If you are old enough, you may remember how your job search was predicated on getting a head start on the Sunday editions of the New York Times and the New York Daily News and making a list of all the places you would call and all the resumes you would mail out on Monday morning. Then technology advanced to the era of the fax machine. Sunday was still the major day for job listings, but you no longer had to mail a resume; now you could fax it directly to the company on Sunday, or even Saturday night.
Along came advanced technology, and today information flows instantly 24/7/365. With this new technology came job/resume posting boards, which now proliferate throughout cyberspace. Today there are thousands of places to go online to search for a job and post your resume.
But before you boot up your computer, you need to determine where to search for a job and where to post your resume to be seen by the right decision makers – and not by your bosses. You also need to know which job postings are worth responding to and which ones are long shots at best.
However, before we begin learning about job/resume boards, a word of caution to those of you who place too much dependence on them to find a new job. In 2000 (only nine short years ago/how fast time flies), you could submit a resume to a posting board and there was a good chance you would get a response. Today you are in for a rude awakening if you think you will get similar results.
To begin with in 2009 job seekers are more tech savvy and there are special software programs that automatically search the internet and all posting boards for you and automatically submit your resume everywhere that minimally matches your key word and search criteria. The outcome is that companies are inundated with worthless resumes; therefore they depend on technology of their own to screen out well suited and ill suited candidates alike who don’t know how to get a resume past these electronic gatekeepers.
Next we must consider the old equalizer from Economics 101: Supply & Demand. During the current economic crisis there are fewer jobs, especially here in New York, and the number of people willing to accept those jobs is growing exponentially by the week. It is not unheard of today to have a $100k controller apply for a $50-$60k job as an accounting manager; or similar reduction of expectations in your field.
Last but not least, in many cases job boards are like loss leaders in retail marketing. By the time your resume arrives, there is a good chance the job has been filled, put on hold or eliminated from the budget completely. But the company does not take it down because it serves their purpose of seeing who is available and accumulating a database for future reference. This is especially true for job board postings placed by intermediaries such as executive search firms, personnel agencies and interim staffing companies, AKA temporary employment agencies.
Now that you are aware of some of the pitfalls, let’s discuss the different types of job boards.
Although there are well over 5,000 job/resume boards on the internet, I break them down into five major categories.
1: National job boards 2: Industry and profession specific job boards3: Local, regional and geographic location specific job boards 4: Corporate/recruiter websites
5: Information exchange and networking websites
1: National job boards
National job boards average 200,000+ job opportunities and candidate resumes covering all 50 states in dozens of job categories and sub-categories. Examples of the most populated and the most popular national job boards are Monster.com, HotJobs.com and CareerBuilder.com.
Pros and Cons
The main advantage of a national board is sheer volume. Or so we may think. From the perspective of the number of online job listings this is indisputably true. However you must understand that while national boards do not charge a fee to post a resume, employers pay a fee to post jobs and access the website resume database. Depending on the board, the fees an employer must pay can be quite steep and this limits the number and type of companies and recruitment firms that are using them regularly or on an as need and ongoing basis. You will find that companies with multiple locations and lots of jobs to fill tend to use national job boards, as well as aggressive private search consultants, and they have a tendency to screen resumes. Also, using them are companies whose posts are very selective in the candidates they contact for interviews.
There is also the problem of oversaturation of job listings and respondents, and more so the oversaturation of resumes that are posted. Companies do not have the time or the staff and finances to find the needle in the haystack.
2: Industry and profession specific job boards
As the volume of online resumes and the competition to find a perfect candidate kept growing, niche boards emerged within specific professions, industries and income levels. Examples of these boards are Dice.com for IT professionals, and 6FigureJobs.com, a site focusing on jobs with a salary over $100K.
Pros and Cons
The advantages and disadvantages here are much the same as generic national job boards. But the advantage is having a niche. This makes them easier to search, they attract more companies with specific jobs in your field, and employers are receptive to people who will relocate. They are also great for finding recruiters specializing in your field. From a resume perspective, they are also more advantageous because companies search for key words and if you have the right keywords, you will at least get to first base. Again a major disadvantage is the economy and oversaturation. Companies in industry specific boards look for the top 5%-20% of available talent, and agents have self-interest, not your best interest, at heart.
A word of caution: It is a waste of your time to submit or post a resume to a National or Industry Board unless it is in something called ASCII format because it will not enter the database. If you don’t know how to format in ASCII, please feel free to call me.
3: Local, regional and geographic location specific job boards
Most businesses and recruiting companies don’t have the budget, time or staff to receive or search through the volume a national job board can generate. More important, for most jobs, the employer and candidate want to narrow the search to a radius of 5-50 miles. This is where regional, geographic-specific job boards come into play, the most popular one today being Craig’s List which different websites for most major US cities. Also in the local category are online newspaper classified ad boards.
Pros and Cons
The most obvious advantage is that they cater to the area you live in and have a greater listing of mid and lower level jobs, internships, part-time jobs and jobs that national boards don’t carry like caregivers, tutors, drivers, etc. The main disadvantages is that people come to rely on them too much and forget to network.
4: Corporate/recruiter websites
Where some companies want their job listings to be anonymous or fly under the radar, more and more companies have incorporated a job listing or career page on their website to beef up their recruitment efforts. You can search for available jobs and submit your resume on these web pages, and enter your resume into their database for positions that may become available at a later date. I suggest you research potential employers in your field and visit everyone’s web site to see if they post jobs. If they do, bookmark the site and visit it regularly. On the other hand, every good recruitment firm will post some of its jobs and all accept unsolicited resumes.
Pros and Cons
Visiting corporate websites offers an education into the industry and the company, and you’ll have a lot of good information to use on an interview, and if you have something to offer a smart recruiter will contact you to add to their roster and network.
What is also great about these sites is that when you do get an interview, you will find useful information about the company’s history, corporate culture, employee benefits, products and services and much more. Some of this information is critical to know before you meet with them face-to-face.
A disadvantage is most companies don’t pull jobs that are filled or on hold from their site and some recruiters will want to use you rather than help you.
On the flip side permanent and temporary staffing agencies, industry and profession-specific recruitment organizations, and executive search firms have access to the largest number and widest range of job opening both nationally and locally, most of which will go unadvertised. They represent the majority of jobs listed on national and industry/profession specific search boards, and every one of these firms has a website where you can submit your resume. One word of advice here: ‘Caveat Emptor.’ Beware and submit your resume with caution.
5: Networking and information exchange websites
These sites are steadily increasing in popularity with job-seekers and decision makers. Unlike the other websites mentioned above that are impersonal and are one-way communication, these websites foster communication and help expand business contacts. Another advantage of these sites is they promote audio/visual contact by allowing members to post pictures and online videos that can be viewed by others.
Pros and Cons
Business and Social networking sites are a grey area in the frum community and, although I personally find these sites incredibly useful in business, I understand the reluctance of people in our community to use them. This is true of sites like Facebook and MySpace where you have less control of content and need to be more careful.
Linked-In and these type of networking sites I find lees problematic for frum and non-frum people alike because:
a: They list actual jobs and you can post your qualifications and ask people if they know jobs you qualify for
b: People who use these sites want to share business contacts, and information. They understand the concept of “what goes around comes around.”
c: They have great professional groups where people will answer your business questions and give you inside information you can use on job interviews.
d: They are great for finding and reconnecting with people you lost touch with.
POSTING YOUR RESUME ON A BOARD
An interesting factor to consider is who is most likely to respond to an online posted resume. This too is not surprising. You will get many more sales recruiters responding to your resume than actual employers. The reason is that employers are motivated by the bottom line, and are only looking for serious candidates who are worth their time and effort to interview. This is analogous to a fisherman who uses a rod and reel with bait that will attract the type of fish they are fishing for. On the other hand, sales recruiters view candidates with a different perspective. When they screen resumes online on a national job board they may call you not because of who you are, but to pick your brains and find out what and who you know.
If you have questions or suggestion of topics we should cover in the future, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. To view previous articles on job search, do a search on this site for Perry Newman and you will find archived articles.
Perry Newman, CPC is President/CEO of Fist Impressions Resumes in Brooklyn, and has over 30 years experience as a resume writer, career coach and executive recruiter.
If you need help writing your resume, or would like to receive an e-copy of Mr. Newman’s e-book ‘Job Hunting in the 21st Century, compliments of the Jewish Press, please call him at 646-894-4101.Perry Newman