Are you spending hours every day, posting your executive resume on job boards? If so, cut it out!


Executive Job Search Success

Although job boards do serve a purpose, I hesitate suggesting you use them at all, because in my experience, too many executive job seekers get sucked in once there, spending way too much time responding to job postings.

The vast majority of executives spend most or all of their job search efforts on job boards, but very few of them − especially executives at the top level (c-suite, President, GM, SVP, etc.) − land jobs through job boards.

They’re just not very good at helping people land good-fit jobs for several reasons, including:

  • Jobs posted may not be legitimate openings.
  • Job descriptions may not truly represent the job.
  • Jobs may have already been filled, but still linger on the job board.
  • You may not be able to delete your resume from their database once you land a job, making you forever appear as an active job-hunter and jeopardizing future jobs.

Job boards are an even worse prospect for job seekers over 50.

Job boards may pose a particular problem for those over 50.

In an April 2017 Forbes article, Chris Farrell cited research by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan into age bias on major job search portals Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder, Vault, Beyond and TheLadders.

“Madigan began snooping into this after a 70-year-old man told her office that he couldn’t use a resumé-building tool on Monster’s JOBR app because its drop-down menu required choosing your year of college graduation or first job and the dates stopped at 1980. (That would effectively rule out people over 52.) Other sites used dates ranging from 1950 to 1970 as cutoffs to apply for available positions.”

When questioned about this recently by NPR’s Ina Jaffe, Monster had no comment; CareerBuilder and Beyond responded that they had corrected it; TheLadders said their site doesn’t have cutoffs; Indeed said their possible dates go back to 1900; Vault couldn’t be reached.

Not just a bad option for older job seekers, Chris echoed my warning that the big job portals are mostly a waste of time for ANY job seeker.

The biggest drawback to responding to job board postings:

Along with the above reasons, your resume can easily be lost in the black hole that is Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

When you post your resume on a job board, it will immediately be thrown into a database with an ATS that matches jobs to candidates based on specific keywords they search your resume for.

Human eyes won’t review it, unless and until it manages to get called up in response to a specific job opening. Then, your resume must contain enough of the keywords they’ve deemed important.

And . . . your resume must be formatted correctly to make it through ATS. Plus, every ATS is built differently. There is no standard for resume formatting across all ATS.

And . . . if your resume isn’t re-tooled – each time you apply for a job online – to contain the right keywords for each particular job posting, you probably won’t make the cut.

All of this severely limits the chances your resume will be seen, and that you’ll land a job through all that time spent on job boards.

So, avoid job boards in favor of the best job search strategy.

Your time will be much better spent in networking – the old-fashioned way to land a job . . . with a new twist these days.

Older job seekers typically have more expansive networks to tap than younger ones. A bigger network means more potential job leads.

And networking is the only way to tap into the goldmine of “hidden” jobs that never show up on job boards.

Today, social networking makes it easier than ever to re-connect with people you’ve let lost touch with, and reach out to new faces.

But don’t give up on job boards entirely.

Instead of languishing on the boards responding to job postings, go to them for company and industry research purposes.

Find job descriptions that look like a mutual good fit in terms of qualifications — whether or not the location or the actual company itself is a good fit.

How to use job boards for research and market intelligence.

Search the job titles you’re seeking to uncover the all-important job-specific relevant keywords you’ll need for your resume and online profiles.

The keywords will represent areas of expertise, such as “Financial Analysis” or “IT Infrastructure”. The right keywords in the content of your job search materials are important to help you get found online.

Search the job titles you’re seeking at the companies you want to work for, to uncover company and industry particulars, and to help you with due diligence.

More About Executive Job Search

How to Network Your Way Into a Great-Fit Executive Job

How Do I Rebuild My Network for Executive Job Search?

The Personal Branding Manifesto for Executive Job Search

Hot Button Executive Job Search FAQs

3 Ways To Make Your Online Networking Count

Game-changing Executive Resume FAQs

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Executive Job Search and Personal Branding Help

Land a GREAT-FIT New Executive GigNeed help with personal branding, your LinkedIn profile, resume and biography, and getting your executive job search on track . . . to land a great-fit new gig?

Take a look at the services I offer, how my process works and what differentiates my value-offer . . . then get in touch with me and we’ll get the ball rolling.


One Day, One Photo, One Lonely FlowerSo,  you’ve done the personal branding work.

That means you’ve clearly defined and incorporated the following personal marketing imperatives into your executive job search and career management toolkit:

  • Your vision and purpose
  • Your values and passions
  • Your top personal attributes
  • Your top motivated skills (the ones you love doing and excel at doing)
  • Your SWOT Analysis (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats)
  • How you’re uniquely qualified to meet the needs of your target employers (if job hunting) or current employer.
  • What differentiates your promise of value to your target employers over your peers.

You know who you are, what you’re capable of, and the value you offer in the marketplace.

You’re ready for job search when it comes.

And you rely on your brand once you’re in that next gig.

11 Ways Your Personal Brand Helps You Land That Executive Job

In executive job search, defining and communicating your executive brand:

1.  Helps you reconnect with your values and passions so that you can move toward the kind of work you love doing.

2.  Empowers you to gain clarity about your authentic self and the combination of personal qualities and qualifications differentiating the unique promise of value you offer over your competition in the job market.

3.  Forces you to be introspective and reflective, and to examine the weaknesses that may be holding you back.

4.  Helps you identify your competition and target audience, so that you can create differentiating personal marketing communications designed to resonate with them.

5.  Encourages you to solicit feedback from those who know your value best (peers, management, staff, employees, clients, mentors, etc.), helping you understand the true measure of your brand — how you’re perceived by the external world.

6.  Makes your personal marketing documents (resume, bio, LinkedIn profile, etc) a more interesting and powerful read. Compared to a traditional executive resume or typically anemic LinkedIn profile, communicating your brand on paper or web page casts a richer and deeper impression of who you are, compelling people to want to meet you.

7.  Helps you take control of your real-life and online identity, and the way you’re perceived by others.

8.  Generates chemistry for you when networking and helps hiring decision makers assessing you more readily determine whether you are the good-fit candidate they’re looking for.

9.  Empowers your interviewing finesse. You’re pumped by what differentiates you from the others being interviewed, what unique value you bring, and how you’ll best add value at that company.

10.  Your strategic brand communications plan – expressed clearly, consistently and constantly across all channels – helps you position your value proposition directly in front of your target employers and stay top-of-mind with them.

11.  Helps you establish yourself as an industry subject matter expert and thought leader within your area(s) of expertise.

10 Ways Your Personal Brand Helps You Throughout Your Executive Career


Once you land that good-fit job, your executive brand is like career management insurance. You draw on your brand and what you know about yourself.

For the long term, knowing your brand and consistently communicating it:

12.  Helps you ease into the new job more seamlessly because you were hired based on the authentic “you” and the understanding that you will fit in with management and your team.

13.  Helps you know your limitations, so that you lead with your strengths instead, as you progress through your career.

14.  Precedes you and reinforces your reputation. Your brand can be the deciding factor in advancing your career to the next level, and matching you with good-fit opportunities.

15.  Establishes you as the “go-to” person for your areas of expertise. People know they can always rely on you for certain things.

16.  Empowers you daily, as you deal with people and go about your work day, with that same brand “chemistry” that defines the way you operate.

17.  Boosts your confidence. Understanding what is authentically you, your value and what you’re capable of delivering leads you to embrace business opportunities that will positively impact your company’s profitability, growth and reputation.

18.  Compels you to use your strengths to help your teams achieve their own career goals and benefit the company.

19.  Guides you to make the right career decisions for you, and the right business decisions for your company.

20.  Keeps you top-of-mind with key decision makers when they need to select the best people to lead future projects and initiatives.

21.  As your brand reputation gains traction and visibility − internally and externally . . . in-person, on paper and online − more people with good-fit opportunities will be naturally drawn to you, leading you to career advancement and fulfillment.

Keep in mind that your brand may need tweaking, as your career progresses and responsibilities shift, but your core brand attributes will probably remain the same.

photo by cogdogblog

More About Personal Branding and Executive Job Search

10 Keys To a Memorable Personal Brand

Executive Brand Online Reputation Management: How to Build Your Brand Online

16 Deadly Executive Job Search Mistakes

How to Use Twitter for Personal Branding and Executive Job Search

7 Ways To Contaminate Your Personal Brand and Doom Your Executive Job Search

Executive Job Search and Personal Branding Help

Land a GREAT-FIT New Executive GigNeed help with personal branding, your LinkedIn profile, resume and biography, and getting your executive job search on track . . . to land a great-fit new gig?

Take a look at the services I offer, how my process works and what differentiates my value-offer . . . then get in touch with me and we’ll get the ball rolling.

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