Job Boards: When to Use Them, When to Lose Them

Posted on January 29, 2015. Filed under: Consulting/Contracting, Executive Job Search, International Job Seekers, Job Market Trends, Job Search Tips |

hr56Answer truthfully: Have you ever gotten a great job via a job board? Do you know anybody who has in the past 5 years?

If your answer to these questions is “no,” or “just one or two,” then you already know for yourself that the job board has faded as the job seeker’s best career-finding tool. The job hunt, like most other things these days, has been dramatically changed by technology. And — we know the truth may hurt here — the job board just isn’t up to par anymore.

Does this mean that you should throw job boards out the window?

No, but neither should you lean heavily on them if you’re serious about finding a job.

Studies show that 87 percent of Baby Boomers flock to job boards as their first course of action when finding a job, but that only between 2 and 12 percent of them actually find employment that way. This isn’t exactly what we’d call a favorable outcome. Why is this?

With major job boards, the number of applicants to any single posting can easily top 100 per day. As qualified as you may be for the position, the odds are simply stacked against you when there’s so much competition out there. Niche job boards like tend to work a little better, but your resume can still get lost in the mix when it comes to the really great opportunities.

So what should you do when you really need to find a new job? Diversify your search.

The 3-Pronged Approach

Perhaps the easiest way of recalibrating your job search is to take the 3-pronged approach: job boards, networking, and recruiters.

Job Boards

Job boards should be what you spend the least time and effort on. It’s a baseline approach that has the benefit of working for you 24/7 — but that’s only if it works at all.

Use Job Boards When:

  • You have a solid resume that uses the right keywords for your job —remember, human eyes don’t usually look at your resume until they’ve been filtered through by machines
  • You’ve found a niche job board that targets your specific specialty
  • You are already using at least one other job search method concurrently

Lose Job Boards When:

  • You know you’re overly dependent on them
  • They are your first course of action in your job search
  • They haven’t worked for you in the past

Networking & Recruiters

Allocate the bulk of your job hunt resources to networking and speaking with recruiters. These days, you can network and connect with recruiters online as easily as you can apply to a job on a job board. Try leveraging LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook to see how you can connect with real people who have decision-making power when it comes to jobs.

You don’t have to let go of the job board completely, but if you want to find a job, you need to cast a wider net. While it may seem like more effort to network and connect with recruiters, oftentimes, it’s less work than you’d spend sending resume after resume into the void.

Give the 3-pronged approach a try. And if you need help getting started, give us a call. We’d love to help!



About Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (June 2015). Contact Stephen directly at or send him an invite at To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You?

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