Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Lure of the Job Boards

Ready for a busy day of job searching? Just boot up that computer and get started on the online job boards. After all, there are several hundred jobs to search in your industry and you can crank out those applications until about noon when you decide to take a well-deserved break for lunch. I'm sure there's someone at the other end just waiting for your resume to grace their inbox!

OK, by now you've sensed my sarcasm. I've written about this topic before, but I continue to meet people who are lured by the leads on the job boards and convinced that if they just continue to scroll down the list, their dream job will appear. If only it were that easy!

I'm convinced that people are enticed by the boards for one of these reasons:
  1. Using the boards makes them feel like they are productively searching.
  2. The boards give them some level of control over their search and don't force them to step outside their comfort zone.
  3. People are eternal optimists and are confident that with all those jobs, there must be something that is right for them.
The truth is that less than 5% of people in search find their jobs from the job boards and you can check out Nick Corcodilos' article on the reality of the boards and the abysmal sourcing statistics for some of the big boards.

Job search is sometimes uncomfortable and even messy, but it can also represent an enormous period of personal and professional growth. But to be successful, you have to be willing to dip your toe in the water, take some risks, and most importantly, take some responsibility for your own career management.

So step away from the computer and get out and meet people through affinity groups such as professional organizations, alumni groups, community events, and places of worship. The chances of building relationships with people you know or new people you meet through others and then leveraging those relationships to find job leads is far greater than the odds of finding your next job through the boards.

Labels: ,


  • I sort of found my job through a job board. I posted my resume on one of the big ones. The same day a recruiter called about a job. That one didn't work out but about 6 months later... he called me back about another one that did work out.

    So is that a job board success story?

    I mean mostly I'd prefer to not apply for jobs, but it never hurts to be visible where the headhunters may be looking.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:52 PM  

  • Yes, I think that is a job board success story! I'm not saying that you should never look at the job boards, but rather you should be prudent about the amount of time you spend on them because the general return on your investment is minimal. If you are going to use the boards, take advantage of some of the tools available to streamline the process such as job alerts or use an aggregate board like Simply Hired or Indeed so you can source openings posted across multiple boards at one time.

    By Blogger Barbara Safani, at 1:32 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home