The Case Against Job Boards: Why You Should Rethink Posting Your Resume On Them

February 26, 2012

If you have ever looked for a job (which I am assuming readers of this blog have), then you know you are faced with options for where to send your resume. As a former agency recruiter working exclusively with passive candidates (i.e. candidates who are employed), I often gave one warning to job applicants: Do not, under any circumstance, put your resume on a job board!

First, let me preface this by saying that in the two years I worked for an agency, I saw three to four people maximum get placed with a company after posting their resume on a Monster or Careerbuilder site. The reason? The job offerings that employed and passive candidates are looking for are not going to be found there. In fact, what the candidate will find is a plethora of agency recruiters calling and asking them to meet at their office because they have a great opportunity as a (insert vague title) at a (insert vague explanation) company!

If you are being choosey in your job search and are only willing to change companies for the absolute right position, then take your resume off those job boards!

Looking at it from an employer’s point of view, a candidate that is actively on a job board is most likely working with multiple recruiters and is probably not the most sought after candidate on the market. The most desirable candidates, on the other hand, are usually the ones who apply directly through a company’s website or who your recruiting team proactively headhunted.

You always have to wonder why an employed candidate would post their credentials on a job board for anyone with a account to see. 
Are job boards useful? Sure. If you are unemployed or are a recent grad, they offer a great way to get temporary work and gain interviewing experience. But if you are currently working and window shopping for your next great opportunity, then I would suggest staying away from uploading your resume to a site with that much traffic.

Now, maybe you are wondering how to look for a job if you cannot post to a job board. For starters, you can do your due diligence and look at companies that have openings in your field and apply to them directly. Secondly, you can apply via LinkedIn or Craigslist — but only if the company you are applying to is clearly delineated on the job description. If you apply to “Great Private Equity Firm Located Downtown!”, chances are you are actually applying to a recruiting agency.

Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough, use your network! Tell family, friends, and former colleagues you are thinking of putting yourself out there and looking for a new role!


Senior Corporate Recruiter

<strong>Lindsey Gurian</strong> is the Senior Corporate Recruiter at <a href="">Acquia</a>. She was previously a Senior Talent Specialist at Sonian, responsible for recruiting initiatives at both the firm and its portfolio companies.