Use Job Boards for Research … Not to Find Jobs

by Meg Guiseppi on May 5, 2014

Executive Job Search SuccessI hesitate suggesting you use job boards at all, because in my experience, too many executive job seekers spend way too much time on them, responding to job postings.

Be aware that, although an estimated 95% of job seekers use job boards to find jobs, only about 5% of them will land jobs directly through them.

Job boards aren’t 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.

The biggest drawback to responding to job board postings:

Your resume will immediately be thrown into a database with an Applicant Tracking System (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.

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. 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 spending hours responding to job postings on the job boards.

Instead, 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

→ 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.

→ Reputable job aggregators include and

Related posts:

The Biggest Executive Job Search and Personal Branding Mistake

Executive Job Search: Research Your Target Employers

Can You Avoid the Executive Resume Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Vortex?

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