March, 2009 — Issue 109
Experts Offer Viewpoints on Job Boards
There are more than 60,000 job boards on the Web, so which one should you spend your time searching? If you were among the millions of Super Bowl viewers in early February, you might be thinking about sites like CareerBuilder, Monster and TheLadders since all three aired attention-grabbing commercials during the big game. To home in on the best sites, The Wall Street Journal asked a variety of career experts how the big job boards measure up and where else job seekers can look. The following Q&A feature published by the newspaper offers their viewpoints on the topic:
Q. Let’s start with the popular sites like Monster, CareerBuilder and HotJobs. Love them or hate them?
They do a nice job for very young, entry-level job hunters,” said Michael Mellone, a senior consultant at ClearRock, a Boston-based outplacement firm. But for more experienced professionals, he said, industry-specific job sites are more effective, such as efinancialcareers.com and HigherEd.com.
Gerry Crispin, co-founder of Career Xroads, a consulting firm in Kendall Park, N.J., said CareeerBuilder lacks sophistication. Recently he saw a quiz on the site that promised to give job hunters insight into what career path they should pursue based on the colors they like. “I’d be embarrassed as an employer to work with a site that uses such unprofessional approaches to career management.” he said.
By contrast, Sarah Hightower Hill, chief executive officer of outplacement firm Chandler Hill Partners, Inc. in Tuscon, Ariz., said she likes CareerBuilder because it’s easy to navigate. “The site drives you right in to the job search. It’s no nonsense,” she said.
To learn how job site “robots” scan posted resumes and how to maximize the possibility of your own resume being noticed, log on to www.jobsbl.com and follow the links to Bob Larson’s webinar entitled “Myth Busters – How Resumes are Read.”
Q. What are some of your favorite sites?
For Crispin, Jobing.com wins high marks. The site specializes in advertising local employment for job hunters in 41 metro areas across the country. “They have people who physically go out and meet with professional associations that are trying to get their members hired,” he told The Wall Street Journal.
Crispin also favors the site for the DirectEmployers Association, jobcentral.com. Jobhunters interested in positions advertised on the site can click on a link to be taken directly to the employer’s Web site. “You apply to the company firsthand,” he said.
Additionally, Crispin points to Craigslist.com because “it’s the most open, honest and transparent site out there,” he said. He also cites its simplicity and ease of use. “It’s also one of the most responsive,” he said, referring to the company’s immediate action when complaints are made. He cautions, though, that job seekers should be aware of potential job scams among the listings.
Rich Gee, an executive coach in Stamford, Conn., recommends Execunet.com. “It’s a serious job site,” he said “You cut right through the noise and get to the actual job.”
Q. Execunet charges a fee to respond to its help-wanted ads. So do The Ladders and some other job boards. Are they worth paying for?
“It’s not a lot of money for what you get in return, which is a great filter to get serious jobs,” said Gee. Many job hunters complain that too many employment ads on The Ladders are anonymous, making research and due diligence difficult, according to Hightower Hill. “It’s pretty hard to follow up because you don’t always know the identifty of the company,” she explained.
But Roy Cohen, a career counselor and executive coach in New York, told the newspaper that fee sites market their services too aggressively, making them less worthwhile. “They’re constantly selling,” he said. “It feels like you are being bombarded to upgrade your service.”
Q. Are any sites better at keeping out misleading job ads than others?
“There is no site that can promise to perfectly keep away somebody who has a malicious intent,” Crispin said. “However, most of the major job boards have pretty good security in place to screen it out.”
Crispin notes that Craiglist.com is particularly vulnerable to the problem because it’s less expensive than most job boards for posting employment ads. “It has—and should have—a buyer-beware warning,” he said. “It’s one of the hardest sites to keep clean, but Craig himself works very hard to do that.”
What advice do you have for job hunters searching employment boards?
Don’t put too much time into them, advised Cohen. He recommends investing heavily in networking in person and online. Bob Larson offers specific networking tips in several of his webinars, including “Supermarket-Gym-House of Worship” and “Generating Interviews through Confident Cold-Calling”, which can be found at www.jobsbl.com. Job seekers should also utilize other traditional job search avenues, including working with recruiters.
News from BLK
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