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Hold on a Minute! I Thought Job Boards Were for Getting Jobs

2 December 2009 Written by: Anthony Tony Ratagick 6 Comments
Hold on a Minute!  I Thought Job Boards Were for Getting Jobs

I admit it. I spent entirely too much time filling out online job applications, writing custom cover letters and sending in résumés to people I have never met and likely never will. We’ve all heard the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Well, I guess I must have been insane.

I’m going to step out on a limb here and say that if you’re posting your résumé on the big boards like CareerBuilder or even the specialty boards like The Ladders, you, like me, are wasting your time and in some cases your money and may also be as insane as I.

How many of you are actually finding positions from ads placed on these sites? The data indicate that there are currently 3.3 applicants for every job posting online, averaged. Studies show that 80% of jobs are filled through referrals. With those kind of numbers, I feel like I would have better luck with my time and money if I went out and bought a lottery ticket or played the horses.

I have found that I need to apply the same sales methodology to my job hunt that I did at my last position as an Account Executive. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I didn’t do it that way in the beginning. After all, what kind of sales exec am I if I can’t even market and sell myself? (Don’t answer that!)

When I’ve sold solutions in the past, I didn’t immediately lead in with the price quote and a contract, so why should I assume that someone will hire me just because they saw my résumé? Before I can sell, I have to understand the pain the hiring manager is trying to solve, and then figure out if I am the answer to his problems. If so, I sell the solution through further consultation. If not, I need to walk away and spend my time elsewhere. But I can’t sell myself by firing off the résumé and waiting for the phone to ring. That’s like firing all my ammo in one shot. Just like my military training taught me, I need to do the reconnaissance missions first.

Recon Mission:

  • I’ve pulled a list of the top ten companies I want to work for, and I’m researching the hiring managers through my own personal network or on LinkedIn.
  • I’ve launched a cold calling and referral campaign to those top companies in an effort to get recognition.
  • I ask for ten minutes of time with the hiring manager and I simply ask a couple of basic solution selling questions: What keeps you up nights? What is the ideal characteristic you’re looking for? Can we schedule a time to discuss how I might help you address these concerns?

In addition, I’m going to Job Fairs and networking events and getting face to face with as many people as I can. If I’m asked for a resume before this step has taken place, I push back.

If I’m going to spend any time online, I’m spending it implementing a social media strategy. I have increased my connections on LinkedIn, and I’m looking at Twitter as both a marketing strategy and a news feed.

Getting your profile up to date and complete on LinkedIn is a no brainer. Get as many references as you can, but make sure you review their content and the reference is from at least an equal if not a former or current superior. Certainly, if you’re going to take this path as I am, you need to Google yourself. Make sure everything that comes up positively reflects on you. Change your avatars to something that looks more professional. In my case, I decided to remove all the photos of myself in my motorcycle gear. Nothing wrong with letting people know I have a life outside of work, but I don’t want a potential employer thinking that’s all I do. And frankly, I’ve been told I look a little intimidating in my biker persona. Not the best message to send to an employer, yes?

So what else is working? What about getting Google AdWords pricing for CPC (Cost Per Click) on yourself? Is it worth the money? I’ve also seen a few people post their availability up on various groups.

Can someone let me know if that’s worked? I would love to hear your ideas.

Good Hunting

Tony is currently looking for work. You can learn more about him at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tony-ratagick/1/898/b77 or follow him on Twitter @ratagick.

Anthony Tony Ratagick

You can learn so much about this author by clicking here.


  • Colleen Bruemmer said:

    Hello Tony. Thanks very much for this post. I really like your approach to the search and am following a somewhat similar strategy but probably not as well as you are doing. I saw this blog post as the result of a tweet by Career Jockey. I just sent it as a RT to my followers as well.

    I’ll be following you on Twitter when I can get back into my actual account.

    Best regards,

    Colleen Bruemmer
    Twitter: cbruemmer

  • uberVU - social comments (author) said:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by CareerJockey: Hold on a Minute! I Thought Job Boards Were for Getting Jobs? http://ow.ly/HYCG

  • Barbara Adolfson said:

    Great article, Tony. I found your post through the CareerJockey Tweet as well.

    I’m not sure why all of us continue with the resume boards in our job search. Maybe because it worked in the past? Networking, both in person and online, is the most effective way to find a job today.

    BTW, I wanted to follow you on Twitter but I saw you had protected your account. You may want to reconsider that approach if you are looking to build your Twitter network.


  • Terry said:

    Tony, nice wake-up call. I’m in the very beginning stages of doing what you are but most definitely not as detailed. I will be working on that for sure. I have to agree with Barbara about networking. I’m starting to build my network.

    As the others, I am following you on twitter.


  • Tony Ratagick said:

    Thanks for the kind words all, and I must say I’m shocked to see that after two years this post is still one of the highest rated reads.
    For those who are interested, I have found a position that makes me happy and is financially rewarding. Also, I no longer use twitter. I found that another success factor was reducing the amount of “electronic noise” in my life so I could focus on the task at hand.

    If you are interested in reaching out, I can be contacted through LinkedIn.

    Happy Hunting All!!

  • Helping You Hire said:

    Wow great article! I work as a staffing consultant for a staffing solutions company and we utilize the job boards. I will admit that as a candidate it is frustrating writing custom cover letters and sending resumes and never getting a response, but working on the other side of recruiting, I have found that job boards can be quite handy in successfully filling a position.

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