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How are you going to find your next job opportunity?

Do you know exactly what job role you want next, and in which company? If you don't, you may be tempted to search a job board (including aggregators such as indeed.co.uk) or use LinkedIn to find your next position. Both of these methods can be successful, however it is a lot harder if you don't know what the market is like for your skills and experience, or you’re looking to move into a position different to what you’ve done before. Both can be useful for certain purposes, so carry on reading to find out if you should be using a job board or LinkedIn to find your next role.

Job Boards

There are two ways of using job boards to find a new opportunity. You can either post your CV on their database, which makes it searchable to all the employers who use the system, or you can search for jobs posted by employers or recruitment agencies.

Using a job board to post a CV could be one of the easiest ways to find a new position, because with one action you’re making your CV available to thousands of recruiters and potential employers on the job boards. Be warned however, this means you could be fielding off a high volume of phone calls for roles that may not fit your specific requirements, because you’ve publically stated you’re looking for a job.

When posting a CV however, you have no control over where it ends up or what roles you’re being considered for. Some candidates find themselves overloaded with interest and others have little interest in their CV. This could be due to around 25% of Job Boards saying they have more than 500,000 CVs in their database, according to the Job Board Doctors annual Job Board Survey from 2016.*

If you’re using job boards to search for roles, you can sign up for alerts when roles that may be of interest are released. You can also save jobs to keep track of ones you’ve applied for which can be helpful to help you stay organised. Job boards allow you to use filters to whittle down your searches, meaning you receive only results that are relevant. It is worth remembering, however, that searching for jobs can be time-consuming.

Pros

Only one action needed to make your CV available to employers and agencies

Stay organised with job alerts and saved job applications

Almost instant influx of calls

Cons

Potentially a high volume of irrelevant calls

Little to no control over who views your CV

Little to no control over what roles you’re being considered for

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the biggest professional social network in the world, with 433 million members. If you’re using LinkedIn to find your next job, you would have significantly more control over your profile and have insight into who has been viewing it. You can also often see who the employer for a role that has been posted is, which means you have the opportunity to do your own research into the company. Like job boards, you can also sign up for job alerts which can be useful to track the latest job openings.

Whilst using LinkedIn, you would also be able to see how many applications have been made for the role. LinkedIn is also a useful way of having a CV-type biography of yourself written in a less formal way and in your own words, which means you have the opportunity to show more personality as well as associations you belong to, recommendations from colleagues, and your interests by the groups you are a member of.

Known for being a great tool to use to grow and develop professional networks, it’s worth considering that you would be able to see who you know that works for the employer, including how you’re connected to them. Asking for introductions can be a good way to grow your network and you could be put in touch with someone who becomes invaluable in your career. Researching potential employers and carrying out background investigation is really easy on LinkedIn, with most businesses having their own company pages describing who they are and what they do. Company pages are also a source of marketing material and content from the business, which can give you an insight into the way they work and their company culture. Growing your network can be a really beneficial way of finding a new role, so it’s worth remembering that LinkedIn is one of the best tools for this, if used correctly.

LinkedIn can, however, be one of the most time consuming ways to look for a new job. There’s a lot more searching and networking involved, even things such as crafting an introductory InMail to a new connection can take a lot of time to get right.

Pros

More visibility over who looks at your profile

Best way to build and nurture your network

More insight into the company and its employees

More proactive than job boards, and you don’t need to advertise that you’re looking for new opportunities

Cons

Potentially time-consuming

What about an agency?

Specialist recruitment agencies are in the unique positon of knowing your industry inside and out. They know the market trends, skills in demand and the best way to position yourself and your career to get the best results from a job search. Introductions are made easily, and they can assist you through the whole recruitment process and make sure you only see opportunities well suited to you and your career. The other major benefit of using a specialist recruitment agency is that they can filter out roles not suitable and hand pick those that may be of interest and exciting for you.

As well as this, they also have a strong insight into employers and can whittle them down based on your preferences. Specialist recruitment agencies are also full of advice to help you when job hunting, interviewing and accepting the role, which comes from their in depth knowledge of the employers and the way they work. This also allows them to better assess the suitability of candidates, as they understand the technicalities of the roles and exactly where the position fits into the company. If you build relationships with a niche agency, they’ll also be able to help you when you come to making the next career move as they’ll already know you, your skills and your preferences.

How are you planning on finding your next job – opportunity? Have you found one method more effective than the others? Let us know in the comments.

* http://www.jobboarddoctor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2016-Job-Board-Survey-Final-Report.pdf