Guest blog by Corinne Hutchinson at TipTopJob.com:

It is time to find a job, but where do you start? Today, there is a wealth of information available on the Internet and it can be mind-blowing. Job boards have become a very popular tool to finding a job but with many different types, functionalities, tools, features, specialisms and locations it can be overwhelming. Job boards seem easy to use but blindly registering on them all and uploading your CV across the board is not going to land your dream job! So, how do you best utilise a job board? We are here to help unravel it all!

Difference between aggregators, job boards and recruitment agencies

You will find aggregators, generic job boards, niche job boards, recruitment agencies and direct employer sites. Aggregators compile all jobs (well, almost all depending on who is paying to be listed) from across as many websites as they can. You do not register on the aggregator, you just simply find a job and click through to the site to then make your application. Job boards advertise jobs from recruitment agencies AND direct clients depending on the job board in question. You can register for free, upload CVs, upload cover letters, set up job alerts and search through all the jobs and apply online. With recruitment agencies, you can register but they also help you by finding and matching you to relevant jobs and the bonus is you are able to speak directly to them.

Use as a research tool

Job boards are an amazing research tool. Whether you know the direction of your next steps or not, the jobs, career advice available to you on most job boards is phenomenal. You can get a decent understanding of what kinds of jobs are out there, what skills etc are required, what companies are advertising. It is a quick and easy way to gather a lot of important information.

Choosing the right board for you – niche vs generic

If you know what career you are wanting to pursue, it is worth choosing some of the niche job boards out there to research the careers, jobs available, career advice etc.

Choose a big range of job boards to look at, do not just pick the top 2/3. You will find many unique opportunities on some of the smaller boards and niche ones too. It is a good idea to build a spreadsheet of the job boards you have found to help you manage and remember.

Make sure your CV is tailored for the role and specific

All job boards allow a CV to be uploaded and for some, it is mandatory. Your CV is the most important aspect to get right here. It must be optimised for the career you are interested in and it is important to optimise it for the keywords that the recruiters who search the job boards may use. By uploading your CV onto the job boards, you can open yourself up for headhunting opportunities and potentially be contacted for relevant roles. If someone is looking for a ‘graduate marketing manager’ then make sure this is written somewhere in your CV if that is your choice of career – maybe in the career objectives or personal statement at the top.

You are usually allowed to upload multiple CVs into your account on job boards to allow you to quickly apply for jobs on the board. This allows you to tailor different CVs accordingly so they are more relevant to varied roles. Make sure you upload the right CV for each application. Most job boards allow you to hide CVs from being searchable so you can pick and choose who sees what 😊

Finally, make sure that you update your CV often. If you have another qualification or some work experience to add, add it straight away and re-upload it. Most recruiters look for the most recent CVs uploaded so even if you have not updated it, re-upload it!

Your account on the job board set up correctly

When you register on a job board, there will be certain criteria required to fill out. The more you can enter here, the better, if you want to be headhunted. You can be clear about your education level, experience, location etc. The more accurate you can be, the less irrelevant contact you will receive.

The jobs

There are normally tens, if not hundreds of thousands of jobs being advertised on job boards so it is important to narrow your searches to be relevant to YOU. Make sure you are selecting the correct geographical location of where you want to work.

Take some time to read the useful tips on the job board search pages. They can help to explain how to best do the keyword searches and how a Boolean search works. By using these properly, not only will you get results of relevant jobs but also by searching for skills and keywords around your area rather than just job titles, you will be sure to find similar roles that you had not thought of before that could be of even more interest to you. Keep an open mind!

Fierce competition

It may be really tempting to quickly fire off application after application on a job board, but remember this is not productive and will not result in a job! At the end of the day it comes down to quality, not quantity. It is important to spend time reading whether the opportunity is of real interest to you and then spend time tailoring your CV and application to it. Remember that recruiters and direct clients get many applications daily, especially via job boards, so you really want to try to stand out and make your application count. On another note, do not always expect an immediate reply from a recruiter, if one at all. Sometimes they get thousands of applications to one job so although you may feel it is common courtesy to receive a response, it sometimes is just not possible – do not take this to heart!

Disadvantages?

With many positives of using job boards, it is important not to ignore some of the disadvantages. Be mindful of potential fake jobs that may be posted online as it is easy for recruiters to post jobs just to build their database. Plus, be wary of potential scammers who may request financial and personal information – it is normally obvious but caution should be taken with scammers becoming cleverer in their approach. Recruiters may also start to bombard you with irrelevant opportunities in their desperate need to fill vacancies, so if this does happen to you, take a moment to kindly explain you are not interested in their offers. Whatever avenue you use to look for a new job, there will be pros and cons, so, do not be put off by these!

Do not ‘put all your eggs in one basket’

Although we ourselves are a jobs board and value their worth dearly, it is important not to rely on them solely. There are many other avenues to a career out there which include social media, recruitment agencies, networking events, university career days and events etc. Keep your options open and utilise all sources of information possible.

Hopefully, this has helped to give an insight into the current use of job boards. Remember, by using them in the correct way, they will be an invaluable tool in your hunt for your perfect job! We wish you the best of luck! If you have any questions, please do feel free to email TipTopJob on marketing@tiptopjob.com.

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