While almost every job seeker uses job boards, few use them effectively. If you are strategic about the way that you use the sites, you can significantly increase your results. Here are some tips:
Try several search terms. Since you don’t know which job title the employer will use, it’s a good idea to try a variety of keywords when searching for positions. Widening your search gives you more results and it allows you to see positions that you may not have previously considered.
Regularly update your profile. When employers do a search for candidates, it is the recently updated profiles that come up first. If you edit your profile once a week, you can make sure that it is always current. You don’t have to do a complete overhaul every time; just making a small change and saving it will do the job.
Use job sites for your research. In addition to job postings, most job boards have a lot of useful information. Browse around the site and try to find pages about the labour market, your industry, and your target companies. This research can help you uncover hidden opportunities.
Make use of job alerts. Many job sites give you the opportunity to receive job alerts whenever there is a posting that includes your keywords. You can arrange to receive these alerts daily, weekly or whenever a new job is posted. Since it is in your best interest to apply to available positions quickly, job alerts can help you seize these opportunities.
If you are smart about it, job boards can be a valuable tool. However, if most of your job search is being conducted in front of your computer then you need to step it up. Use the web sites for your research and then get out there and meet people.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)