3 Reasons Why Job Boards Are Ineffective

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Once upon a time, job boards were the go-to for job seekers. Here you can post your resume for employers and recruiters to view and apply for job openings. But today it’s a different story.


The modern job search has changed, and finding your dream job (or just a good job) is all about personal branding and leveraging your professional network.

Imagine you are a hiring manager. Would you be more likely to take the time to interview a candidate you don’t know beyond what is provided in the cover letter and resume, or someone who has been referred to you? Referrals have much less risk and that’s why Networking has a higher success rate than job boards when it comes to securing a position.

This is not to say that job boards are dead, as there are many niche jobs worth going to as a job seeker. But you can’t build an effective job search strategy around applying to job boards.

Here are some other things about the limitations of using job boards when you’re a job seeker.

1. Recruiters may never see your cover letter and resume

Just because you apply for a job on a job board doesn’t mean a real person will ever look at your cover letter and resume.

More than 85% of companies now use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to review and rank resumes based on skills, experience and keywords. The simple fact is that companies use internal algorithms, so securing a strong ranking is extremely difficult. An HR manager recently told me that they receive an average of 400 resumes per position and only look at the top 10-20, which means 380 resumes don’t even get reviewed.

In most cases, before a job posting is posted on a job board, it has already been circulated internally to the employer and trusted sources. So it’s likely that hundreds applied before the posting even reached the job board.

2. Many jobs are not posted on jobs

Office space with employees

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Large job boards can be overwhelming with job postings (both relevant and relevant to you). This is a similar prospect for an employer when they receive an overwhelming number of applicants for job openings posted on a job board.

It’s also why some may prefer to work exclusively with recruiters or find other means to find the right talent. If you’re not connecting with the right contacts, you’re missing out on opportunities that will never be found on job boards.

3. Recruiters have more resources to find talent

Recruiters/hiring managers talk about job candidates during the hiring process

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Recruiters and hiring managers also have professional networks. Whether it’s a professional acquaintance or reaching out to their workforce, they can gather a list of potential candidates before even posting a job.

Additionally, many recruiters also use LinkedIn to find talent.

Resumes posted on job boards are still viewed, but there’s a good chance the information is out of date, which is one reason hiring managers and recruiters rely more on LinkedIn, where the information is generally more up-to-date.

Networking is the answer.

The best way to find a job is to make a list of companies you want to work for and get your way on that company’s radar before they even post a job opening.

However, if you really want to apply for a job you came across on a job board, make sure you go the extra mile to get past the ATS. Instead of going to a job board link, do some research, find out who the hiring manager is, and take steps to get your updated cover letter and resume in front of them.

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This article was originally published on an earlier date.

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