Job boards. People either hate them or love them. But there is one thing we can all agree on - you can't ignore them.
Why Job Boards?
Job boards serve two important purposes.
1. They get job seekers in front of the right recruiters and hiring managers, helping job hunters cast a much wider net, gaining exposure with people outside an individual's immediate sphere.
2. Job boards provide valuable input on the hiring needs and skills/experience requisites of companies in a variety of industries. This can help a job seeker determine which companies are hiring and if his/her skills are up to par with the competition. By knowing who is hiring, a job seeker can contact people he/she already knows who either work inside these companies or can introduce him/her to someone who does. These people can provide greater insight into the job and the hiring process and perhaps act as an insider's helping hand.
How Job Boards Can Help Job Seekers Find Employment
The major complaint job seekers have about job boards is the lack of follow-up by companies and recruiters. Encourage those who visit your job board to follow these instructions so their chances are better at getting that resume into the right hands.
1. Be Quick: Send out job listings to subscribers quickly. Every job posting gets about 250 resumes. The earlier a job seeker can act on a posting, the better his/her chances are of being selected for an interview. To help your visitors be successful, send out job alerts as soon as a job posting is made.
Oftentimes older postings are "cold" postings - ones that were not removed even though either the job has been filled or the search has been terminated. Follow up with these older postings so you can find out if they should be removed - and you can offer your visitors the freshest opportunities.
2. Encourage Customization: For job seekers, the benefits of customizing their resume are well worth the time. Encourage your job board visitors to customize their resume and their profile (if your board offers user profiles) to target a particular position. Remind them that this doesn't mean filling a resume with random keywords that don't adequately describe the job seeker. Instead, a job hunter should highlight the skills the employer is looking for along with the keywords included in the posting - as long as they fit with the job seeker's experience and background.
3. Send Out a "Refresh" Reminder: Since resume listings are often cataloged based on when they were uploaded, refreshing it periodically will bring a resume back up to the top. Give your job board visitors a helping hand and send out email reminders when resumes haven't been updated or refreshed in, say, six months.
These are just a few pointers to keep in mind when designing your job board - and when creating follow-up or alert processes. How else do you ensure that the power of your job board is released?
Mary Rosenbaum is a Personal Branding Strategist and Career Management Coach who writes about jobs and career acceleration topics.