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Why are there 40,000 job boards?

July 19th, 2006

As a job seeker it is so frustrating knowing that you have to check into a bunch of different job boards on a regular basis just to see if there is anything new posted. I thought I’d get an account on Monster and be done with it. But alas, I had to get an account on CareerBuilder, and of course Dice (that is the biggest board for techies, which is where I was looking). And then I found that some larger companies had their own boards that I had to check because they didn’t post on any of the 3 I already mentioned. Oh yeah, I regularly checked at least one local job board…

And then I heard there are about 40,000 boards. Blah! How do you manage them, and what should you know about the 40,000?

As a job seeker I don’t want to miss opportunities. I recommend that you identify the boards that are most applicable to you based on what they have to offer. So, Monster is more of a general, all-purpose one-stop shop for job postings. But I think that employers don’t necessarily want to put certain jobs on monster because they don’t want everyone and their mother applying or specialized jobs.

Knowing what jobs/industries you want and what geography you are interested in should help in selecting the handful of boards that you use. There are many local job boards (see http://www.milwaukeejobs.com/jobnetwork.asp for a map of one network of local boards) that might provide exclusive opportunities. Also, there are various niche boards such as http://www.blueskysearch.com/ (not a very pretty site but this is pretty specialized) and http://www.sws.org/jobs/ (see how pretty that is? I think I see a trend in niche boards ;))

There are also industry specific boards such as http://www.the-dma.org/jobbank/ (marketing) and http://www.artsopportunities.org/ (artists). And if you are an alumnus of a university, check the on-line alumni community as many times other alumni will post jobs on their because they want to hire people that have come from that school – and you can’t access these jobs unless you login to that on-line community.

I can’t tell you what what boards you should be on but you should find out if there are any niche boards that you may have overlooked.

Here are two things that I’ve found that make job boards more valuable to me:

1. Agents – many boards (including the smaller ones) have “agents” where you can save your search preferences (like location of company, favorite companies, job titles, etc.) and then they are e-mailed to you. What a huge timesaver!! Not only does it save you time from going and browsing through the job board, but for me it eliminated the time that I spent just “poking around” the board out of curiousity – I won’t deny that I’ve spent quite a bit of time just poking around looking at job postings that didn’t apply to me, but my curiousity kept me clicking :)

2. Board aggregators – Indeed.com is probably the most popular aggregator right now – FlipDog.com was a few years ago (Monster bought FlipDog and it has been offline for quite a while, although I’ve read that there have been changes on the landing page and people think that Monster is close to releasing something in its place). Anyway, instead of searching on a bunch of different boards each day or week, you can go to Indeed.com which will query all of the boards and companies at once, which cuts down on your search time quite a bit. I’m not convinced that it works perfectly – I’m not qualified to say – but as a desperate job seeker you never want to miss anything!

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One response to “Why are there 40,000 job boards?”

  1. Don’t forget…

    3. Search feeds. Indeed offers RSS feeds based on your search criteria. Once you determine the best search query, look for the RSS button and add it to your feed reader. The URL is easily decoded if you want to adjust the search without going back to the Indeed web site. Other job boards are adding RSS support, too, making it easier than ever to follow many sources.