Mainstream job boards like Monster, CareerBuilder and Indeed are a great way for job seekers to peruse — and pursue — opportunities with a wide selection of employers. But they’re not the only option. For many professionals, niche job boards might offer a more direct connection with employers looking for specialized skills and qualifications. Some niche job boards focus on specific industries. Others are designed for job seekers who are veterans or members of minority groups. And some are even geared toward the gig economy, pairing people seeking part-time work or temporary assignments with employers that need freelancers.
Niche job sites have implications for both job seekers and recruiters. Job seekers should cast as wide a net as possible, using both mainstream and niche job boards in their searches. Focusing on only mainstream or niche boards won’t provide as many good opportunities as balancing both approaches. Recruiters must also use niche boards in addition to mainstream boards to target professionals with the necessary expertise or proper profile.
U.S. News and World Report says that making niche sites part of the job search "increases your chances not only of finding the job you're looking for, but also of landing that job." There are a handful of reasons for this. First, mainstream job boards don't include all listings; some job postings are only available on niche websites. Secondly, recruiters might be leaning on niche sites to reach the most qualified candidates for a position, putting less weight on the applicants from the mainstream sites.
Niche job boards may also help job seekers create better connections because companies are more likely to put direct contact information on a niche site than a mainstream site.
Where to Start
Google is the best place to begin looking for niche job boards. Job seekers should simply type in “jobs” and the niche they are interested in. It should be easy to identify legitimate job boards from imposters — if the site charges money or is littered with ads, move on.
One of the most comprehensive lists of niche job sites is located at VetJobs.com. You can also find helpful listings at:
Advice for Recruiters
Recruiters shouldn't ignore the benefits of niche job boards. These sites, because of their narrow nature, are more likely to locate qualified candidates for specific job openings. In other words, traffic is lower, but quality should be higher. Don't simply recycle mainstream job listings on niche job boards: As these boards reach candidates with more experience in the field, more detailed job descriptions might be necessary. And, because the volume of applicants is lower than with mainstream job sites, recruiters might be more comfortable supplying their own contact information in case job seekers have questions.
Go Beyond Job Boards
Job searches should never be limited to job boards. Other forms of job searching — networking, in particular — might also prove effective. Job seekers should reach out to other professionals in their target industry, and take full advantage of their professional and educational networks.
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