When starting a job search, some people jump online and start scouring job boards. Bad move. Not only are there more than 150,000 job boards on the Web, but mindlessly sifting through irrelevant job postings is a time and energy drain. Each candidate needs a way to carefully organize the job boards and pick the most effective ones. They must become smarter searchers.

To build momentum rather than lose it, be focused and specific. Identify keywords and phrases relating to your specific industry, field or job level. This will help you quickly scan through job postings to locate only the most relevant. That focus and specificity can mean a difference between a candidate finding a great job or wasting another day scrolling.

Weddle’s 5-to-1 rule

To bring a method to job board madness, HR executive Peter Weddle suggests using the 5-to-1 Rule. This rule states that a job seeker must use a total of five job boards to find his or her ideal job. The 5-to-1 Rule makes the task of job searching simpler by breaking it down into a formula: 2GP + 3N = 1GJ. That means two general-purpose job boards plus three niche job boards equals one great job. General-purpose job boards are boards that post openings in various professions and trades while niche sites are specific to job field, industry or geographical area.While the 5-to-1 Rule gives insight on the number of boards a seeker should use, it does not explain how to select which boards will be most useful. Weddle recommends what he calls the NASCAR technique. The acronym lists six features that should be evaluated by job seekers before they decide which board is most appropriate for them. These features are:

  1. Number or kinds of jobs posted on the site. Are the jobs posted on the board related to your field? Do they fit with your area of expertise and skill level?
  2. Availability of a job agent. Does the site offer a means of quickly contacting you when a job that matches your qualifications is posted?
  3. Salary range of the posted jobs. Do a significant number of the jobs posted meet the salary range you are seeking?
  4. Cost of using the site. Does the fee of the site match the caliber of the service it provides?
  5. Aids for job search and career management. Does the site help to further your career by not only providing practical help in the job search but in career self-management as well?
  6. Resume database with a confidentiality feature. Does the site allow you to post the appropriate employment credentials? Are you able to control who views these credentials and when they see them?

Boards are no substitute for established techniques

Today’s job boards are as varied as the workers who visit them, so what is appropriate for one field may be a waste of time in another. While these techniques are not a substitute for solid job search practices, using them in conjunction can help a job seeker manage his search efficiently and improve the outcome.

RiseSmart, the leader in next-generation outplacement services, offers various services through its Transition Concierge. By providing resources such as one-on-one coaching and a personalized job portal, RiseSmart helps workers take the guessing game out of the job search and use all their available tools efficiently.

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