internet job boards – wasted effort?

loaded for bear


I have tried, over the years, to post my resume to job boards for both traditional jobs and contract positions.
I’ve also tried to get hourly consulting work through various boards, too.  I have landed jobs through the (now) unlikely source of monster.com, for example.  In 2000 I got a job through monster.com.  But can you find a job through a job board today?

I’ve tried a number of boards recently, for jobs, contract consulting and “pure” consulting.  A short list:

  • monster.com
  • indeed.com
  • simplyhired.com
  • careerbuilder.com
  • sologig.com
  • usajobs.gov
  • theladders.com

That’s just a sampling.  I left out a few, though, which have provided me with far better leads, more calls and more interviews:

  • linkedin.com
  • twitter.com
  • facebook.com

Those sites are “social media” sites and I’ve found that you’re far, far more likely to land a job via LinkedIn than via monster because of the quality of the connection. Someone who can refer you via LinkedIn can actually get your resume in front of an HR manager.  Your reference won’t be a recruiter.  Your contact will be an employee.

When I was in charge of hiring for my audit group a few years ago, I was given the OK to advertise for the position online, more as an experiment than anything. I set up a monster.com employer account and used a freshly-created Hotmail account to collect submitted resumes.  After a few days of receiving a few resumes, I started to receive dozens.  Then several dozens.  Wading through the misplaced and poorly written resumes every morning became a tedious (and fruitless) project.

I can’t see how job board submissions can be effective when I recall myself; the harried professional trying to skim 36 resumes before beginning his “real” work that day. I have to suspect that most of the time, the person reading the resumes and cover letters submitted via job boards are skimmed for seconds, not minutes, and the effort of the applicant is wasted.

Social media, on the other hand, connects me quickly with people who are wiling to talk to me because someone they know (and presumably trust) said they knew me and liked my work. I think sites like LinkedIn will be increasingly important in the job search universe, and the idea that a massive searchable database with my inexpertly written resume buried in it will result in a job for me seems quaint.

The future of work will be connectivity – networking, in person and online – and not the traditional advertise-submit-review pattern. It’s another one of those culture shifts that’s happened slowly enough that we won’t notice  it – but it will happen.  Even obtaining contract and hourly work will be more complicated.  But working within the system is a challenge, and probably always will be.

photo credit: striatic