Wasting hours scrolling through seemingly endless lists of job postings – just to find a single opportunity?
You’re smart. Instead of plunging blindly into a massive job board, you’re doing your homework – because you know that a little bit of knowledge goes a long way when you’re looking for work.
Your first assignment? Read this post. It’ll help you use job boards the right way, to make your online job search simpler, quicker and more successful:
Expert tips for using job boards
- Skip the “dumping grounds.” Massive sites like Monster boast millions of jobs, but seriously – how many of those are actually right for your skills, experience, desired geography and other needs? The fact is, the more jobs a board or aggregator has, the tougher it can be to find relevant postings. Instead of defaulting to one of the big boards, do a little recon. Search for job boards that are specific to your field or desired location.
- Take a systematic approach. Without a clear plan of attack, you’re likely to get sucked into a tangled web, wasting time trolling irrelevant postings. So before you click that magnifying-glass icon:
- Make a list of search terms. For example, a receptionist job could be listed in several different ways. To conduct a thorough search, your should include terms like “receptionist,” “reception,” “administrative,” “office,” and “front desk.” In addition to job title variations, make lists of relevant skill, job duty and experience keywords to search.
- Systematically test different combinations. Experiment with different combinations and variations of search strings to uncover assignments or jobs that may be “buried.” A slight adjustment in wording can yield surprisingly different results.
- Focus on new listings. Nothing’s more frustrating than finding the perfect opportunity – and then learning that it’s been gathering dust for months on a job board (um, is the job even still available – and if so, exactly why has it been open for that long?). Use the job board’s functionality to sort jobs by date posted, paying attention to those that have been listed within the past few weeks.
- Leverage the job board’s search filters. Good job boards have tools that help you customize your search and greatly increase your efficiency. Here are a few useful filters to refine your results:
- Position / Job Title
- Company Size (Note: if you’re motivated to find work, don’t let the size of a company automatically rule a job out.)
- Set up alerts. Worried that a new listing will pop up moments after you leave a job board? Take advantage of a job board’s “job alert” feature, so you’re instantly notified when a great new opportunity becomes available.
- Be ready to strike. To maximize your chances of getting a call, make sure your resume is properly formatted to “play nicely” with the job board’s upload function. Read the instructions and requirements carefully, to ensure your resume is compatible with the job board’s technology.