Getting back to basics with job boards
Since they first arrived on the recruitment scene, job boards have totally changed the way in which we look for our next career move and now every sector has its own specific site to add to the plethora of cross-industry names. But where to begin? Here is a list of tips to help you make the most of this valuable resource.
A recent Evenbase recruitment study said that the average number of vacancies online leapt from 54% to 70% last quarter. And with 9% more companies advertising on job boards, it's clear that their popularity as a recruitment tool shows no
sign of abating. Far more than just an online job list, a good job board can be one of the best ways of finding your next role as well as gaining the best careers advice and
researching industry news and commentary. However, with an overabundance of job sites covering every industry imaginable, it can be difficult to pinpoint the sites that are relevant to you.
Where to start
Search engines can be a useful way to get started when it comes to looking for job boards in your industry. Entering specific job titles, companies or even sectors followed by '...vacancies' into Google, Yahoo, Bing etc should help create an immediate shortlist of sites that can help.
Niche vs generalist
Niche, or sector-specific job boards are set up in a way that is tailored to the professionals who work in that sector, whether that is retail, hospitality, leisure etc. Job boards such as InRetail.co.uk and InCatering.co.uk are examples of this.
A good job board will separate the various roles within its sector. For example a retail job board will offer quite distinct categories for store management, buying, merchandising etc. and quite possibly divide these into sub-categories. This means less time spent trawling through thousands of jobs that aren't right for you.
Generalist job boards are the big players, such as Jobsite.co.uk, which are less specific, but they can be useful for anyone who is looking into changing the industry in which they work, or for someone whose skills could be applied in a number of different sectors. (IT, finance, marketing, etc.)
As a rule of thumb, as long you're able to quickly and easily find roles that are relevant to you, then keep using that job board, whether it be a generalist or a niche site.
How many job boards should you sign up to?
Unfortunately, we can't tell you how many sites you should sign up to, as each job seeker's situation will be different. To begin with, try signing up to a couple of niche job boards and perhaps the generic site that seems to offer the most relevant opportunities for you. Gauge how relevant the content that you receive is and if it isn't working for you, or you are receiving too many irrelevant jobs by email, you can always change your settings or even change job boards!
Things to be wary of...
As we're sure you're aware, the web doesn't come without its pitfalls and one of these pitfalls is people trying to scam the unsuspecting and the gullible. It doesn't happen often, but be wary of anyone who asks you for money and be particularly suspicious of anyone that offers guaranteed work in exchange for a fee from you, however cleverly disguised (guaranteed work after paid for training for example). Remember the old adage of "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
Keeping an eye on things
If you're using consultancies, or another method of job seeking, as well as job boards then it's a good idea to keep an eye on the companies to whom you have sent your CV and be sure that you don't send it to the same company twice. It sounds simple, but if you're applying for multiple vacancies in the same sector things can easily get on top of you. However, if a company receives multiple applications from the same person it can make the individual look desperate.
The importance of targeting
As with any job hunting tool, when you are applying through a job board make sure that you tailor your covering email to fit the specifics of the job. If you simply upload your CV and send it out with a generic covering email, you don't have a hope of standing out. Employers would like to think that you have made an effort to consider your application carefully and sent your CV to a select group of companies rather than everyone on the job board. A more targeted approach will lead to more job interviews and perhaps a better job.
If you come up against online selection processes, such as lengthy application forms, try not to be put off. Employers spend a lot of time, money and effort in constructing these and many will only accept applications in this format. It can be tempting to fill these in as quickly possible in an attempt to apply for tens, even hundreds of jobs in order to "increase your chances". However, it's important to keep in mind that rushing through a mass of applications in a whirlwind of bad grammar and typos will only result in each and every one of these employers comparing your poorly thought out, standard answers with a choice few applicants who had the genuine desire, care and attention to research the company thoroughly, give carefully thought out answers, and who have all the same skills and abilities you do (maybe even more!)