Job boards have made the job search easier … and harder

When something becomes too easy, it can eventually become much harder. It’s one of those paradoxes of life. 

Let me explain.

When something gets used too much, it becomes less valuable. (Example: email. Email is valuable as a tool and used all the time, but the value of each individual email has been diluted.)

When something becomes used less often, it can become more valuable. (Example: hand-written thank you notes. Handwritten notes are not as essential as they used to be, but if you write a hand-written note it stands out more than it used to.)

This is a fascinating video, and I think one that should be extremely helpful to both job seekers and recruiters. 

The headline seems overly critical of job board sites. I personally invest a lot in job boards, and I think Indeed, CareerBuilder, and other job boards are very helpful. However, they don’t solve all of our problems. 

In some ways, things started to get harder for employers and employees alike when job boards were introduced. The application part became easier, and because of that, the process became harder in some ways. It’s one of the ironies of life.

The reason the easier system made things harder is basic economics. Employers would be more stingy about spending money to advertise job postings, and employees would be more stingy about applying. Those who spent the time and money to apply and mail in a letter would be more likely to have thought through the process and be qualified. 

In a way, it’s similar to the phenomenon that’s going on with personal relationships. Despite the rise of social media, people are reporting that they are more lonely and have fewer close friends today than people did 20 or 40 years ago. I suspect the reason is that social media has displaced many personal relationships.

I won’t give away the entire video, but I do have two key points I would suggest to job seekers:

  1. If you want the right company to find you, make sure to have a good resume with the right keywords. (Update your LinkedIn profile while you’re at it also.)
  2. Network, network, network. Network with other people at the companies you want to go to, and network with recruiters and employment agencies. 
  3. Don’t just do whatever else does. Find a way to stand out.

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