How to choose and use job boards for your job search

Application tips

16 Oct 2019
Job boards can be of great help when you are looking for a new job. Job boards allow you to upload your resume so that companies can contact you with interesting opportunities. Evidently, you can use job boards to actively search for jobs as well.

Over the years, many different kinds of job boards have been created. This raises questions. Which job board is the best for me? Can I post my resume on more than one job board at the same time? And do I have to pay a fee to use them?

In this article, we will briefly discuss the different kinds of job boards and the most frequently used job boards in Belgium. We will also give tips on how to find your ideal job on job boards and how you can be found by recruiters – even when you are not actively searching for a new job.

Not all job boards are the same

There are different kinds of job boards. In Belgium we know at least the following categories:

  1. General job boards such as VDAB, Stepstone, Vacature, Jobat and Monster. These boards are publishing a large variety of jobs from different companies.
  2. Specialized job boards such as ICT job, CreativeSkills and Experteer. These boards are focusing on specialized jobs for a particular target audience.
  3. Confidential job boards such as CVWarehouse where the emphasis is on applying confidentially and systematically following-up your application process.
  4. Job aggregators such as Indeed and Careerjet. These websites are collecting and presenting jobs from other job boards on their own website.
  5. Job boards from companies, recruitment and interim agencies. These job boards are publishing jobs that can be filled immediately (and sometimes only) through them.
  6. Social media such as LinkedIn, that is offering a job board and application opportunities in addition to their well-known networking possibilities.

1. General job boards

The most popular job boards in Belgium are VDAB.be, Vacature.com / Références.be, StepStone.be, Jobat.be and Monster.be. Companies are paying to post vacancies on these job boards (with the exception of VDAB.be – this website is for free). It is good to know that:

  • These job boards are free for job seekers;
  • You can actively search for vacancies on these job boards yourself;
  • You can automatically receive new and relevant vacancies in your mailbox;
  • You can upload your resume so that companies can contact you.

2. Specialized job boards

In addition to general job boards, there are of course also ‘niche’ job boards such as ICTjob.be, Creativeskills.be and Experteer.be. These job boards are focusing on profiles within a particular niche. ICTjob.be is focused on IT profiles, Creativeskills.be on creative profiles and Experteer.be on profiles and vacancies for senior management positions.

3. Confidential job boards

In addition to general and specialist job boards, you can now also use confidential job boards such as CVWarehouse.com. On CVWarehouse.com you will find the same functionalities as on the aforementioned sites, but there are two important differences:

  • On CVWarehouse.com you can only apply to job openings confidentially. This is particularly useful when you don’t want people to know that you are searching for a new job or when you want to choose which companies may contact you.
  • On CVWarehouse.com candidates and companies have access to an ‘application tracking system’. Through this system, you will always know the current status of your applications and the companies you have applied for will always have access to your most current resume unless you revoke permission to disclose your resume to them.
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4. Aggregators: one job board to rule them all?

Indeed and Careerjet are ‘aggregators’ of vacancies. Both companies scan other job boards on a daily basis and they summarize and present the job openings they find on their own website. So with be.indeed.com and careerjet.be you will be able to search most of the vacancies on other job boards and apply immediately through the job boards these vacancies were originally published on. You can also upload your resume for free.

5. Job boards of companies, recruitment agencies and interim agencies

Of course, you can also search for vacancies via the websites of companies you want to apply with, on the websites of recruitment agencies who are supporting these companies and on the websites of interim agencies.

The jobs on these websites are often (though not always) also published on general and aggregator job boards, but it is always nice to apply directly with your future employer and to contact the company personally for more information or an introductory meeting.

6. Social media

Finally, LinkedIn offers companies the opportunity to bring their jobs to the attention of very specific target groups. This takes into account the content of your LinkedIn profile. On the right side of your profile, you will see for example ‘sponsored’ jobs matching your skills and expertise.

Through linkedin.com/jobs you can also search vacancies and you can apply immediately via the website of the companies that have posted their jobs on LinkedIn. Both services are free.

Tips on how to use job boards

Such a large variety of job boards raises questions. Which job board is the best for me? Can I post my resume on more than one job board at the same time? And can I publish different versions of the same resume on different job boards? A few tips:

  • If you want to apply confidentially through general job boards then you can post your resume without disclosing your name and contact details. Note that companies will not be able to contact you directly. You will always have to give them permission. This can create a barrier and reduce your chances of an invitation for a job interview.
  • If you want an overview with interesting openings fast, then aggregator websites such as Indeed.com and Careerjet.be can be a great help.
  • If you want to be able to monitor your job applications then CVWarehouse.com is an excellent choice. You will be able to check the current status of your application process at any given time.
  • Depending on the type of work you aspire, you can pay more attention to the use of specialized job boards and/or LinkedIn. Higher profiles, in particular, may benefit from using sites such as LinkedIn and Experteer.be.
  • You can safely publish your resume on various job boards. Just make sure you publish the same resume on all the job boards. And always adjust your resume on all job boards. This way you will retain a coherent and clear online profile.
  • Optimize the findability of your resume: make sure recruiters and employers can easily find you. When searching for resumes they often use specific search terms. So make sure all important technical terms from your field are included in your resume but don’t exaggerate the use of jargon.
  • Most job boards are offering templates to fill in your resume. This is handy because this way you don’t have to worry about the layout of your resume. However, we do recommend to post your own original resume (with your own layout) whenever possible. This gives a personal touch.
  • Apply only once for the same position. If you use different job boards to apply for the same position then (probably) one recruiter will have to process all your identical applications. This will not make a professional impression.
  • Adjust your resume when you have found a new job. This way you will save yourself calls from recruiters and potential employers.