Make the Most of Job Boards

There is good news: Jobs boards list thousands of jobs…and the bad news is: thousands, if not millions, of job seekers are using them to apply.  Here are some ways to make the most of job boards.

ADVANTAGES – Job boards have a wealth of information about job descriptions, skill sets that are necessary, and key words.  They are a great resource for researching an industry, a company, a job function and a salary range.  They list key words used by specific industries.  Search for job titles that match your job target.  Look carefully at the key words used in the job descriptions.  Make sure your resume and your cover letter contains those key words.  They list the specific number of years of experience required for specific job titles.   They may list names of human resource managers or hiring managers with their email address.  They often list salary information.

DISADVANTAGES – Job boards are an automatic competition.   There are thousands of job seekers applying to the same jobs you apply for.  Sometimes a company will look at only the first 100 applicants because they are overwhelmed by the number.  So if you use job boards, remember to apply for a job as soon as it is posted.  A well thought out resume may go unnoticed if the job board is managed by a junior level person or an automatic computer screening.  A low percentage of jobs get filled by job boards – 3-10%.

OVERCOME THE DISADVANTAGE –  Apply immediately. When you apply for a job on a job board and there is no name of an actual person, go to the company’s website and find out the name and title of a person two levels above the job title you seek.  Send a cover email and resume directly to that person, in addition to responding on the job board.

COVER LETTERS for JOB BOARDS – A clear, focused cover letter goes a long way to getting your foot in the door for an interview.  A cover letter usually has four key paragraphs.  In the first paragraph give an introduction of the job title, date and where you saw the opening.  If someone has referred the job to you, mention that person’s name.  The second paragraph is your elevator pitch that highlights your years of experience and your accomplishments relevant to the position.  The third paragraph compares the requirements of the job compared to your specific experiences.  The fourth paragraph closes with saying you are extremely interested in the position and will follow up in a few days.  A strong cover letter followed up by another email and/or phone call gives you a better chance against the competition.

Summary – Use job boards to gather information about skills, key words, industry jargon and salary. To whom does the position report to?   Troll for names of contacts or research contacts through Google or Linked In by the title the job reports to.  Then follow up with those contacts to get your interview.

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