Job Boards – The Right Way and The Wrong Way to Use Them

 In Career Tips, LinkedIn, Recruitment Strategies (TA), Social Media


Job Boards - The Right Way and the Wrong Way

Since the mid-90s, job boards have been an essential part of job seekers’ arsenals, but  as I wrote a few weeks ago, the value (or lack thereof), of boards has been under hot debate for some time now. In many ways the recession (and the resulting vast numbers of job seekers), took much of the shine off of job boards leaving obvious and gaping shortcomings on both the candidate and recruiter sides of the issue.

Recently,  host Margo Rose of  HireFriday and her moderators, Tom Bolt, Steve Levy, and Cyndy Trivella hosted an exceptional  #HFchat on Twitter called Are Job Boards Dead Or Alive? You can read the actual the actual chat transcript here.

While there were no stunning revelations revealed during this chat, it struck me that this was one of the first open, truly honest conversations between candidates and recruiters I have seen on this subject. The mutual frustrations were obvious:


  • Sending your resume to posted jobs is a “Black Hole” from which no light or sound emerges.

  • Candidates are frustrated by the lack of maintenance of posted jobs and believe that many are outdated positions that are already filled, or were never “real” active searches in the first place.

  • Even after passing an initial phone screen or doing an interview, candidates are not re-contacted – even with a rejection. This feels like the ultimate in disrespect.


  • Recruiters are flooded with applicants through their career sites who are not qualified for the jobs to which they are applying. Sorting through such applications takes time and resources that could be better spent providing better candidate service to qualified applicants.

  • Candidates need to be strategic with their use of job boards. Choose 2 – 3 that fit your industry and spend the majority of your time there. This will ensure a closer match between the job and your skills and background.

  • Candidates are going to be unhappy with the company if they don’t get the job. Period.

While either side of the conversation can debate the value of the job boards, both candidates and recruiters did seem to agree upon two points:

  1. The way job candidates are treated by a company during the hiring process has everything to do with the reputation of that company – and certainly the company’s employment brand – which definitely impacts the quality of candidates companies are able to attract. As a candidate your antennae should always be up. Do you really want to work for a company that treats its job applicants in a disrespectful manner?

  3. Job boards are still one important tool in the job-seekers arsenal…but they are only one tool. Job Board applications are best augmented with personal outreach and connections. Yes, apply to the job online, but also take the time to reach out to the head of HR and / or employees within the company through LinkedIn or one-to-one personal connections. (You can read a great example of how one candidate here at CPGjobs did just that).


Recruiters are increasingly taking their qualified job board applicants and doing a “deep-dive” into the social media profiles of these “short stacks.” It is essential that you  are mindful of your interactions online; keep your LinkedIn profile up to date, and pay attention to what’s happening in your “non-professional” activity (like Facebook) as well. Don’t wait until you have to find a job to clean up your online act.

How about you? What has been your personal experience with job boards?  Have you ever been hired by applying directly through a board?


#HFchat is held on Twitter on Fridays at 12:00 noon EST, 9:00 AM PST. All are welcome to join the conversation!


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