What Are Job Boards? (With Tips on How To Use One)

Updated November 3, 2022

A job search requires consulting various online and physical resources to identify open roles that align with your interests. One of the most effective resources is an online job board identifying job vacancies within your location and industry. Understanding these boards and how to use them can help you identify the best job options that suit your career goals. In this article, we understand what job boards are, identify the benefits of using a job board, and highlight how to use them.

What are job boards?

Job boards are websites that present and promote job vacancies. Usually, employers place job vacancies on such sites to help ensure qualified candidates notice the opening and apply for the roles. Job boards are useful from a candidate's perspective, as they can offer positions that suit their preferred location and field. Typically, job boards host multiple posts from various employers that describe the position, the necessary qualifications, and the potential responsibilities of successful candidates.

Candidates can apply for the position either through the job board or through the company's website. A job board is either general or specialized. General boards include posts for jobs across various industries and fields, and specialized boards host jobs related to a specific field or industry. For instance, a job board that only includes technology-related openings is a specialized board.


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Benefits of job boards

A job board can be a useful resource when looking for a job because of the following reasons:

Increases your chances of finding the latest job opportunities

Usually, employers post new vacancies on job boards. Using a job board during your job search increases your chances of getting information about the latest job openings. For instance, you can create alerts for a new job listing. Typically, you receive a notification within minutes of the post, helping you be among the first people to apply. This can improve your chances where an early application is important. In addition, these boards usually incorporate a filter feature that allows you to search based on certain criteria.


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Allows you to access personalized job notifications

Job boards also allow you to receive job notifications customized to your interest and industry. Most websites that function as job boards allow you to upload your résumé or specify your interest. They can then send personalized notifications when there's a job opening that meets your requirements and qualifications. Employers can also use these boards to identify qualified candidates. To help ensure you take advantage of this opportunity, it's important that you optimize your résumé and incorporate keywords popular in your area of interest to help gain attention from hiring managers.

Allows you access to additional resources for job research

Learning how to use a job board lets you access an additional resource during your job search. For instance, if you're interested in a specific industry, you can use it to identify relevant vacancies, trending roles, and job requirements. Also, after identifying your career goals, a job board can prove a useful resource to help you identify the necessary qualifications to advance in that field.

Improves your process of job searching

A job board contributes to your job application process by helping make the process easier. With a job board, you typically can gain access to hundreds of vacancies from your home. You can also set alerts, reducing the need to perform manual searches. A job board often allows you to save time during your job-search process and maximize it on other productive activities, such as improving your skills and networking.

How to use job boards

Here are some steps to help you use a job board to identify potential opportunities that interest you within your industry:

1. Search for job boards

The first step in using job boards is to search for them. Various options are available online, and you can use more than one to increase your access to job opportunities. For example, you can begin with general boards that provide access to job vacancies across various industries. You can then seek specialized boards related to your industry and experience level. This helps ensure you can increase your chances of locating job vacancies that align with your interests.

You can also use niche job boards. Usually, these boards are available through societies, associations, and educational institutions where you're a member. These boards provide targeted information that allows you to save time in your job search.

2. Create an updated résumé and upload it

You can set up a profile on job boards and showcase your experiences and qualifications. This allows you to apply for a position directly through the job board. Uploading your résumé is typically a requirement when completing your profile. At this stage, you need an up-to-date résumé that contains your most recent and relevant academic qualifications, skill sets, work experiences, and achievements. In addition, as your résumé doesn't apply to a specific job posting at this stage, you can create an industry-specific résumé to improve your chances.

Once you receive a request to apply from the hiring manager or a notification of a job posting, you can create a job-specific résumé and upload it. Even when you don't receive relevant notifications, you can update your résumé and upload it with any new achievements. Constantly updating your résumé displays your commitment to personal and professional development. It can also often improve your chances of getting noticed by potential employers.

Read more: 14 Resume Writing Tips To Help You Land a Job

3. Narrow your searches by location

When using job boards, narrowing your job search to align with your interests and needs is important. Beyond narrowing your search to your industry, you can also narrow it using the location filter. Begin by choosing your present location as a value in your search. Then, if you don't find interesting posts, you can choose a wider location criterion. You can also input a specific location if you intend to relocate due to better job opportunities and pay and already have a location in mind.

4. Incorporate keywords when searching

One of the most important tips to improve your results is to use keywords during searches. Keywords refer to common words or phrases of significance to a particular industry or area. Typically, they are important in a website's search system and help you view associated results. For instance, by including a job title in a search, the website displays job postings that include that job title.

You can also use keywords related to relevant skills, associated responsibilities, companies, and academic qualifications. You can use them independently or combine them to conduct a more streamlined search. This may present you with suitable roles based on your interests and qualifications.

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5. Set up alerts for preferred jobs

After incorporating keywords in your profile, you can set up job alerts to assist with your job search. This often involves registering to receive an email notification once there is a new job posted that fits your profile. This helps reduce the time spent on manual searches. When creating job alerts, you can set general and specialized alerts to keep your options open.

When setting up job alerts, ensure you consider their frequency. You can usually request monthly, biweekly, weekly, or daily alerts based on your preference. Avoid leaving too large a gap between notifications, as you can miss out on useful information or have to apply late. It may be best to receive notifications weekly or biweekly.

6. Review relevant resources

Most job boards provide more than just access to job postings, and it's important that you maximize other available resources. Review the website to identify other resources and maximize them when creating your profile and applying for jobs. For instance, you can find articles that advise you on the best practices for finding jobs, creating a custom application, and interview preparation. You can even find templates for cover letters and résumés. You can also find company and job reviews to determine your ideal work environment.

7. Establish a personal connection

When applying for jobs through job boards, you can present yourself as a unique candidate by establishing a personal connection with the employer. Some employers include contact information in their postings. Where available, you can locate the employer's website or current employees in the company on professional networking sites. Request tips to help you create an impressive and unique application. If you have access to the hiring manager, send a clear and concise message to indicate your interest in the position and your application through a job board.

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