My Experiences with Job Boards


Introduction

For the last few months I’ve been looking for work, having moved to a new country. These are my experiences with working with some of these sites. I’m in IT (will explain a little later).

Skills vs Attributes

A skill is something you can acquire, or study for and build upon. A skill may be programming, or more specifically, Oracle programming. Another is Quality Management.

An attribute is something you either have, or don’t have. And many times it’s something you cannot readily acquire. Either way, it doesn’t take skill to have it. Examples include security clearances and race (read “Affirmative Action”).

Why am I mentioning this? Because skill sites don’t cater for any of this. They only have skill sets. For instance, I would like to be able to search for specific jobs, in a specific area that do not require security clearances.

Specific Skills

Just because I’m in IT does not mean I can code anything. The scope of this category is very wide. When searching for skills, I might want to search not only for Oracle, but for jobs that DON’T contain ASP.NET but are “programming” jobs. So, the sites need to include good boolean searches: this means “and”, “or” and brackets. Come on guys, it can be done.

CVs and Covering Letters

What I’ve learnt is that you need to have different CVs for different jobs. One size fits all does not work. You will basically be saying the same thing in each, just highlighting certain skills more than others. I would like to be able to load different CVs and covering letters on the site and be able to choose which one to use for a job application. I can now have 1 CV (and covering letter) for Java and another for Oracle and use the appropriate one when needed.

This means that when I register on the site, I want to be able to store each of these.

Any Time, Any Where

Please note that I am not always at my laptop when applying for jobs. I could be anywhere, including my local coffee shop. I am quite prepared to load the supporting documentation from my laptop to the site while at home, but I don’t want to do it each time. So, if I’m sitting down somewhere and surfing for jobs, I would like to do so. Don’t give me an upload button, it doesn’t work on the iPad. I want to choose which of the CVs to use.

On the same topic, please provide me with an app. Your sites don’t scale quite well on smaller screens with stubby fingers.

LinkedIn

I have loaded my job experience and skills on LinkedIn. It is possible for sites to connect to my account and build my online job search profile from there. I don’t want to have to enter it each time.

Expired Jobs

This really gets to me. I see a job being advertised that I know I can do, only to click on it and realize it has expired. The chances of me visiting your site much after that are severely limited.

So, what do you think? What are your experiences with job search sites? If you have anything to add I would love to hear from you.

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