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Using Job Boards to Best Advantage

Job boards have been around for almost twenty years now, so most of us think we know how to use them effectively. Unfortunately, that's often not the case. There are now over 150,000 job boards on the Web, so you have to pick the ones that will serve you best. I recommend a technique that I call NASCAR since a job search is essentially a race to re-employment.

No single job board can connect you with all of the open jobs available in your field. Therefore, to use NASCAR most effectively, you must first learn the 5-to-1 Rule. This rule states that you have to use five job boards to find a job. It looks like this:

2GP + 3N = 1GJ


  • 2GP means two general purpose job boards, or those that post openings in all professions, crafts and trades.
  • 3N means three niche sites, one that specializes in your career field, one that specializes in your industry, and one that specialties in the geographical area where you live and work or want to.
  • 1GJ means one great job, a position that will increase both the paycheck and the satisfaction you bring home from work.

Job boards today come in all shapes and sizes. Some offer a database of open jobs and little else. Others offer both a job database and one where you can archive your resume. And, still others offer information on how to write an effective resume or interview like a pro.

How do you decide which of those 150,000 job boards to use? That's where NASCAR comes in.

Being a Smart Consumer of Job Boards

NASCAR stands for the six features you should evaluate to determine whether or not a specific job board will best serve you and your career. They are:

Number and kinds of jobs posted on a site. Does it post jobs in your field and are there enough available to offer you a choice of opportunities?

Availability of a job agent. Does the site offer an electronic means of notifying you (e.g., email, text message) whenever a job matching your employment objective is posted?

Salary range of the posted jobs. Does the site post a significant number of jobs at the salary range you are seeking in your next position?

Cost to you of using the site. Paying a fee on a job board is basically an investment in your career, but the fee must be justified by the caliber of the product or service that's provided. And, never pay a fee to anyone or any organization that claims they will "find a job for you." They can't and won't.

Aids for job search and career management. Does the site offer timely and useful information on the best practices in job search and career self-management? The former will help you find a job; the latter will help you keep it.

Resume data base with a confidentiality feature. Does the site enable you to post your employment credentials online and provide a way for you to control who sees them and when?

Relying on the 5:1 Rule and NASCAR to shape your use of job boards doesn't supplant all of the other steps you can take in a job search on the Web. It will, however, accelerate your progress by eliminating unproductive time and improving the caliber of the openings you see. And, in today's rotten job market, that's a huge advantage.

Thanks for reading,

Visit my blog at Weddles.com/WorkStrong.

May 2012
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