How do recruiters use job boards?
As a candidate, you’ll be familiar with job boards like Indeed, Jobsite, CV Library etc.
You’ll have registered your details and uploaded your CV. You may have even applied for jobs through the board. You’ve, probably, had mixed results.
But, have you ever thought about how recruiters use these job boards?
Understanding how job boards work and how recruiters use them could be the difference between landing your dream job and missing out.
Registering Your Profile
It sounds obvious, but make sure you fill out all the fields in your profile. When recruiters search for candidates on a job board, they are filtering down the millions of potential candidates to a small number who fit their criteria. If you miss any out, it will affect your appearance in the search results.
All the job boards work to the same basic filters of:
- Job Title
- Employment type, e.g. permanent or contract
Let’s look at those in a little more detail.
Entering your job title should be quite straight forward, but you have to remember that recruiters are searching for a specific job title, not necessarily the one written on your contract of employment.
For example, ‘operations’ is a common term across many industry sectors like warehouse operations, manufacturing operations or sales operations. If you’re an Operations Director, it pays to specify which industry your skills relate to and use other titles which could relate to your job role such as Manufacturing Operations Director. If you’re a Head of Operations, you won’t show up in the search results if the recruiter searches for an Operations Director, even though it is essentially the same position.
Think about what the recruiter will search for and don’t be afraid to tweak your job title if you need to.
Note: this is not advocating lying on your profile! If you’re an admin assistant and you put CEO as your title, it will end badly.
Be specific. Recruiters work on a radius search from the client’s postcode, so your postcode must be included. The closer you are to the client’s postcode, the higher you will rank in the search results.
Be realistic. If your current salary is £30k, don’t say you’re looking for roles paying £1m. Nobody’s falling for that, and we all understand there are no upper limits to people’s salary requirements.
If you’re only interested in permanent positions, don’t tick the contract box and vice versa. By all means, tick both if you’d consider either option.
Job boards allow recruiters to search for job titles and keywords in the CV. When job boards first launched many years ago, it was possible to trick them by spamming a load of keywords at the end of your CV in white text. Time and technology have moved on, and this trick doesn’t work anymore. The search algorithms are somewhat more sophisticated and now look for context.
It’s still true that the more times a keyword indeed appears, the higher it will rank in the results, but they need to appear in the text as naturally as possible.
Using the previous example of an Operations Director, you could use it in your profile “I’m an Operations Director with experience in the automotive industry.” Later in your profile, you could say “I’m now looking for an Operations Director role in….”
Those get you two legitimate search hits. If your job titles match as well, that’ll earn you more hits.
If you haven’t worked in recruitment, you may not be aware that all the job boards have a watchdog function for recruiters. The watchdogs are a permanent search happening in the background.
When you register your profile, the job board parses (reads) it and your CV then categorises you accordingly. If you match the search criteria a recruiter has set up on a watchdog; your profile is emailed through to them. That’s why you may notice a spike in calls from recruiters when you first register your details.
You can use this to your advantage by periodically deleting your CV from your profile then uploading it. This will trigger the watchdog, and your CV will be emailed to all the recruiters again. Sundays are a good day to do this, so your CV hits the recruiters inboxes on a Monday morning.
Timing is a large part of recruitment and, one time, your CV will land at exactly the right time. Don’t be afraid to play the numbers game, although don’t overdo it! Once a week is plenty.
There is another advantage of refreshing your profile regularly. When recruiters run a search, the job board defaults to showing the most recent candidates. It doesn’t want to display candidates who registered months ago and may not be actively looking anymore but still have their details live.
As a “new” registrant, you will be displayed higher up the search results as you’re seen to be the most active candidate and likely to be interested in the role.
If you’d like any advice on how to structure your CV or profile, give one of our expert consultants a call for a chat.
About Martin Veasey Talent Solutions
At Martin Veasey, we have been working with blue-chip and SME businesses for over 35 years, both in the UK and around the world.
We are an independent consultancy company with highly qualified staff, including many degree and Masters educated consultants, with memberships of professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the British Psychological Society.
We have unique expertise in hiring for senior roles in Board & Senior, Supply Chain & Logistics, Purchasing & Procurement, Manufacturing & Engineering, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Sales, Human Resources, plus many more.
If you are looking to work with a highly accomplished recruiting partner, you can call us on 01905 381320 or get in contact today.