Job boards can be a valuable tool in your job search and knowing how to navigate them effectively can make them even more beneficial to you. I hear from many job seekers who spend most of their efforts applying to jobs listed online and are not receiving the responses they’d hoped for. Here are five tips on how to make the best use of your time on these sites.
Create email alerts Email alerts are an easy way to learn about new postings. Websites like LinkedIn and Indeed allow you to set up alerts and receive regular emails showing jobs that match your criteria. You can search by industry, job title or skill. Some sites also allow alerts to filter by salary. Setting up email alerts is particularly helpful for those who are considering changing industries and want to see what kinds of qualifications a job requires or what titles are standard in the new industry.
Review familiar postings Can you find a job posting from your current or one of your former employers? Now that you know what the job is really like, take the opportunity to read between the lines of the job posting. If a former job was a great culture fit, see what the posting says about the company’s values and culture and try to find these characteristics in jobs and companies you’re considering now. In hindsight, were there any red flags in a job posting? If so, look out for these as you review postings now. I recently spoke with a client who recognizes that she thrives in companies with a focus on fostering a family culture. She did this exercise and now looks for job descriptions that have a great deal of information about the company and team as well as the details of the open position.
Just apply If you see a posting and you think you would thrive in the job, but you don’t meet 100% of the criteria, don’t disqualify yourself. Oftentimes a job description is more of a wish list than a list of absolute requirements. Make your case with confidence. Putting yourself forward is the first step in getting the position you want.
Speak their language Carefully read job postings to ensure you speak the same language as hiring managers. Don’t make someone guess what you mean on your resume. Instead, use the terms that you see regularly in job postings that interest you. This will also help you get a leg up on Applicant Tracking Systems. We know they use key words to filter resumes and weed out those who are not qualified. Speaking the same language can get you past a computer and to an actual person. Once a person sees your resume, using their terms creates familiarity right away.
Spend your time wisely A maximum of 20% of your job search efforts should be focused on job boards. Set a timer so you don’t end up going down the rabbit hole of hundreds of postings and come up with little return on the precious time you invested.
Job boards are good for more than just submitting resumes. Job boards can be used to expand your search, identify interesting positions and focus your search efforts. Using the five tips outlined in this article will maximize the benefits you can receive from using job boards.