2 Things Executives Should Know about Job Boards …. do they work?

Do Job Boards Work For Executives? Two Things To Know About Them

It seems to be a common believe that most executive jobs are either found through networking or are “head hunted” by recruiting or search firms.

Both leveraging your network and building relationships with a few executive recruiters in your industry are methods that can be highly effective for winning new opportunities. Both are without a doubt critical for executive-level professionals to include in their overall career management strategy. Both, however, do take considerable time — the results don’t happen overnight.  The advantage to developing a relationship with a recruiting agency is that they may already have a job they are trying to fill which may be perfect for you or they generally get new jobs weekly and perhaps the right one could come along soon.  Either way, letting a recruiting agency know about your background and what you’re looking for in a job is worth the time invested.

So what about job boards? I am often asked if job boards still work, and if they work at the executive level. Having been in the recruiting business since before there was an internet and watching the growth of job boards over the years, I have a long-term perspective on the effectiveness of job boards. While I will always recommend prioritizing building your network and establishing relationships with targeted recruiters over submitting your resume into what is today often an online black hole, there are some things you should consider about job boards.

1. Job Boards As Part Of Your Strategy

Job boards and their effectiveness have changed significantly over the past decade. Job ad aggregation has increased the competition significantly. Senior-level job listings are likely to be found on multiple job boards. Even Google’s search engine now aggregates jobs from job boards all over the internet, including C-level positions, so thousands of other candidates are seeing the same job ads. Employers today often receive hundreds of responses to any one job post. You may be a fantastic executive-level candidate, but your resume still must get through the algorithms and applicant tracking systems (ATS) that filter the responses to an ad on an online job board.

That said, if you see a job on a job board that interests you, apply for it. Don’t just make this your sole job search channel — make it a small part of your overall strategy. Understand that the odds of an executive landing a job from a job board are very low. You should also understand that, like with the rise of fake news, fake job ads are unfortunately quite real. Not all ads found on the internet are representative of real jobs or of an actual intent to hire externally. For the sake of compliance, some organizations post job openings publicly, even if there is an intent to hire from within.  Additionally, employers often will post a fake job to collect resumes for research of the market in their area and there is no real job available.

2. Job Boards As Research

While the chances of an executive landing a job from an online ad are low, job boards can be useful beyond responding to job ads. Job boards can be an excellent source for company research. You can find valuable information about a company’s culture, their short and long-term objectives and their growth forecast all by assessing the public job ads posted by that company. Websites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn both display job ads, but they also show hiring trends over time, reviews about the interview process and company culture and often disclose who the internal recruiters are for posted open positions. Executive candidates can use this information to gather intel, understand a company’s opportunities and pain points, and present themselves as the solution.

The reality is you are the only resource you can rely on to get a job.  When unemployed, looking for a job IS your job and you want to cast a wide net using all resources available.

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