Job Posting Sites: Are They on Their Way Out?

Posted on January 30, 2009. Filed under: Job Search Tips | Tags: , , , , |

It seems hard to believe with the plethora of job boards out there and the dirge of them that seem to pop up daily that the actual existence of these sites could be called in to question.

But called into question they should be. After all with an effectiveness rate of, at best, only 4%, it is hard to fathom the mass hysteria that seems to surround them. Job seekers can’t seem to get enough of them, and companies can’t seem to stop giving them thousands of dollars each year.

I have to say that, on the face of it, it is somewhat of a head-scratcher.

Or is it?

There is no doubt that the apparent ease with which the progress of the Internet has made to our lives in many ways is certainly attractive when it comes to the arduous, at best, task of conducting a job search. Who doesn’t love the idea that he or she could just upload a resume, have a company read it, and the phone magically start ringing? The hope, and more importantly, the seeming ease of it all are certainly an easy sell.

The reality, however, is that, despite the intent to make hiring more effective and job seeking more simple, they seem to have accomplished the exact opposite: further alienating prospective employers from prospective job seekers.

Think about it. Job seekers are shunned from calling employers, even their HR departments, which are partly in place to assist with the hiring process. Forget trying to speak with an actual hiring manager. Banned from even touching resumes that haven’t gone through the ritual HR cleansing, he or she is like some mystery figure that only comes out after candidates have been prescreened, screened, and rescreened.

Sometimes candidates are even kept in the dark about to which company they are actually applying, only to be revealed at the last possible second (and then companies wonder, “why doesn’t the candidate seem to know much about us?”).

And don’t even get me started about the resume black holes in which resume after resume just keeps going in. I mean, what are companies doing with all those resumes?

Yet, despite all that, these job boards seem to continue and, even more, thrive. So what should a job seeker do? First of all, get informed! Know what job search tactics work the best and what don’t. Take the time to develop a job search strategy that outlines how you will spend your time and resources. Second, get off the Internet and network more. Repeatedly, statistics continue to show that both employers and job seekers find networking to be the most effective way of connecting. Third, partner with other job seekers, who can align with you to help one another. Look for group job hunting opportunities, both online and in your geographic area.

Finally, stop looking for the easy way out. When it comes to job searching, history shows us that there just isn’t one. Of course, we all hear the stories. And we certainly should have hope. But we should also be realistic. A job search requires action, lots of it. So upload your resume onto some job board if you must, but don’t let that be the breadth and depth of it!

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3 Responses to “Job Posting Sites: Are They on Their Way Out?”

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I go to my local career office and all they can offer as help is to say we have job listings online. Look there. Then you look at an online state job site and all it is is a compilation of listings from various job board sites and newspaper site. You apply through these and you are just a number. Why bother to have these career centers if that is all they offer?

Thanks for the comment, Deb. I can understand your frustration as I have worked with several clients who have shared it. I look at it this way. These career centers are just one avenue for finding employment, but there are others. So if you take them for what they are, one option, then you don’t put all your eggs in that basket.

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