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Does social media eliminate the need for job boards?

Does social media eliminate the need for job boards?

For the past 15 years, job boards have been a standard part of the job seeker and employer ‘tool kit’. And why not?: job boards have proved to be an efficient way for job seekers to locate hiring companies, apply for jobs, and get a resume in front of potential employers.

But now the onset of social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other services might make you wonder – do you really need the job boards anymore? Let’s take a closer look.

Social media as it relates to employment falls into two general categories: ‘site-based’ and ‘service-based’.

Site-based: These include LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, and so on. We call them ‘site-based’ because the primary social interaction occurs on the service’s website. For example, on LinkedIn you can build a profile that covers the high points in your work experience; your profile can then be visible to recruiters and potential employers. You can also join groups focused on specific interests (for example, ‘green jobs’) or industries. Most importantly, you can build your own ‘network’ of connections – people you know personally or professional, along with their friends and colleagues.
Service-based: These include such services as Twitter. The primary interaction occurs not on the main Twitter site, but via ‘tweets’ which can be viewed on multiple interfaces and platforms. Unlike a site-based service, a service-based tool has little functionality beyond the ‘messages’ that go from person to person, and network to network. However, because of the size and organization of these networks, a service-based tool like Twitter can provide a significant audience for a job seeker – or a job posting.

Where does a job board fall in these social media categories? In both, it seems – in fact, you might call job boards the ‘original social media’! Much of a job board’s functionality is contained on the site (where you might typically post your resume, search for jobs, read career articles, etc.), but a goodly portion occurs off-site, in the form of job alerts (where jobs are emailed to you), cross-posting of jobs to other sites, and so on.

It’s interesting to note too, that many job boards were offering social networking opportunities long before LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter exploded onto the scene. Today, many of those same job boards have incorporated these tools into their sites making them a good starting point for networking in their niches.

What might you lose if you decided to give job boards entirely and rely only on pure social media? Well, for one, the opportunity to easily showcase yourself to industry-specific recruiters and employers. Although a site such as LinkedIn certainly lets you display a job posting or resume, it lacks the focus of a good niche job board – and LinkedIn’s sheer size can work against you.

By giving up job boards, you  would  deprive yourself of an excellent research tool. A well-respected niche job board in your specific industry or profession has spent years cultivating and developing relationships with leading employers – and then concentrating their opportunities in one location. You can save yourself much time and hassle by leveraging the job board’s information.

Finally, though, ask yourself: why give up any tool that can help you find the right job or hire? Social media services can be a great addition to your job search effort. The best outcomes happen when recruiters and job seekers exploit multiple channels and methods, including job boards, personal networking, friends and colleagues, and yes, social media.

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