Internet Job Boards

What Is an Internet Job Board?

An Internet job board is an online resource dedicated to job advertisements, job postings, and functions related to job searches, such as posting résumés, gathering industry and company information, and pursuing offerings in continuing education. Job postings generally include such information as job title, responsibilities, salary, location, benefits, and application requirements. However, not all these functions or related information are available on every Internet job board.

Internet Job Boards

Internet job boards provide an easy, accessible way for job seekers and employers and recruiters to learn about each other. Job seekers can post résumés, portfolios, and work-related profiles on many Internet job boards. Employers and recruiters can look through such information when searching for candidates to hire. Employers and recruiters can use job boards to highlight their organizations, which can attract job seekers and launch the relationship-building process between candidate and employer.

Some Internet job boards, such as , , and , have become well known by hosting a wide range of employment listings from a variety of industries. Other boards are tailored to a specific business, industry, or job type. Mediabistro, for example, focuses on job openings for media professionals. Some Internet job boards have a general focus but have contracts with certain companies or businesses to post their jobs. For example, Microsoft lists its jobs on only a few Internet job boards, including .

How Long Have Internet Job Boards Been Around?

, for example, has its origins in Monster Board, one of the first public Internet job boards, which was established in 1994. Within a few years, as use of the Internet boomed, online job boards added services, such as pinpointed searching, job seekers’ profiles, and guidance for job seekers.

Online job boards aggregate thousands of postings from company web sites, job boards, and newspapers.

Online job boards aggregate thousands of postings from company web sites, job boards, and newspapers. CHARLES PERTWEE/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES.

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, Internet job boards were increasingly supplanting printed job resources. Internet job boards have grown in popularity because they help streamline the job search for both job seekers and employers. By the second decade of the twenty-first century, Internet job boards have become one of the most common ways for job seekers to research and find jobs. Increasingly, Internet job boards are focusing on not only listing jobs but also creating ways for job seekers to market themselves online and to network with employers. For example, many Internet job boards include ways for a job seeker to create online professional profiles.

What Are Some Types of Internet Job Boards?

There are many types of Internet job boards, many of which can be found through the International Association of Employment Web Sites ( ). In addition to general Internet job boards like , which is its own business, there are also general job boards operated by newspapers, radio stations, colleges and universities, and alumni associations.

Specialized job boards focus on an individual industry, job field, or profession. For example, focuses on information technology jobs, whereas concentrates on jobs in the insurance industry. Many specialized job boards are sponsored by trade and professional publications, affinity groups, and professional groups. Companies also have their own job boards that are part of their recruiting and hiring systems. These job boards typically can be accessed through a company's website.

Using the Riley Guide

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the number of Internet job boards, you might benefit from the Riley Guide ( ), a free online resource for job seekers. The guide was founded by Margaret F. Dikel (formerly Riley) in 1994. Dikel, a librarian, wanted to help job seekers connect with jobs, recruiters, educational opportunities, and other career resources.

In addition to offering job seekers access to a wide variety of articles about preparing for a job search, considering career options, and the job market itself, the website offers resources to help you evaluate and navigate the numerous online job boards, recruiting forms, and employment guides.

The website offers a directory of job boards and other employment resources that is organized to help you target the kinds of sites that will be most helpful to you. You can browse the largest job sites, focus your search on sites that are specific to a state or country, search for job boards in a specific industry, concentrate on job boards that specialize in part-time work, or even visit sites that offer advice about self-employment or starting your own business.

Using a reference tool like the Riley Guide can make your job search more efficient. Instead of searching the Internet for job boards that might have postings applicable to your search, you can browse a wide variety of sites and target those most likely to help you to achieve your employment goals.

How Does a Job Board Work, and How Is It Used?

Most Internet job boards feature a search engine that allows job seekers to search by job title, company name, or key word. Internet job boards can also include job listings by category or company. These jobs have been submitted by companies, recruiters, and search firms that need applicants.

You can use an Internet job board in several ways. After searching for jobs using the search engine, you can submit a résumé or curriculum vitae (CV), cover letter, and application in response to a listing. You should ensure that each document submitted in response to a listing matches the requirements of that listing. Online applications should be customized to include key words specific to the industry or position to which you are applying. Employers will often use scanning software to exclude candidates whose applications do not include pertinent key words. The company will then consider the applications of remaining candidates and contact those in whom they are interested.

Internet Job Boards

To avoid having to check an Internet job board frequently, you can usually set up alerts to better manage the job search. Most job boards allow job seekers to set up automated notifications of a specific type or types of job. A daily or weekly e-mail alert will then inform you when there is a match. However, this system is not fail-safe, and you may still benefit from searching job listings regularly.

You can also submit a résumé or CV to an Internet job board's database. Many websites also allow job seekers to post a short biography and job history. Employers, recruiters, and search firms use these databases to find candidates for the jobs they have.

There are many useful support services found on Internet job boards for job seekers. These services include webinars about résumé and CV writing, job search techniques, interviewing, interpreting job postings, and online image management. There are related blogs and discussion forums for job seekers, as well as information on prospective employers. Some specialized job sites, such as Mediabistro, offer classes to add to or improve your skills. For employers, some Internet job boards screen candidates, provide access to background checking services, and offer résumé management services.

What Are the Advantages of Using an Internet Job Board?

There are many advantages to using an Internet job board as part of a job search. Browsing through Internet job boards is easy. At the same time, however, its specialized job searches make it ideal for professionals. A job seeker can look through many job sites and quickly gain a sense of what kind of jobs are available. Internet job boards allow for a passive job search, such as for job seekers who are already employed. Also, if you would like to move to a different city or country, you can easily access job postings in other locations.

With the information provided in the job listing, you can adapt your résumé, CV, cover letters, and any other application materials to fit the job description. Sometimes, a job listing also includes salary and other details that might not be available from a job lead gained through networking. In addition, the use of Internet job boards can increase the speed of hiring, especially for certain industries.

Internet Job Boards

Many Internet job boards include information about effective job-search techniques, provide information and guidance about résumé writing and interviewing, and include links to further career management resources. Some even offer assessments and discussions forums, both of which can help you further your career. Online networking can also be accomplished through some Internet job boards.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using an Internet Job Board?

Although there are many benefits to using an Internet job board, job seekers should also be aware of the drawbacks. When jobs are posted online, the competition for them is often heavy, especially on popular general websites, such as . Some companies post the same job on a number of job board sites, creating overlap for job seekers who visit multiple boards. It is often difficult to know what happens to an application once you have applied to an online posting. Posts also do not generally include a contact name, making it difficult for people to follow up with the hiring manager once they have applied for a job.

Also, before posting the job on an Internet job board, a company will have made some decisions about the kind of candidates they are seeking. Owing to the high volume of applications received, companies will be less likely to consider candidates whose credentials are not an exact match. If, for example, the company has determined that it wants an applicant with a college degree, a job seeker without a degree will be much less likely to be interviewed, even if he or she meets all of the other qualifications, has extensive experience, and has provided appropriate key words on his or her application. When applicants have difficulty fitting their experiences and qualifications into an application form, they will likely be overlooked.

Internet Job Boards

Using an Internet job board as part of a job search, a job seeker cannot draw on contacts that may have been gained through traditional networking. More job seekers are hired through networking or mutual contacts than by replying to a listing on a job board or to an advertisement.

How Should I Use Job Boards in my Search?

After researching various job boards and determining which best fits your needs, you should monitor several job boards based on profession, job needs, and goals. You should also set up an alert that will make using the board more efficient. You can then put together needed documents, including a cover letter and a résumé or CV. Résumés and CVs should include not only job titles but also all educational and job experiences, and they should be written with the key words that companies are likely to seek. A quick Internet search can provide examples of the kind of key words that attract the attention of the scanning software used by employers. You should gather references and letters of recommendation before beginning the job search so that you can provide them to a potential employer on demand. Some job seekers set up a separate e-mail account for their job search to keep all application communications and documents in one place.

Many websites featuring Internet job boards allow you to create a profile and post a short biography to attract potential employers and recruiters. Use the biography to highlight your job experience and related information in a positive, professional manner. Like all other written materials created as part of a job search, the biography should be thoroughly edited and proofread to ensure that it is error free.

Do I Have to Pay to Use a Job Board?

Most Internet job boards do not charge for basic access to job postings and related support information. However, many sell access packages, especially those sites that target specific professions and industries. Most online classes and continuing education programs available on such websites also involve a fee.

Employers who post their jobs on Internet job boards generally pay a fee. Some pay subscription fees, while others contract with a job board that will serve as the company's external job listings site. Because of the fees involved, some companies only post those positions that are the most difficult to fill.

How Do I Decide if a Job Board Is Right for Me and Which Ones Should I Use?

Often the more focused an Internet job board is, the more effective it is. If the job board has good support services, such as automated response options, it will be of greater value to you than one without such services.

How Do I Follow Up With Contacts/Jobs from Job Boards?

Because most job listings on Internet job boards do not include contact information, it will be difficult for you to follow up after submitting an application or résumé. You should not expect to hear from most companies to which you apply through job boards. However, you can be proactive. When a company or organization responds to an application you make, you should respond within 48 hours. If no one contacts you after you submit an application, you can try to learn the hiring manager's name through phone calls, research, e-mails, or letters. Ideally, any initial follow up should occur within a week of submitting an application.