Job boards can be an integral part of your job search. Job boards are quite simply a collection of job openings gathered together in one place. Human resource professionals often recommend following the 10-20-70 rule. Only spend about 10% of your job search time responding to online ads and job boards, 20% of your time interacting with recruiters, and 70% to in-person, phone, and online networking. Building relationships is always the best way to open doors. Sometimes, however, you have to start cold, and job boards can get your feet in the door.
Know Where to Look
There are the mega job boards that are broad-based sites for all industries like Monster and SimplyHired, and there are job boards specifically targeting your niche field such as HospitalRecruiting.com for the healthcare field. Obviously, the more targeted your search, the more likely you are to find the job that meets your expectations. Targeted boards often list positions that don’t appear on some of the larger, more general boards.
Maximize Your Inbox
Most job boards give you the opportunity to sign up for email alerts when a job pops up that meets your criteria so you don’t have to check each board multiple times a day. Make sure you can narrow down your search specifics so you aren’t bombarded with emails for jobs in which you aren’t interested. You are having these sent to your personal email address and not a work address, of course.
Request a Meeting
Some job board listings are blind and give you virtually no information on the company or the recruiter. If the job board listing includes information on the recruiter, send a personalized letter requesting a phone call to talk about your qualifications and what you have to offer him or her. You might not be a candidate for the job opening that’s posted, but you might be for the job that just came across his or her desk that isn’t even posted yet.
Key Words Matter
The problem with job boards is that they are so easy to use that companies often get inundated with resumes. One way that companies weed through the slush pile is to do automated searches for key words in resumes. Make sure your resume stands out by using key words in your resume. Start by using the specific language mentioned in the posting regarding requirements.
Customize your Application
Even when you are applying online through a job board, you should have several different versions of your resume, cover letter, and personal statement that are customized for several different types of positions.
Phone a Friend
Search for someone you know who works for the company to which you are applying. Your goal is to find someone who can introduce you. You’ve been building your LinkedIn profile, of course, and should have a few hundred contacts already listed, but other social media accounts may be helpful as well. This is why spending time building a strong network pool is critical. If you don’t have a connection, see if you can make one. Ask what you have to do to apply as a referred candidate.
Post Your Resume
It’s a long shot, but most job boards offer an opportunity to post your resume to allow recruiters to browse through potential candidates. It’s not ideal, because your resume is liable to be too broad and not targeted for specific positions, but it won’t hurt to have it out there. Just make sure it’s perfect and free from spelling and grammatical errors. Of course, if you are currently employed, posting your resume is asking for trouble, so don’t do so unless you are ready for your current employer to know you are on the prowl. Consider only posting on boards that give you the opportunity to conceal your name and/or contact information.