job boards

Why Online Job Boards Suck the Life Out of Your Job Search

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When I first meet with potential clients, one of the questions I ask is how they are currently finding jobs to which they’re applying. Almost everyone responds the same way: “Through online job boards like Indeed and ZipRecruiter.”

The next question I ask is, “How’s that working for you?”

Nine times out of ten, the answer is, “It’s not. That’s why I’m contacting you. I’m not seeing the results I’d hoped for. I feel like I’m wasting my time with those boards.”

My hope is to help you save some time in your own job search.

Why job boards suck

The biggest complaints I hear from potential clients about these catch-all job boards include:

  • “Some of the jobs seem fake or feel like a scam.”
  • “Many of the jobs are already filled by the time I come across them or apply to them.”
  • “I rarely hear anything back after I submit my résumé.”
  • “When I do get a response to my application, I discover the job isn’t really the way it was described in the ad.”
  • “My uploaded résumé only gets responses for jobs I don’t want.”
  • “If a job posting leads to an interview, I usually end up getting ghosted afterwards.”

Sound familiar? Dealing with these frustrations can suck the life out of an already not-so-fun job search.

What to do instead

Why waste your time on job boards that don’t deliver the results you want, especially if you can try other strategies that work better? Below are some suggestions to help you be more productive:

1. Save time by learning how to spot scammers. In a recent post, I outline seven ways to tell right from the start if you’re dealing with scammers posing as recruiters. Click here to learn more.

2. Use your time more wisely with more productive alternatives to job boards.

Alternatives to job boards

A few years ago, I wrote a post describing better alternatives to the common job boards that are overly saturated with other candidates and bogus job postings. Everyone flocks to these common boards, making it both difficult to stand out above the competition, and to find solid opportunities.

Sometimes it’s better to zig when everyone else is zagging. The strategies I shared a few years ago continue to be better than doing what everyone else is doing.

This doesn’t mean you completely stop using the general job boards. You’ll just find you need to use them less if you employ some of the alternatives I previously outlined.

These alternatives include:

  • professional association sites
  • company web sites
  • targeted groups on LinkedIn
  • job boards focused on a specific industry

In addition, I discuss in another previous post some alternatives to career fairs. These events and networking opportunities can also serve as good alternatives to online job boards, and include:

  • panel discussions on industry-related topics
  • company open houses
  • informational interviews
  • job shadowing opportunities

Don’t forget about networking!

Yes, I’m going to say it again. Networking is the number one way to find a job!

Why? Eighty percent of the current workforce found their job through networking. Since this is the case, doesn’t it make more sense to spend 80% of your job search networking, and 20% of it scouring online job boards, instead of the other way around?

For free resources on ways to network effectively, check out my blog posts on networking tips and etiquette.

For a deeper dive, I encourage you to take advantage of my online video course, The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively. It’s only $87 and it includes numerous tips, strategies, handouts, and a downloadable e-book.

For more personalized assistance and attention, consider some one-on-one career coaching to help you discover any blind spots you may have in your job search or networking efforts. Click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation with no obligation.

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