By Mark Lesiw
You already know how important it is to build your personal brand. You've likely spent countless hours revising your resume, tweaking your social profiles, and perfecting your image so it says exactly what you want it to say about you.
But if you're applying through a major job board, like Monster or Indeed, you may be ruining all of your hard work. The kind of job board you apply through also says something about your personal brand...and you want to make sure it's saying the right things.
Using a major job board is a tip-off to employers that you might not be as well-qualified or motivated as other job seekers. Scanning only sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, or Indeed shows a follow-the-crowd attitude rather than the initiative you want to demonstrate. Instead, look to niche job boards.
Applying through niche job boards gives you several advantages. Positions on niche job boards often have a smaller pool of candidates, as they're drawing from a specific population rather than the general public. This means there's a much greater chance your resume will be seen by a hiring manager (as opposed to buried in the screening process). Additionally, the candidates who do apply are usually better qualified -- they have the resources and experience to find the industry sites and already possess the skills employers are looking for -- which gives you a chance to be a big fish in a small pond. Plus, employers will be impressed that you took the time to research the industry and find key niche boards that represent your skill set.
Besides the smaller, more qualified applicant pool, niche job board listings are more likely to include the information of the hiring manager. Not only does this give you a chance to contact them directly, it allows you to personalize your cover letter and allows you to do research about the company. Often, large job boards don't even post the official opening; instead, they list the qualifications and have a recruiter contact you if you meet them. With a niche job board, you'll have the original posting at your convenience. You'll have a much better idea of which work samples to send the hiring manager based on the company environment and culture.
You want your personal brand to convince a hiring manager you're the best candidate for the position. Using a niche job board to apply for openings continues to build your personal brand, presenting an image of you as a well-qualified, driven, and motivated job seeker rather than someone who follows the crowd. Ask industry professionals in your network to recommend the best niche job boards for your area!
Are you sending the right message with the job board(s) you’re using? Share your favorite niche job boards in the comments.