Job boards are big business and the first place many people look in their search for their next job. They are a natural place to start because they (allegedly) bring companies and talent together. But do they really work?
In this article, we’ll start with some quick data points, then discuss the pros and cons of job boards, and finish up with three simple tips you can do to find your next job faster.
Job Boards: the Data Says…
Before we dig into whether job boards, like Indeed, Monster, and FlexJobs, really work, let’s set the scene with some real data.
Here are some job search statistics to help you see the bigger picture:
- 60% of jobs are found through networking, not through job sites.
- 75% of resumes are rejected before a human ever sees them.
- A referral makes a candidate 85x more likely to be hired.
While these statistics might seem to point to the demise of job boards, there is one more thing to consider:
Whatever else we say, we can know that job boards are still a big part of many people’s job searches.
The Good Things About Job Boards
Job boards have some advantages over other forms of search. There are three primary reasons to use a job board:
- Number of openings you can search
- Speed of application
- Niche job boards for specialisms
Let’s add a little more detail to each of these advantages before we talk about some of the negative points of job boards.
Search thousands of job openings in one session
Without a doubt, the job search feels like a numbers game. If you apply for enough jobs, you will get hired. That’s one strength of job boards. There are thousands of job postings online at any given moment. While writing this article, I did a quick search for “writer” jobs on one job board and saw 4000+ postings.
Apply for job openings really fast
Once you’ve created your resume, many job boards let you upload it. Then, you can send it instantly to jobs you’re interested in. If you are good with your cover letter templates, you can apply for five or six jobs while having your morning coffee.
Find a job in your specialism easier
If you’re a specialist, you can find a niche job board. This makes scanning new opportunities even easier and probably increases the quality of jobs you will see. Sites like ConstructionJobs, HealthcareJobSite, and Idealist.org cater to specific job types and offer some really good postings.
The Bad Things About Job Boards
Of course, there are disadvantages to job boards as well. There are valid reasons why people avoid them. Let’s look at the top three disadvantages of job boards before we give you some solid tips for making your job search more successful.
The competition is fierce for most posts
While 50% of jobs are currently filled through job boards, only about 1% of applicants on job boards get hired. That’s because the number of applications is truly staggering. Some positions can receive hundreds of applications on the first day they are posted.
It is hard to judge the quality of an opportunity
A job posting doesn’t always tell you much about the company you could be working for. Is the boss a jerk? Does the company have a high turnover? Job boards can supply you with a very incomplete picture of the company you apply to work for. This could lead to wasting time on poor jobs or even taking a job that turns out to be a big mistake.
You aren’t really pushing to do networking
Referrals and networking are still the highest percentage ways of finding a job. It really is often about who you know. Some people fall into the trap of hiding behind the job board. They just send out four applications a day and never really push to get in front of a person.
How to Find a Job in 2023
Now that we’ve filled you in on the pros and cons of job boards, it’s time to turn our attention to helpful tips that will get you hired. Let’s get into it.
Find the hiring manager
Once you’ve spotted a job, find the hiring manager. LinkedIn might be your best tool here, although many companies also list their personnel on their website. About 19% of the people who apply to the hiring manager get hired, so this is a very effective method.
Plan for the ATS
Applicant tracking systems use algorithms to sort out irrelevant and unqualified candidates. Go over your resume and application. Try to find and include keywords relevant to the job you are applying for. This should help you get past the algorithm sentries.
Always use a cover letter
Don’t ever send a job application or resume without a cover letter. Customize your cover letter to match the job you are applying for. Include details about the job, your related experience, and the name of the hiring manager if you have found it.
41 Days to Success
The average job search takes 41 days. You can find a job this fast! The key is to make searching for jobs a job in itself. Once you’ve tracked down your ideal job openings, you can use a free tool like Indy’s Proposals to pitch clients. Keep a list of the jobs you have applied to, the name of the hiring manager, and the results.
If you keep sending relevant applications with good cover letters to the right hiring managers, you are going to land your dream job in no time.