How to Use Job Portals; From Pitfalls to Possibilities

job search round photo

The idea that job portals are online gathering platforms where recruiters and candidates play the leading roles on a vacancy filled stage, is a great idea.

An idea you run into with great enthusiasm that might quickly turn into a marginalized return on your efforts to secure your next job. Before you start using job portals, its good to check how you can use your most valuable resource (time) effectivly spending your time there.

While you are marinating on these gloomy metrics lets quickly recap on the term ‘’job portal.’’

Two types of job portals:

  • Job sites refer to platforms where organizations and recruiters advertise for roles and mine the resume databases for suitable applicants.
  • Career sites are company specific career pages where databases of candidate resumes are populated to match candidates with vacancies. Internal recruiters and hiring managers advertise available roles on these pages via the company’s official website.

Low return on your application effort?

Business man holding up his resume, worrying about his employment references

Utilising job portals like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Monster, and CareerBuilder remain popular.

However, before you dust off your resume and google the top job sites to subscribe to, take note of the pitfalls.

You do not want to be another despondent, application process fatigued, candidate.

Pitfall 1 – Small fish in a big pond

  • Due to the increasing data size of job portals and volumes of applications generated with some reaching the lower millions, the chance of your resume receiving a view is less than one percent.
  • Company career pages are more streamlined with fewer advertised roles, but keep in mind though; you are not the only candidate viewing these pages and applying for positions.

Pitfall 2 – Social Media killed the job portal star

  • Hiring managers and recruiting agencies are resorting to alternative methods of sourcing like Linkedin, Facebook and Online Community Networks to find candidates.

Pitfall 3 – You are number 2018 in the queue

  • Even organizations with internal applicant tracking systems, still opt for other avenues of talent acquisition like Recruitment Agencies and Social Media Portals.
  • The overwhelming number of applicant traffic generated by career pages are becoming virtually impossible to process and manage. Application overload is one of the main reasons why feedback gets delayed or is often completely non-existent.

Pitfall 4 – Do they know you?

  • Hiring managers and recruiters are reverting to the age-old art of networking nowadays as this strategy seems to render quick results with significantly less admin mumbo jumbo to deal with.
  • Current employees refer prospective employees; candidates placed mention job seeking friends and colleagues to recruiters directly; industry events and expos connect job givers and job seekers. Ask yourself whom do you know and better yet, do they know that you are in the market?

Pitfall 5 – Application process fatigue

  • Most portals promise quick subscription and application features. Yet you find yourself clicking on the Next button time after time to go to yet another section of the subscription interface. Once done your blood type is the only piece of information omitted.
  • The application process, supposed to be one click on the Apply link, results in a redirect to a company webpage to complete yet another registration process.

Pitfall 6 – Alert! Notification tsunami on the way

  • If you are a bit more pro-active, you may have scrolled upon the set notification or create alert buttons.
  • These are excellent portal tools if you know your way around Boolean search strings or keyword analytics. If not, brace yourself because by tomorrow morning by a tsunami of job alerts would have crashed into your Inbox.

From Pitfall to Possible

To increase the odds in your favor making a few smart choices can make all the difference during your job portal journey.

Choice 1 – Setting boundaries

  • A useful tactic to keep you from going down the rabbit hole of clicking and submitting to volumes of roles and wasting precious time is to set proper boundaries.
  • For instance, only subscribing to two job portals, doing job searches for no more than 20 minutes each day, just looking at the first page of results or opening a maximum of 20 alert emails per week. Most importantly, stick to your own rules.

Choice 2 – Deal with FOMO

  • You will be missing out on numerous opportunities by following a more targeted approach. Accept it and move on. Applying to every potential role out there is impossible.
  • The less overwhelming your search, the better your chances of identifying unique opportunities. Remember, it is easier to find the barn than the needle in the haystack.

Choice 3 – Quality over quantity

  • Don’t get caught up in the negative spiral of applying to volumes of vacancies rendering no results for months on end.
  • Quality portals allow you to subscribe and apply within a few minutes with the click of a button to a where a resume could be attached, or a profile URL inserted.

Choice 4 – Consider alternative portals

  • Artificial Intelligence, algorithms, and machine learning are terms for the techies among us. You can, however, leverage their expertise.
  • Have a look at portals such as OfferZen, InstaHyre and Cloud Jobs API (by Google) and discover how these unique matchmaking platforms back may benefit your job-seeking process.

Go Hybrid

If you are in the market for a new opportunity seeking more money, a cooler boss, a chill room with great coffee and a free lunch daily, be cautious to not fall into the Big Black Hole of online applications.

Focusing on just one strategy while looking for employment opportunities is a definite route to nowhere. Combining your actions to include all channels of job sourcing methodologies is crucial to increase the probability of finding your dream career opportunity.