How To Get The Best From Job Boards & Job Sites

Job Boards & Job Sites

How to get the most out of this essential job search tool without losing your mind!

The days have gone when you had to buy a newspaper to look at the situations vacant page, now, as with everything, it’s all found online mainly on job boards. I can remember when there were just a few boards, monster springs to mind, but now there is a plethora from the massive ones that hold 100m CVs and have 10,000 searches a day to the niche boards that are usually links to institutions or publications.

Job boards / Job Sites come in 2 forms:

  • Those to search for vacancies
  • Those that you to upload your CV which is then searched by employers and recruitment agencies.

Both need to be embraced and approached proactively. Don’t be misled, using job boards is not simply a case of posting your CV or searching the ads once a week and sitting back with a cuppa! Job boards are a competitive environment and if you snooze you lose!

Using Job Boards

As I hinted above, job boards have several uses including searching vacancies and adding your CV to their searchable databases, however they can also be used to research potential employers.

Searching The Job Adverts.

Before signing up to a job board or a job site, make sure you undertake some research into which boards would be most appropriate to your industry/market. If you are a recent graduate, then there are job sites specifically targeted towards you.

 Once you have a list of potential boards perform a few vacancy searches on each, don’t use just job titles, try searching for skills and keywords.

Look at how many jobs are listed that would be relevant to you, the key here is also to look at the dates these jobs were posted. You will certainly find that some job boards will match you better than others and some will have more recent adverts.

Once you have completed your research it’s now time to get methodical. Create a spreadsheet of all those job boards that carry the most relevant and current adverts with web links and make sure that you visit them on a regular basis. Creating reminders in a calendar is always a good way to ensure you remain methodical.

Big job boards can seem difficult to navigate due to the wealth of information which makes it harder to identify the adverts that would appeal to you most.

Here are 3 tricks to make this easier:

  1. Restrict your search geographically; there’s no point looking at job opportunities that are at the other end of the country
  2. Don’t just use job titles in your search, try skills or keywords too. You’ll find a broader range of opportunities, or you might even find a role that you haven’t thought of before, which suits your skills.
  3. Read beyond the job title, look at the company and find out what the job actually involves before you dismiss it. Yes, the job title might sound dull, but reading beyond the title might unearth a potentially interesting job.

All in all, you have to be flexible when using job boards.

CV Listing on Job Boards

To double your chances of snagging that perfect job, it’s always best to register your CV with a job board that allow employers/ recruiters to search their CV database.

To begin with it’s best to undertake the same research as highlighted above, selecting the boards that are most relevant to you. What’s the point of submitting your Commercial Director CV to a board that only targets the graduate market? I’m sure you’ll agree that this would be a waste of time and effort!

Once your target list is completed the next obstacle to overcome is your CV.

A CV submitted to an online database is never read by a human, instead they are analysed by a database collectively known as ATS, Applicant Tracking Software. This means you have to optimise the CV for keywords and skills that are relevant to your experience which allows the database to show your CV to suitable employer searches.

So what do I mean by optimising your CV?

Well, in the early days of these CV databases it meant adding a paragraph at the top of your CV filled with the keywords relating to you. These paragraphs didn’t make any sense to the human reader; however, they worked a treat for the software that companies use to categorise and manage the CVs.

With the progression in technology, this is no longer required. Instead an element of finesse is required to produce a CV that allows the software to accurately categorise it whilst remaining easy to read for the potential employer/recruiter.

Job Boards  - Live Online Mock Interview should be arranged after an interview coaching session

How To Increase Your Success From Job Boards and Job Sites

This is how we prepare Clients CVs at We Write CVs to ensure that CVs appear in all relevant searches and have a high conversion rate.

Include a job board friendly profile

Unlike a standard CV, we advise Clients to include their career objectives or interests in a small personal statement at the top of their CV. It only needs be a couple of lines, but it should clearly state the areas of work and types of jobs you’re interested in. This allows the recruiter/employer to understand whether their opportunities would be of interest to you before making the initial contact.

Keyword optimisation

Rather than keyword stuffing at the top of the CV, we recommend highlighting keywords in a bold font. This is a simple solution but one that not only helps the software but also human readers to recognise a CVs suitability and if undertaken correctly can make a CV look attractive to the eye which improves readability.

Regular Update

A trick to increase the chances of your CV being selected by an employer/recruiter is to regularly update your CV on job boards. To save time most recruiters active on a job board will usually restrict their candidates search for those you have uploaded or updated their CVs most recently, so make sure your CV is amongst them

Applying Through Job Boards

Job boards are vast and contain a huge amount of jobs that could be relevant to you. This is where you need to remain focussed and not become a kid in the candy store, applying for every job!

Be selective with the adverts, only picking those that match your key skills, experience and qualifications.

We all have limited time to complete tasks and need to maximise the return on our time, therefore creating a bespoke application for each vacancy will lead to far more interviews as employers want to receive details from applicants who are genuinely passionate about working for their company and are truly excited about the job being advertised.

Many adverts will ask specific questions so it is essential to create a bespoke CV for each advert to which you apply. In a bespoke response you will naturally answer these questions and your CV will have a greater appeal to the recruiter.

Avoid copy and pasting information from the advert or even using a template. Either of these actions will sound the death knoll on your CV.

Job board limitations

Job boards are a useful tool in your search for a new role, however they should always be used in conjunction with other tools rather than relied upon as your only methodology.

An effective job search will always involve utilising recruitment agencies, using social media, viewing potential employers’ websites for vacancies and the most versatile tool available to the job hunter, networking.

In addition, job boards can be used by unscrupulous individuals to gain personal details of innocent people for nefarious uses. Due to this we always advise Clients to remove all personal details from the CV, for example we always remove Clients address and instead replace it with a city/town or if based in a large city then we use a borough.

In addition, its always best to create a specific email address just for job searching purposes as this will prevent your main email from being clogged with spam.

And finally

When you have secured your next job, remember to remove your CV from every job board database as this will prevent any unsolicited contact from employers/recruiters.

Job Board & Job Sites FAQ

Do Job Boards Really Work?

Quite simply, yes. Both Job Boards and Job Sites are a very effective tool for the job searcher to utilise. It is only a tool and the success will only be determined by how that too is used. Therefore the job searcher needs to read our article above, make a note of the tips highlighted in the post and approach job boards in the right way. This should lead to a very successful relationship with the job site.

What is the best job site or job board to use in the UK?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Yes there are many large sites that cover every industry, job role that you can think of, however each job searcher is unique and so is their situation. Therefore its best to undertake some research before using a particular site to make sure it suits the job searchers criteria.

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About the Author of How To Get The Best From Job Boards & Job Sites

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Matt Wallace Interview Coach & CV Writer

An Interview Coach and CV writer with over 23 years experience working within the recruitment industry.

Starting as an Executive Headhunter in the City of London and more recently acting as an independent consultant advising job searchers on how to  successfully progress their careers to the next level.

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