particularly when you seem to meet all of the job's
requirements and are very interested in the position.
Posting Your Resume
very careful when posting your resume on any site! This can be the proverbial double-edged sword for
the job seeker, particularly if that job seeker is employed and has a job to protect! If you are familiar with Job-Hunt, then
you know we are very concerned with the collection and
use of the highly personal and confidential information
contained on a resume. (See Protecting
Your Privacy and Cyber-Safe
Resume for tips on doing an online job search while
protecting your job, if you have one, and your identity.)
job boards offer job seekers the opportunity to input their
resume (sometimes more than one version) into the job board's resume/applicant
database. Typically, selling employers access to the this
database is a major source of revenue for job boards.
"confidentiality" or "anonymity" ?
REQUIRED! Only use boards that provide you
with a method for you to conceal your identity (blocking
visibility to your name, address, and phone number, at
a minimum). Do not post your resume (or complete a
"profile") at a job board which does not allow you
to protect your contact information, no matter how
promising the site seems to be.
Maybe! Avoid any site which allows free searching
of the resume database unless you are provided a method
of concealing your identity! This is a major privacy risk
for everyone with a resume stored in that resume/applicant
database! At the very least, someone, hopefully a potential
employer, should have to pay a fee to see the resumes
stored on the site.
posting? Usually, yes. Few boards successfully charge applicants
for posting their resumes in the applicant database. Since charging
employers for access to resumes is typically a major source of revenue,
most boards don't put a barrier (collecting a fee, in this case) between
the job seeker and the applicant/resume database.
exception. Executive job boards are among the very
few that do successfully charge potential applicants
for the privilege of posting a resume in their resume
database. The reason -- because executive-level jobs
are seldom posted or advertised.
You still may not see many jobs posted, even on the
best executive boards, but you will hopefully be exposed
to the retained executive recruiters who have those
options. The best boards offer you several options
for your resume posting:
resume versions. The ability to store more than
one version of your resume so that you have "canned"
responses ready for use, depending on the opportunity
- a "management" version for the manager
openings, an "individual contributor" version
for those great non-manager jobs, a "medical"
version for the opportunities in the healthcare and
medical industries, etc. You can see how it might
be very handy to have different versions of your resume
readily available so that you can choose the one most
appropriate for a specific opportunity.
ability to send your resume in response to a job opportunity
with a single click of your mouse. However, your one-click
resume may not be the best one for every opportunity,
so use this service very sparingly.
must have the ability to edit and/or delete your resume
from the resume/applicant database. As you refine
and improve your resume, you need to be able to update
your posted resume. And, after you find a job, you
don't want that resume messing up your job security
or your future.
options. These options allow you to "market"
yourself (have your resume included in the applicant
database for employers to search) while protecting
your privacy. They include blocking certain employers
from viewing your resume (risky), blocking your contact
information from view (better), and more. It's a trade-off
between privacy and marketing yourself. We strongly
recommend protecting your
privacy as the best long-term strategy! For more information, read evaluating privacy policies.
The ability to see how many employers have viewed
your resume and contacted you (or not contacted
you). This information can help you see how "searchable"
your resume is (see Keyword
Resumes for more information on putting keywords
in your resume); how effective it is in marketing
your skills and experience; and the number of employers
visiting that site who are interested in someone with
your background and potential. Don't be too discouraged
if you don't get many "hits." It may be
the wrong job site for you. Or your may need to work
on your resume.
The ability to pay a fee for higher placement in an
employer's search results. This may be a waste of
your money. Placing higher up in the search ranking
won't result in a job offer if you are not qualified
for the opportunity.
boards offer an e-mail service to keep you informed about
new jobs added to their jobs database. When an appropriate
job appears in their database of jobs, this service will
e-mail you a notice of the addition or the actual description.
This can save you time and effort -- you don't have to
keep visiting the site to see if they have jobs for you.
It's usually a good idea to sign up for the service if
you can do it without compromising your privacy.
If you sign up, be sure to use your personal - NOT your work - email account for these email agents. If you have a job, your employer may be monitoring your email in the course of keeping track of what you do, so they will see these messages coming to you and know that you are job hunting.
boards offer you the ability to create several different
agents so that you can try different combinations of search
criteria, e.g. different key words, different locations,
to see that there is a process for you to use when you
want to end the service ("un-subscribe") so
that you can you can stop the mail when you get your new
job. Use a personal e-mail address not associated with your job, like a Gmail or HotMail account, and then
check it at least once a day.
the information in Keeping
Track of Your Job Search to manage your use of job boards.
About the author...
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff "graduate" who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 1998, her company, NETability, Inc. purchased Job-Hunt.org, and Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt since then. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+ , and follow JobHuntOrg on Facebook.