A View from the Top: What is a job board and why do I care about them?

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In prior blogs I outlined the complicated employment market that faces our graduates, and provided a bit of insight into how the HR department manages the thousands of applications that are the result of today’s click and submit application process. Many students tell me that their strategy for finding a job is to apply for everything. Here’s one students story:

When I am between classes or have a few minutes I just look on Indeed.com or the Career Services board and I fire off a few submissions. My goal is to apply for 10 jobs a day.

This is a very inefficient process that is very unlikely to result in a first interview, let alone a job offer.   Here’s the inside HR-focused reason why. Years ago the only electronic job board (or a place to post jobs electronically) was Monster.com. Everyone in HR used the board to post their jobs, and most candidates posted their resumes into Monster for screening. Monster integrated their databases into the major Applicant Management Software platforms which made it easy for HR to import the resumes into their databases. However, in the last 10 years Monster’s popularity has declined greatly as its very size worked against it. Too many applicants taking advantage of the click and submit strategy. Startup companies sprang up to provide job listing platforms for specialized jobs.

These specialized job boards, combined with company web sites, are the most effective places to go to in order to find open jobs.

To locate company employment web sites simply go to the organization’s home page, and then search for employment or job openings. You’ll find listings of current jobs (not jobs that have long since been filled) along with job descriptions, profiles of desired competencies, minimum requirements etc. In other words, almost everything you need to start the process of understanding if your skills match their requirements.

Specialized job sites have been created as opportunities for various employers to post job openings. Accounting.com is a good starting point to understand Accounting positions. NEHRA.org is a great place to go to view a number of HR roles in the greater Boston area. To find such boards spend a bit of time researching your areas of interest on the web. In addition, ask your broader network for suggestions and recommendations.

Focusing your application time on job boards and individual company web sites will take more time, but will ultimately be much more effective than firing off submissions for any role that seems that it might be a fit. Working with Career Services to learn how to tailor your resume for different types of organizations is key.

Just a few words before I close about sites such as Craigslist and Indeed.com. There is a very low cost for an organization to post an open position on either Indeed or Craigslist. Thus, in many cases organizations list on either organization as a way to broaden their outreach, but the interface between Indeed.com and Craigslist with company Applicant Management Software is fairly problematic. Thus, your resume may or may not make it through the various employment hurdles. A safer way is to use Craigslist and Indeed.com as starting points – but always go to the company web site to see if the job is still open. Then, apply through the company web site.

You are encouraged to send questions directly to me at e.walker@bentley.edu or to visit me at 310 Adamian. Or simply bookmark this blog which will occur on a regular basis. In our next blog we’ll discuss two critical areas that are important in every form of internship, at every type of organization.

By Elaine Walker
Elaine Walker Lecturer Elaine Walker