How job boards use and abuse you

You can effectively use internet job boards.  You can get hired.  First though, you have to understand the weaknesses of job boards.  Then you can use these 4 weaknesses to your advantage.

Let’s say you have a choice between hiring someone you worked with for 3 years or a stranger.  The person you know is a proven top performer.  The person you never met before says he is a top performer.  Who do you hire?

That’s the first problem with internet job boards.  Many companies post jobs that they fill from their existing employees.  They have a policy to leave the door open for a superstar, so they put the job on the internet.  What happens when the superstar walks in?  Usually they say she is overqualified and show her the door.

Next problem: Most job ads come from employment agencies.  I have seen the same computer programmer job advertised by 10 agencies AND the company that wants to hire.  How many people will submit resumes for that job?  There will be at least 3 qualified people submitted by each agency, that’s 30.  Then there will be 100 people submitting themselves to the company and 5 of those will be qualified.  That’s a lot of competition.

Third problem:  Did you notice that 100 people will apply directly for the job and 5 will be qualified? If the screener doesn’t see exactly what he is looking for on your resume, you won’t get in for an interview.  Usually the screener doesn’t really know what you do.  He is looking for keywords and phrases.  You have to get past the screener.

Last problem:  Most jobs are NOT advertised on job boards.  But you can use the job boards to find them.

That’s four problems.  Think about overcoming them.  How can you turn each weakness into a strength for you?  How can you turn the tables?  You can.  I’ll tell you how over the coming week.


Something To Do Today

Go to and other job boards.  Search for a job like yours.  Follow the links through and see how many are agencies and how many are by the hiring company.  Who writes the most exciting ads?  Agencies or companies?  Take the list of four problems above and make your own list of ways to overcome them.

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