'Evil' Job Boards?
My favorite misery to strike the unemployed in recent years: the pay-to-search job board. It reminds me a lot of that ginormous sixth-grader that agreed not to pummel me if I gave her my Doritos and a "toll" at recess.T
Since I'm looking for jobs in public relations, a LinkedIn connection thoughtfully offered up PRCrossing, a for-pay search agent that, among other things, hosts a giant circle with the words "Public Job Boards" slashed out and a slew of information about why free job boards are "evil."
From their web site, I kid you not:
- Pure Evil Lurks in Most Job Boards!
- Nightmares and images of pentagrams
- Flashbacks to reading Amityville Horror
- A man with a goat head and silver eyes of the size of softballs terrorizes me"
Most people would stop reading at the part about pentagrams. But the goat head intrigued me; so, I read on, and I have to admit these people have a point worth sharing, one that might even be worth paying for if I weren't already facing unemployment, stuck with a house I can't sell and moving across the country so that my husband can make sticks and carrots in grad school.
To sum up: Free job boards wait for employers to come to them and because employers have to pay to post jobs on these sites, they're not getting all the jobs that are out there - not even close.
"It would be like if Google only showed you results that people were paying $500 to show," the site says.
Job aggregation services like PRCrossing consolidate postings from multiple sources - basically they're job stalkers too - peeking in on private web sites and public job boards and stealing everything they can.
But if you're trying to decide whether to pay-to-play and are as paranoid as me, you're having nightmares where job boards break your glasses, take your money and send it to Nigeria.
Susan Kennedy, a job coach for 25 years and author of "The Job Coach for Young Professionals" suggests using this rule of thumb: fork over the cash only if the job board you're looking at can give you the contact information of the people who are actually in charge of hiring you.
CareerShift.com pulls openings from jobs boards and also pulls in the names, titles and contact information for the senior managers, Kennedy said, and sometimes those of the not-so-senior managers (the ones who usually do the interviewing).
Don't bother paying for "firstname.lastname@example.org" or "c/o Human Resources."