8 Tips For Job Boards (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

Did you know that less than 10% of all jobs are filled through job boards?  In fact, some reports estimate that less than 3-5% of all jobs are filled through them!  These numbers shocked me the first time I heard them. 

As I’ve discussed previously, networking is the best way to get your dream job for a variety of reasons.  However, if you insist on using job boards as part of your job search, here are 8 tips to improve your chances of success:

1. Use niche job boards instead of major job boards like Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com or Hotjobs.com.  You’ll save time screening out irrelevant jobs, and companies using niche sites are usually more serious about hiring people online.  For instance, if you want to work in sports, a simple google search would help you find teamworkonline.com, workinsports.com, and jobsinsports.com.

2. Manage your expectations.  Advertised jobs have a ton of competition.  They are also not always monitored and not updated quickly after jobs are filled, and sometimes they are simply used as a way to gather resumes for future positions that are not available now!  Be prepared for a lot of rejections and very few favorable responses.

3. Monitor your time carefully.  It is easy to waste a lot of time online during a job search.  If you plan to spend time on a job board, sit down with a stopwatch next to your computer during each sitting, and discipline yourself to use the web site for a predetermined period of time (i.e. 30 minutes).

4. Do not apply if the employer’s name is not provided.  If you cannot see who the company is, how you can be sure you even want to work for them?  How can you see if you have an “in” to the company?  How can you craft a personalized cover letter?  How can you follow-up if you do not receive a response to your application?  It’s just not worth the time to apply unless you can see the company’s name. 

5. Apply to a specific person.  If the job does not list a specific hiring person, try to find the hiring person through your network or through contacting someone at the company directly.  Otherwise, do not bother applying.  Your resume will end up in a “black hole” if you do not get it to a specific person.  Without a specific contact, you also cannot follow-up on your application.

6. Follow-up on your application immediately.  Make direct contact (ideally by phone) with the hiring person immediately after you apply for the job.  He/she might be receiving hundreds of resumes, so you need to find a way to differentiate yourself. A short conversation or a brief voicemail with a 15-20 second pitch can serve as a mini phone-interview.  This effort also demonstrates confidence, initiative, and passion, 3 traits every employer wants.

7. Include a well-written, highly targeted cover letter where you sell yourself and how you can make the company better.  Employers hire people who really believe in the company’s mission and people who have proven that they can solve a specific problem for a company.  If you are applying for a job online, and it does not let you include a cover letter, then send one separately with another copy of your resume after you have applied online.

8. Look for a referral to the hiring decision-maker.  Always try to leverage your personal contacts in order to get an endorsement to the hiring person.  This is a great way to differentiate yourself from a crowd of applicants.

Statistics and logic show that applying for jobs advertised on online boards is among the worst ways to look for jobs.  However, if you find ways to differentiate yourself, you can dramatically increase your chances for success online!

-Pete Leibman

Career Expert and President of Idealize Enterprises





P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability, please email me at Pete@IdealizeNow.com.

Explore posts in the same categories: Get Your Dream Job NOW, Job Search Made Easy

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