When you're out of work, looking for work should be a full-time job. Even so, refreshing and responding to posts on job boards is less effective than ever. So what do you do? Hannah Morgan at Career Sherpa has a suggestion: stop spending so much time on job boards and use that time to find interesting companies, introduce yourself and network with people inside those companies, and apply directly.
Big job sites definitely have a place, and we're a bit more optimistic about your chances with them than Hannah is, but she notes that major job sites are really only good for finding out what skills are in demand in your field, see what job titles people are using in your field, and which recruiters, hiring firms and industries are doing the most hiring so you can bypass the boards and go after them directly. In the end, she argues, your chances of actually landing a job are much higher when you network and make personal connections — even if you spend the same amount of time on two or three introductions and phone calls that you could have spent applying for dozens of openings on major sites.
If you're not convinced, hit the link below — she explains why major job sites are generally a recipe for disappointment (namely, you're competing with hundreds of people for a job that may have only been posted because of company policy, and the hiring manager either already knows someone, has a referral, or fills the position internally.)
We've discussed whether what you know or who you know is more important (spoiler: it's both,) but this approach is likely to get you into the companies where you really want to work, as opposed to just getting a form-rejection in your inbox.
Stop Chasing Jobs [Career Sherpa]