Believe it or Not: Online job boards do work

Illustration courtesy of

By Justin K. Thomas

Commercials for online job boards can be seen and heard everywhere. So, when it comes to answering the question: Do they work? The answer might astonish you, said Peter Weddle, chief of executive officer of TAtech, the trade association for the global talent acquisition technology industry.

“Yes, online job boards do work,” Weddle said. “Year after year, employers around the country are surveyed as to how they find and hire their talent. And time and time again, online job boards are either the best or second-best option of staffing their companies. Employee referrals also top the lists as well.”

Weddle also said that job-seekers must be wisely prepare when searching job-board websites.

“Be smart when researching jobs online,” he said. “Use a combination of the search engines such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder or Jobs2Careers in correlation with your geographic location. However, also look to websites that seek to further and positively advocate your occupation, using either niche sites like, or and sites that are operated by professional societies. For example, if you’re a mechanical engineer, look for products and services on the website of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and so on.”

One person who’s had a positive experience with ensuring that his résumé is ready for examination is Brian Keown, a U.S. Navy veteran and an employee at Toshiba America Medical Systems.

Keown states that before submitting his information online, he wanted recruiters to know that he had a set of skills that made him stand out among other candidates. To do this, he crafted his résumé to match the job description and requirements using keywords.

“I put my résumé on after researching how to create an effective one online,” Keown said. “Within about 20 minutes, I received a phone-call. The caller stated that she used a keyword search for all applicants and was ‘very impressed’ with my qualifications and wanted to know if I was available for an interview. In fact, compared to other candidates who submitted a one-page résumé the hiring managers were surprised that I provided a three-page version detailing my technical proficiency. The company genuinely seemed excited that I wanted to sell myself rather than just be a typical applicant. A few weeks later, I was hired.”

However, some job-seekers, including Crystal Gause-Hively, a full-time housewife and soccer mom, have not found the success they had hoped for using online job boards.

“I’ve used online job boards a few times, and I was not impressed with the results,” Gause-Hively said. “I was overrun with ‘offers’ from vague sales or commission-related jobs. I even received offers of employment for jobs I wasn’t even qualified to have. It was very annoying. It seems to happen a lot to me with job boards such as Same thing happens with, but it’s not as bad.”

Weddle said that job searching is a frustrating fact of life, but job-seekers need to realize that they must evolve with the times to be relevant in the job market because employers are becoming extremely picky.

“In the past, the way you made yourself the ideal candidate for a position is to look as ‘complete’ as possible,” Weddle said.

However, in today’s job market this may not work. Weddle said that you want to show employers that you are still “a work in progress” and that you’re willing to improve yourself and your job skills continually.

As to the future of online job boards, Weddle said that things are just getting started.

"Online job boards will become even more relevant in the future," he said. "There are a lot of employers looking to hire employees to fill a lot of open positions. To help with this, Google, Facebook and even Linkedin are allowing more and more organizations to promote open jobs on their platforms. I think this concept will give job-seekers a greater awareness of the many employment websites that are available, which will, in turn, increase their chances of success in finding the right job."