Secrets of Job Hunting in a Post-Job Board World

Last Updated Feb 24, 2011 4:27 AM EST

Job Search: Why Job Boards Are a Waste of TimeAs BNET's sister site MoneyWatch pointed out recently, in a climate where it takes the average job hunter more than seven months to find their next position, big job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder are of only limited use. The post's author Eilene Zimmerman writes:
Forget CareerBuilder, HotJobs, and all the other mass job sites. While these boards seem like a good place to start, how many people do you know who actually found a job that way? Even hiring managers don't want to sort through the hundreds and hundreds of resumes they get for each position they list on these sites, so they're increasingly turning to industry-specific job portals, says Debra Yergen, author of Creating Job Security.
And Zimmerman isn't the only person pointing out that job boards are often a waste of time. Everyone from the WSJ to Ask the Headhunter's Nick Corcodolis has written posts advising that there are probably more productive ways to spend most of your job search hours. But if job boards are on the wane, how are companies and recruiters finding people to hire? And how can you best position yourself to be found?

Writing on recruiting blog Fistful of Talent recently, Kelly Dingee, a "professional stalker" with Staffing Advisors, lets the cat out of the bag and offers up seven things employers should tell job seekers about how to get considered. Dingee isn't convinced job boards are totally over saying, "there will be people looking for you on there. At least for a little while longer." But overall Dingee agrees with consensus opinion that too much time on job boards isn't productive and offers tips to help you get hired in a post-job board world, including old standbys like networking -- "Find someone who works at your targeted company who can pass your resume along" -- as well as less well known advice:
Make yourself findable first. Google yourself right now. Did your LinkedIn profile come up? No? Build one, make it public. If you have a preferred method of contact, note it. Use inmails. Use a separate email.

Make yourself even more findable. Post your resume, or your bio, or whatever you want to call it. Use Posterous, use WordPress, use a .me site, use doctoc or slideshare... use something.

Make sure when you build those profiles you use every keyword that applies to you. I like to say I'm a researcher but my title is Strategic Recruiting Manager... and if I was anticipating a job hunt and tweaking my profile I'd make sure every word related to recruiting and research both are enmeshed in my online profile.

Respond to recruiters. Third party or corporate I don't care. If you don't deal with contingency staffing firms, fine, send 'em a quick note of thank you/no thank you, get removed from their mailing list. But do your due diligence, because you want to work with a retained search firm.... There's a significant difference between retained and contingency search firms. You can go around me and apply directly through our client, but they are still going to route you my way because our firm has been hired -- and already paid -- to alleviate their staffing burden.
What's been your experience -- how much time are mass job boards worth?

Read More on BNET: (Image courtesy of Flickr user Skelekitten, CC 2.0)
  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.

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