Today’s Smart Job Search Goes Beyond Job Boards

smart job searchSmart job search means finding and applying for as many jobs as possible, right?

NO! The major problem with this strategy is its popularity with job seekers. When you focus all of your efforts on job boards, you face the greatest competition in the job market.

Recruiters are in a “war for talent” — they are searching relentlessly online for qualified candidates because job postings are less effective today. 

Rather than spending all of your job search efforts on job boards submitting applications, today’s smart job search means incorporating these two mindsets into your job seeking strategy:

1. Consistently Be Visible Online

The majority of recruiters fight to win the war for talent by searching for people qualified for their job opportunities.

Today, one of the best ways to find a job is to have the job find you.

In a smart job search, you leverage sites like LinkedIn (and Facebook) to be found by employers in their Google searches. When you have analyzed job postings, you know what employers want. Then, knowing what employers want, you can make your match with their requirements clear to them.

Currently, LinkedIn is the best place to be visible for most employers and industries. LinkedIn is the site most recruiters use to find qualified job candidates.

For a smarter job search, focus your efforts on including the best keywords for your target job and target employers in your LinkedIn Profile:

  • If your target employer calls the job you want “Lead Marketing Wizard” rather than the usual “Principal Marketing Analyst,” include both job titles in your LinkedIn Profile. Like this, “Principal Marketing Analyst / Lead Marketing Wizard, expert in leveraging…”
  • If your target employer requires that employees be experienced using some specific software that you are experienced using, include those terms in your LinkedIn Profile. Be sure to include the terms exactly as the employer describes them in job postings. For example, if the target job descriptions specify experience using “Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Word” use those exact terms rather than simply “Microsoft software.”

Using the terms your target employer uses is essential to be found by those employers. Don’t claim something you can’t do, but do adapt to use the terms your target employer typically uses in their job postings (one of the most productive uses of job postings).

2. Go Where The Recruiters are Looking

Smart job search means having target employers, identifying people they know at those employers who can refer them, and then leveraging the employer’s employee referral programs (“ERP”) to be hired.

Employers prefer job candidates referred by a current employee. 

Smart job seekers learn how target employers’ ERP programs work. Usually, this is easy because the ERP rules are often posted on the employers’ websites or made available to those employees the job seekers know.

Different ERP’s have differing requirements. So, if the job seeker knows someone who can refer them, they should ask for documentation of the “official process.” When the official process is followed, the employee receives a financial reward by the employer. And, the job seeker has a much greater likelihood of being hired!

The ERP rules can vary greatly from employer to employer, so it is VERY important to understand the rules before applying!

Get away from the job boards. Go where the employers are looking. Get found. Get referred. That, my friends, is today’s smart job search.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Work Coach Cafe!




Susan-P-Joyce-AuthorOnline job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 2011, Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoachCafe.  A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Susan also edits and publishes, is a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a columnist on HuffingtonPostAOL Jobs, and LinkedIn. Follow Susan on Twitter.



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