Job Board Fast Thoughts: Month 2 (should you continue to fast?)

This has inspired others to call for the same fast, or a “job board detox”… check this out:
Job Board Detox Challenge [VIDEO]

In July I suggested you take a fast, or a break, from job boards, because supposely they are inneffective.

One other company loved the idea and they will propose a job board fast in August, and even give you daily things to do instead of spending time on job boards.  When I see those posts I’ll share the link with you.

One of the problems with a fast is that job boards can be good sources of leads.  Here’s a question Patrick posted on my original post calling for a FAST from job boards:

I think this is a great idea…scary, but a great idea. I myself have been drowning in job boards for months with no success whatsoever. My questions though are where am I supposed to find positions that interest me? And why are companies even posting on job boards if they clearly pay no attention to the respondents?

I admit I did feel like a complete fast might have been going overboard, however, it was only 30 days, and not having job boards is not the end of the world.  Also, I thought that people would be too tempted, if they did find a good lead, to apply online… and that’s what I really wanted the fast to be about.  Let me take Patrick’s questions one at a time:

Where am I supposed to find positions that interest me?

Job boards are excellent for this.  You can learn a lot from job postings, including what’s happening in an industry, or a company, or a division within a company.

However, you can learn that stuff from other places.  If you focused solely on Information Interviews during the month, you might get a lot more information about positions, company news, industry trends, and more, than you could get by connecting the dots from job postings.

Aside from Informational Interviews, get that information from networking groups. Whether you are networking with other unemployed people (a GREAT source of information!) or employed people, going to networking groups should be a significant part of your strategy.

And of course, don’t discount tools like Google, LinkedIn, Spoke, news websites, social tools (Facebook), etc. to get this type of information.

Did I mention Informational Interviews?  Yes, I did, and I’ll do it again.  Informational Interviews!

Why are companies even posting on job boards if they clearly pay no attention to the respondents?

I don’t know… because it’s easy?  Because they are lazy?  Because if their boss asks them how they are finding new candidates, saying they are posting online is low-hanging fruit?

It has been a part of how companies look for talent for so long, I think they will continue to do it, and job boards will continue to be a multi-billion dollar industry.  And, it does work… companies find talent through postings, and talent (you) can find openings through job boards.

It does, and can work. But according to surveys, it is not even close to effective. I’m guessing the higher position you are looking for, the less likely you’ll find it posted online.

The reason for the job board fast, especially for my readers (who tend to be more professional, executive, sophisticated, and ready to do something different to get better results), is to focus on more high value, high return activities, rather than pushing the ineffective “easy button” all day long, and getting more and more discouraged.

2 thoughts on “Job Board Fast Thoughts: Month 2 (should you continue to fast?)”

  1. I have been proposing this to clients for years. Measure the return on investment when deciding your weekly activities. Get out and do information meetings (high ROI). This week, I had two calls from clients saying that they were being considered for highly competitive positions because of referrals – one from the parent of his daughter (he got that job) and one from a client’s acquaintance (not close friend) who knew of her availability and mentioned her to the manager. She has an interview. Neither position was advertised because the need came up quickly. Easier to just meet with referrals than to open the gates to the public. No one has time; most have a sense of urgency. Make it easy for people to do business with you. Referrals do that.

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