monster.jpgWe all get upset when we apply to a job posted on a job board and get crickets in return. It’s a frustrating reality of today’s job market. Hiring managers are inundated with applicants right now and, while I’m not letting them off the hook too much, it’s sometimes impossible to even read through all the resumes, let alone get a back to you.

That’s why recruiters at some of the top companies in the United States are scaling back on the number of jobs they post on job boards like CareerBuilder and Monster, and that means you all are going to have to step away from the job boards.

It’s long been known that most jobs are filled through networking not help wanted ads and job boards, but now more than ever hiring managers are rethinking job boards and reaching out for some sort of connection with a job seeker. The big focus now — LinkedIn.

Today, the Wall Street Journal published a great article on this trend and it should have you all rethinking you job strategies. Hiring managers, the reporter found, now plan to scale back their use of online job boards, which they say generate mostly unqualified leads, and hunt for candidates with a particular expertise on places like LinkedIn Corp.’s professional networking site before they post an opening.

About 24% of companies plan to decrease their usage of third-party employment websites and job boards this year, according to a December survey from the Corporate Executive Board Co., a business consulting firm. Meanwhile, nearly 80% of respondents said they plan to increase their use of job-board alternative methods this year, such as employee referrals and other websites like Facebook Inc. or LinkedIn.

And a story in Job-Hunt.org about LinkedIn back up the Journal story:

According to a 2010 survey by JobVite.com, which provides recruiting tools for many large and small employers, the use of social media for recruiting has been expanding, and the trend is expected to continue:

92% of employers planned to leverage the social networks for recruiting, with LinkedIn leading the pack and obviously the majority using more than one of the social networks:
* 86% are using LinkedIn
* 60% are using Facebook
* 50% are using Twitter
* 50% plan to increase spending on social networks for recruiting (and social networks are, at least currently, much cheaper than job boards).
* 36% of employers will spend less on job boards.

What I’ve heard from hiring managers lately is they tend to favor LinkedIn a bit more because many see Facebook as more of a personal social network, so I’d focus on LinkedIn for now, especially if you’re looking for a job in fields outside of advertising or entertainment.

For some of the best advice out there on how to utilize all of LinkedIn’s job-finding power I’d first read the advice of Alison Doyle, About.com’s job search expert. For LinkedIn newbies you can start with her “How to Use LinkedIn” article, or if you’ve had an account for a while check out “LinkedIn and Your Job Search.”

I’m not asking you to go cold turkey when it comes to job boards, but it may be time to spend less time slaying the monster and more time getting linked in.

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