How to use Job Boards / Websites effectively

Planning job seeking activity and getting a new job - useful blogs

Doing a job search can be both exhilarating and frustrating but, if you make a plan and stick to it, you will succeed. Job Boards offer an obvious ‘route to market’, but they need to be used effectively. The competition is fierce and you have to be able to stand out if you’re ever going to get to interview. We look at ways in which to do that…

There could be any number of reasons why you want or need to approach the job market and they might include dissatisfaction with your current role, a wish to progress or, possibly, redundancy. It has been said that finding a job when you’re employed is easier than if you’re unemployed. Well that’s only partly true and based on the perception that someone who’s employed is more attractive than one who isn’t. These days a gap in a CV which can be easily explained should pose little problem. But then they also say that finding a new job is a job in itself, which may leave little time for someone who is fully employed to do so. Therefore, effective use of time is vital.

If you accept, then, that this is actually a ‘job’, you must treat it as such and using job boards to search for a role is an obvious route to market. You must create a plan of action, starting with identifying the sort of role you’re looking for and then applying your known skill set or brand to establish a ‘fit’. Create a schedule of daily activity that can be committed to paper, or an Excel spreadsheet, plan and determine your day's objectives and set goals. You can then keep track of what you’re doing and discover what works, and what doesn’t.

Job Boards are growing in popularity and the number of jobs available runs into the thousands. They say that every job posted will attract an average of 250 applications, so the process is also a highly competitive one! Consequently, you, your CV (and cover letter) must stand out. Carry out research on the relevant operation or department and then highlight the attributes you can offer attributes that fit most closely with their needs.

It’s unlikely that you’ll find your perfect job the first time you visit a job board but, used selectively, you can reduce the options and find ones that really interest you. There are many boards to choose from. With the range of jobs being almost limitless, you have to look at some that focus on your own area, and then narrow your search down to specifics - such as precise location and skill set. 

So don’t just type in job titles (such as “Administrator”); try skills or keywords too. That way you’ll find a broader range of opportunities, or you might even find a role that you haven’t thought of - and which suits your skills ideally.

This whole process does require some work and attention to detail, but it can help if you set up a ‘job alert’, highlighting your job criteria so that you will be contacted as soon as a match appears – and you can apply immediately. LinkedIn can be a good source for this, but the benefit is that you can spread your net over several ‘niche’ job boards that cater for your speciality. There is a vast range of opportunities and, as a route to market, job boards can be extremely effective.

The use of job boards to seek and secure a new role is obvious, and they have much to offer. However, simply clicking on roles that you think you ‘might’ like is both pointless and time-wasting. You have to apply the same level of care, research and enthusiasm to each role. 

  • Plan and set out your day's objectives
  • Keep a job search reminder list and track accomplishments
  • Build a schedule around your 'peak' time
  • Always add in a cover note, don't just send a CV

If you are prepared to do that, you will give yourself a much better chance of beating the competition and finding that ideal role.

Key Points

  • Ask yourself why you are looking for a new job
  • Think about what you are looking for
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses
  • Do your initial research
  • Set aside time to do the search
  • Set measurable goals
  • Choose niche job boards
  • Set job alerts

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