What I Think About Job Boards

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About once a week someone sends me a message saying they are not happy with the job search results in JibberJobber.  Here’s a message someone wrote when they deleted their JJ account:

“All the jobs I find here I’m seeing on other sites.”

They think JibberJobber is a job board.

In reality, we tap into a job board service (Indeed.com) and just pull stuff from their site.

Providing job board services is not a primary thing I want to offer.  There are already hundreds of job boards that you can go to, why in the heck would you come to JibberJobber for more job boards surfing?

Providing job board services is not even a secondary thing I want to offer.

Providing job board services might be a terciary offering of JibberJobber.  It is an afterthought.  It is not important to me, or our mission, at all.  I think it’s actually a smoke screen for the serious job seeker – the professional who is looking for their next opportunity.


** Because not all jobs posted are real.

** Because when I put my resume on Monster and CareerBuilder I got calls from scam artists, MLM representatives, insurance agents, and others who had nothing of substance to offer me.

** Because some unethical people post fake jobs just to harvest resumes and build their talent pool.

Or worse, they harvest resumes for identity theft purposes (think about how much juicy personal information you have on your resume).

** Because some of the real jobs posted there are already filled, but they have to post them just to satisfy company policy (that means, there is NO chance you will get the job, even if you get an interview, because the hiring manager already knows who he/she wants to fill the slot, but had to comply with HR policy and post it).

Think about it – when you worked at a company, how did the news of a new opening come out?

First, the manager realizes there is a need. Perhaps someone leaves the department, or there is too much work for the current staff.

Next, the manager talks to people in the department and asks “who do you know that would be good for this job?”


Only a handful of people know about the job opening at this point.

At this point people are brought in for interviews, OR the manager has to go through HR (depending on the company).

If the manager goes through HR, and they have to post it, they might post it INTERNALLY.

More people know about it now, but it’s still not open to everyone.

Next, the job might get posted publicly.  This can be on the company job board, or any other job board (broad, specialized, geographic, etc.).

This is where hundreds, or thousands, of people learn about the job.

And this is where HR and the manager (or recruiter) get hundreds, or thousands, of resumes.

Where do you want to be in this process? On the inside, and one of the handful of applicants who was highly recommended by someone in the department?

Or one of hundreds of resumes, fighting for your eight seconds of attention from HR or the recruiter?

If you rely on job boards for more than 15% of your job search, and you are looking for a professional position, YOU GREATLY MISUNDERSTAND THE JOB SEARCH.

But who am I to opine on this?  I only spent 60 hours a week surfing job boards and playing that game.  I was too busy to network, and do what job search experts recommend.

Job boards have their place, but JibberJobber is not a job board.  JibberJobber is a website to organize and manage your job search – from your networking efforts to your target companies to the jobs you apply to – keep track of them all in JibberJobber.

Make sense?

6 thoughts on “What I Think About Job Boards”

  1. I think the misunderstanding of what a job search is comes from the way we are taught to search for open positions. Our career services centers at colleges tell us to go to career fairs where all the recruiters say, “apply online.” Our college grads get to thinking that the online job boards are the only way to find jobs since those are the only jobs they ever hear of. If a college grad does get a job that way, through a college program, for example, then he wont necessarily realize that the job boards stink for trying to get a job with another big company. It’s only by working to educate myself each day that I’ve learned different (I just graduated).

  2. Excellent, Jason, I give my clients the same advice. Networking is so key and so many people are reluctant to do it or afraid to network strategically. The fear of “no” is greater than the fear of not getting a new position. If you call someone and ask to sit down for an informational interview and they say no, the worst consequence is the no… if you just keep applying to job boards hoping someone will call you, the reality is that perhaps no one will or as you suggest the worst consequence is that they are harvesting your information for identity theft or a scam.

  3. Hi, Jason,

    Great post, Jason.

    The stats I’ve seen repeatedly from experts are: companies only post 25% of their positions/vacancies. They fill 75% of their jobs internally or through referrals, as you mention. Yet job seekers have a high tendency to focus 75% of their job search on classified ads and online job boards, and only 25% of their efforts in networking. The internal process you stated is spot on, backed up by recruiters and research statistics.

    This is the reason why intentional company research and networking are so important in a job search campaign. If only job seekers would listen when career coaches tell them! Eventually, some do get the message–when their tactics don’t produce the results they want.

    One thing I had not thought about that you mentioned–the very real problem of identify theft from posting resumes online. I will definitely add that to the advice I give my clients!

    My best,


  4. Thanks for the comments ladies – I was wondering if I would hit a sore spot with anyone… would be interesting to hear what a job board owner would say, although I doubt they’d chime in on this one.

  5. Excellent post. I personally think that job boards are not the best use of time in searching for a job. They are time consuming and produce little success. Hours upon hours can be spent researching open positions and submitting resumes getting limited to no responses. I have been out of college for about 10 years now and in that time I have not known a single person that has actually obtained a position through a job board. Most people I know have found jobs through networking.

    Networking can be difficult though when you are a college graduate or an early career professional. Where and how do you start networking? There is a new tool available to college graduates and early career professionals that can help in networking and finding career opportunities rather than jobs. 1stGig.com uses a revolutionary career matching system that links interests, qualifications and career requirements with those of employers. When matches are made networking begins.

  6. Amen, Janson. Now tell us how LinkedIn contributes to the Hidden Job Market. One recruiter told me that he uses LinkedIn to pull in talent, thus eliminating the need to advertise. Do you agree?

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