Career Discovery
June 15, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Using Online Job Boards Effectively

Learn how you use an internet job board to find your perfect career path, plus some tips for making your resume stand out and spotting possible scams.

Online job boards are a cornerstone for job seekers and employers alike, since they’re one of the most common ways of searching for work in the digital age. With our own in-house job board, SkillUp is proud to help people find secure, fruitful career opportunities.

Explore how you use an internet job board like ours, plus some tips and tricks for helping your applications stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Understanding Online Job Boards

What is an Online Job Board?

An online job board is a digital platform where employers can list openings for employment at their companies. From there, job seekers can apply for open positions and learn more about the company with ease.

Online job boards like Monster have been around since the internet’s inception. Millions of people use them to find full-time, part-time, or contract positions every year, and employers have come to rely on them over traditional newspaper ads or career fairs because they’re more convenient for everyone involved in the hiring process.

Difference Between Job Board and Job Search Engine

Job search engines like Indeed and SimplyHired gather job listings from thousands of online sources across the internet, while job boards tend to be more specified and focused on particular niches like locations, industries, and job types.

Job search engines typically index jobs from multiple online sources, including job boards. In short, job search engines can be broader than the typical job board. However, both allow you to reach out to potential employers through different routes and find more of them during your job hunt.

Examples of Job Boards

There are multiple different types of job boards that you can use to find the perfect job for you and begin your journey in a new career. Some of the most common types of job boards include:

  • Company-specific job boards: Large companies with hundreds of employees or multiple locations often have their own job boards that list their open positions.
  • Regional job boards: This includes job boards for specific cities, counties, and regions so people can find jobs in their area, along with state-level job boards that can be maintained by the state’s department of labor or workforce development.
  • Industry-specific job boards: Jobs within specified industries such as nonprofits or technology frequently use industry-oriented job boards to find people with experience in their respective fields.
  • Role-specific job boards: There are also job boards for specific roles, such as graphic designers and journalists, so people in those professions can find work that closely matches their exact experience.
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Preparing for Your Job Search

Creating a Strong Resume and Cover Letter

Before you start filling out applications, you need to build a strong resume and have a cover letter at the ready. There are thousands of ways to write and design your own resume, and just as many career coaches who can help you refine it to get the attention of potential employers.

Here are a few tips for creating a strong resume:

  • Mention your relevant experience and give bullet points covering your duties or achievements in past roles.
  • Highlight your hard and soft skills so your employers can better understand who you are as an employee
  • Note your awards, achievements, and special certifications
    Keep it all short and sweet—employers tend to balk at long resumes, even for more senior job positions.

It’s also critical to customize your cover letter for each company you’re applying to. Your potential employers can tell if you’re not, and they might use it as an excuse to put your resume in the rejection pile if they’re trying to narrow down their list of candidates.

Building a Professional Online Presence

Chances are, your potential employers will start taking peeks at your LinkedIn and other social media profiles to see what you’re like as a person outside of work. For this, we recommend updating your LinkedIn profile so your work history matches what’s on your resume and highlighting the skills you have from your work experience.

It can also help to go a step further and make sure your other social media profiles match how you want your employers to see you. Most social media platforms also offer the ability to make your profile private if you’d prefer to keep your social profiles out of the spotlight.

How to Find a Job Using Job Boards and Websites

Job boards and job search engines are able to make the application process easier for you by design. For example, many allow you to upload the latest version of your resume directly onto your profile for the job board and create tailored cover letters.

However, to find the perfect job for you, there are a few steps we recommend taking:

  • Don’t stick to just one job board: Not every company posts on every job board you use, so it’s helpful to look at several different job boards if you want to expand your reach.
  • Narrow your search by location: Unless you’re planning to move across the country, it’s helpful to look for jobs specifically in your city or state. Otherwise, if you’re interested in working remotely, you can also refine your search for remote jobs.
  • Use keywords and filters: This can help you find more relevant jobs for your skill set, salary range, commute time, and other parameters.
  • Set up job alerts: Many job boards allow you to set up alerts that are sent to your email inbox when they’re posted so you can apply right away. Allowing these alerts can make it easier to find jobs that are relevant to your search.
  • Make personal connections: Whether you’re looking for job referrals from someone already working for a prospective employer or the job you want is requesting references, it’s good to have friends. Making connections with colleagues from your industry or other professionals through networking events can make the job hunt that much easier.
  • Tailor your application: Refining your cover letter, application, and maybe even your resume can make it easier to stand out to potential employers.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Identifying and Avoiding Job Scams

It’s a common enough problem that most job boards and many employers will have at least one or two warnings on their sites about the potential for job scams. These are some common red flags to watch for that can indicate a job posting is fake and potentially trying to part you with your money or personal information:

  • Immediate job offers: If you didn’t go through an interview process or only spoke over chat or the phone, it could be an indication someone is trying to scam you.
  • Phony email addresses: Some scams count on you not looking closely at the email address to lure you in. For example, if someone posing as an HR director at the machinery manufacturer Caterpillar has an email address of “” instead of “,” which is the company’s real sending domain for the US, it’s likely a scam.
  • Grammatical errors: The hiring personnel at a company you’ve applied to is trying just as much to make a good impression on you as you are on them. Grammatical mistakes should be minimal. Otherwise, it could be a sign someone is trying to scam you.
  • Requests for you to pay: If a company is hiring you, they should be providing you with their own equipment instead of making you purchase yours. Beware if they ask you to send a check or money order to them in exchange for a laptop or other office equipment—they’ll walk off and pocket the cash before you know it.
  • Unrealistically amazing offers: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If they promise no experience required for high salaries or reach out to you saying they want to offer you a job with no interviews, they’re probably trying to lure you in.

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SkillUp Coalition works with employers and training providers to bring job hunters the skills and jobs they’re looking for. Explore open jobs from our partners and find your new dream career today.
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