We get asked about job boards all the time. Which ones are good – are all the jobs real, should I post my CV, should I apply for similar jobs – what if it’s for the same company? And so it goes on.
There are hundreds of job boards out there and they are a very important part of finding a new position. Agencies rely on them heavily and these days end users are also posting on them more and more. So in today’s candidate driven market, how can you get the most out of them, and what exactly is the best approach?
So let’s look at some of these points ……..
Are the Jobs on the Job Boards Real?
The vast majority of jobs on the job boards are real. You do get rogue agencies that will post false positions but in my “way too many years” in recruitment, working for a significant amount of agencies – both large and small, I can confidently say that this is not the norm. It’s something that I’ve discussed at length with other Agency Directors too as there seems to be a very real concern from candidates.
But if there is a small minority of agencies posting false jobs – what does this mean and what is the threat to you? Well in truth, it’s not really a threat at all – they do it to boost their own database, but mainly it’s to get the best candidates that they can then use to break into their target customers. So worst case is that you’ll never hear back, best case is that they actually do find you a position – just not the one you were applying for.
What Job Boards should I use?
With so many job boards out there, it can be a little confusing as to which one to use. Job boards are really ramping up their advertising at the moment and the likes of Reed, Monster and Indeed are frequently advertising on prime time television. Well this is good for you, the higher their profile, the more clients, the more jobs and the more opportunity for you.
These generic job boards are also very good for IT – it tends to be their top industry. But of course another option is to go down the route of a specialist or regional boards.
The specialist job boards are of course a good option. The likes of CW Jobs, Jobserve and The IT Job board, offer a more detailed industry / job break-down and you like to think that they appeal to industry professionals. They are however less well known outside of IT circles and so when end users are advertising, they may not necessarily advertise here.
As a dedicated IT agency, we have used pretty much all of the specialist job boards at one time or another, but in all honesty, we have had more success of late with the generic sites with the majority of our placements coming from Reed and CV Library. Whilst we could be seen to be sitting on the other side of the “job board” fence from you the job seeker, actually we are very much on the same side as we are all about getting people jobs and we’re not the employer.
Should I upload my CV onto the Job Boards?
Looking for a job can make you feel quite a vulnerable, especially if you are currently working. The idea of posting your declaration of intent to find a new job on the net, whilst trying to keep it from you current employer goes against the grain doesn’t it?
The truth is though, that agents like us spend a massive amount of time searching the “job board candidate databases” for good quality candidates like you. In fact, 40% of the candidates that we have placed in 2015 have come from proactive job board searches.
- It’s convenient for you – let someone come to you for a change.
- You’ll get to find out about jobs that are not necessarily advertised or that you’ve missed.
- You jump the queue on advertised jobs. How many times have I heard recruiters told to check the job boards before you spend money on adverts!
The Downside of uploading your CV can be managed.
- Security. You can post anonymously on a number of boards although this will seriously decrease the interest in you. But actually, these databases are very rarely used by employers, it’s mainly agencies. I have never heard of anyone being caught out in this way and so whilst I’m sure it may have happened, the chances are very slim.
- Getting unwanted calls from agencies. The key to this is to ensure that you fill in all the details to ensure you are filtered correctly. Make sure you’re salary requirements are on there to avoid the number 1 mismatch. Ensure you have ticked contract or permanent. The sort of job you are looking for. Agents don’t want to waste your time and will generally respect the information you put on there. State the method of contact – call before 9 and after 5 or at lunch etc. But do be contactable – even if it’s to arrange a time to talk.
- Finally, make sure you take your CV down when you’ve found a new job.
Saturating the Market.
Try to avoid over posting your CV. If you show up on 10 different job boards, you quickly saturate the boards and you’ll find the interest dies down. You want to be the diamond that the searchers find rather than the guy that everyone knows about. So be selective, and post your CV on one or two job boards and change them if it’s not generating after a week or so.
When we search job boards, we generally only search for candidate that have been active over the last month and then maybe 3 months if we can’t find someone. So stay active on the job board, to keep appearing in new searches.
Applying for Jobs
So with 60% of our jobs (100% IT Recruitments) being filled with advert response so far in 2015, this has to be a key part of your job hunt.
Pretty much all of the job boards have good User Interface from a candidate perspective. (this is not always with the employers UI but that’s not your problem!! ) You will be guided through searches based on job titles and skill sets and location and salary etc. So you are able to get a pretty manageable short list of positions by narrowing and further narrowing your search.
Now let me change the subject slightly at this point.
Number 1 complaint from candidates to agencies and probably end users, is that they apply for jobs and never hear back.
Number 1 complaint from agencies and definitely end users too, is “why on earth is this person applying for this position”? Seriously, 85%, maybe higher, of applicants are completely unsuitable.
- Wrong location
- Completely wrong career history
- Don’t have the correct skills
- Salary is all wrong.
Oh, and one more point that I might just make –
- Jumpy CV – can’t stick at a job (fair or not?)
So the message here is to think carefully about the positions you are applying for and have a look at your CV from the employers / agents perspective. If you apply for a job in Birmingham, but you live in High Wycombe, the chances are you won’t hear back. If you apply for an IT Manager position, but you are a Field Service Engineer, chances are you won’t hear back. Now this is not the way it should be, but it is what happens. We often get in excess of 100 responses per position and with sometimes 90% not being suitable, it’s just not feasible to call them all and explain.
I would say that we use some fairly sophisticated applicant tracking systems which will email applicants with success or rejection emails, but as an industry, we all know that you often hear nothing.
So back to your search. Once you’ve narrowed your search, take a good look at your CV and ensure you are being realistic about the jobs that you’re applying for. If it’s a step up in position, make sure you justify it – maybe in a cover letter, or a well worded paragraph in the CV. If the location is wrong, either don’t apply or again justify. Clients are always very specific about location by the way, so tell us in a cover letter or next to the address in the CV that you are relocating, or that it’s actually just half an hour on the train.
But the 4 / 5 bullet points above are, in our opinion the top reasons for rejection. So make sure you’ve ticked those off and you’ll get a much better response rate. (Once again, cover letters are great for this)
There are no saturation issues when applying for positions and so give each Job board a go. The exception to this is that we will advertise jobs on 5 or 6 job boards typically. So………
What do you do if you keep seeing the same position but are not 100% sure it’s for the same company?
Well, if you’re on Monster and then “The IT Job board” and then “CV Library” and you see the same job on all, and the agent is same -let’s say 100% IT Recruitment, then chances are it’s the same job. Give us a ring and we’ll be happy to confirm and advise on how to best apply.
But the same jobs are often advertised by more than one agent. So what should you do then? The adverts will be different, but the chances are that the PHP Developer position in Thetford, with 3 years Cake and paying £35k is probably the same as the PHP Developer position in Thetford, with 3 years Cake and paying £35k.
So do you apply for position A, Position B, or both?
Well, don’t apply for both! You don’t want both agencies submitting your CV and then have a tussle over ownership. The client gets dragged in and ultimately it leaves an unsavoury taste over your application.
I would suggest that you look at both agents websites, work out who you like the look of, who stands for the same values as you and go with whichever you like the look of best. Give them a call and speak to the consultant. You will quickly see who you think will represent you best. But having said that, if you apply and haven’t heard anything for a few days, then it might be time to follow up with a view to giving the other agent a go.
And Finally ……………
We’d like to point out that the findings and opinions in this blog are only those and only those of the management and the consultants at 100% IT Recruitment. There are hundreds of job boards available and some will work better for some people than others and we are not seeking to promote or discourage use of any specific job board. The job boards mentioned are those that we have direct experience of and we can’t speak for any of the others. This blog is only intended to give you the benefit of our experience regarding job boards because we get asked about them frequently and because we use them every day.
I hope this has been useful and am very happy to discuss further with anyone should it be useful.
Happy job hunting!