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Internet Job Boards a Bunch of Hype? 538

Posted by Cliff
from the making-the-want-ads-look-good-by-comparison dept.
netglen brings us an article that discusses the reality behind online job sites like Monster, Hotjobs, and CareerBuilder. It appears that, while these sites may try to make you believe otherwise, they may not be the best bet in helping you find employment. netglen asks: "So, is this article accurate in its account on how poor these boards perform in finding [jobs]? This sounds pretty dismal to me. Two years ago, I tried Monster for the first time, and I managed to get a job on the first try. Since then I haven't gotten anything. Does anyone in IT even use these boards to look for a job?"
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Internet Job Boards a Bunch of Hype?

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  • hrm, I disagree. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tedtimmons (97599) on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:57PM (#8343338) Homepage
    C'mon, look at the context. The name of the site is asktheheadhunter.com. Whose interests do they have in mind?

    Also, more obvious, is the job market isn't what it used to be. Sure, it's harder to get a job now than it was a few years ago. But that doesn't mean that monster and the like aren't useful.

    Now if netglen said "I compared Monster to my local papers' classifieds, and to the headhunters, and got a better response rate from the headhunters", that would be useful. Maybe netglen doesn't have any marketable skills. That doesn't mean monster isn't helpful.

    The experience of myself and others I know is that job boards are better than headhunters, worse than going directly to a company's website. Most of us won't even talk to headhunters- they overpromise and overhype. Now that's irony, because that's what they say about the job boards.
    • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by matad0r (213559) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:10PM (#8343545)
      I was laid off back in June of last year when the company I worked for for 7 years decided to up and move to Chicago and I chose not to.

      My experience during the 6 months of unemployment that followed was that headhunters and huge job websites were about equally useless.

      The job sites kept sending me nothing but "work at home" jobs (probably stuffing envelopes or telemarketing or something else distasteful.) The headhunters (when I could get one to return my calls, that is) sent me nothing but low-paying entry-level jobs that didn't interest me at all.

      What finally worked for me was aggressively working my personal network of IT people I had met over the years. After only about a month of that, I had two offers to choose from, both for jobs that had never been published in any newspaper or website.

      Bottom line: while I wouldn't recommend discounting the websites and headhunters altogether, I certainly wouldn't rely on them.
      • by ivan256 (17499) *
        There are two types of headhunters. The ones that find you, and the ones you go find. You'll have a much better experience with the former than the latter.
        • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Safety Cap (253500) on Friday February 20, 2004 @06:48PM (#8344896) Homepage Journal
          The ones that find you (the REAL headhunters) are working for a company. You can't "hire" them to find you a company. The people you solicit are more accurately called "pimps," "body shops," or "resume database fillers."
          You'll have a much better experience with the former than the latter.
          Very true. That's why you have to be your own "headhunter" in order to get a job.
      • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ChaosDiscord (4913) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:39PM (#8343938) Homepage Journal
        The job sites kept sending me nothing but "work at home" jobs (probably stuffing envelopes or telemarketing or something else distasteful.)

        If it was just distasteful work that wouldn't be so bad. But if you get an "job offer" that refuses to clairify the nature of the work and is work at home, you can pretty much assume that it's a scam. Federal Trade Commission's warning on Work-at-Home schemes [ftc.gov]. Cockeyed.com investigated the Work-at-Home signs that often litter neighborhoods [cockeyed.com].

      • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:4, Informative)

        by AWhistler (597388) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:44PM (#8344006)
        Your experience is the same as mine. I've posted this very thing before as well. Monster and WashingtonPost job boards are useless. The list of headhunters I had three years ago has nobody left still doing that work. I worked my personal network as well, and I got a few hits. I also got one offer...a good offer. I'm just waiting to be told when and where to start.

        The job boards do serve one purpose. They're good at filling out the unemployment forms online on where I've applied to positions. I had over 150 to choose from...at least 20 a week. It's a good thing they will accept three a week or I'd be filling out the forms forever.
      • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by H8X55 (650339) <(jason.r.thomas) (at) (gmail.com)> on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:58PM (#8344267) Homepage Journal
        What i find even more frusterating are the jobs listed on monster, hotjobs, etc that are headhunting companies attemtping to fill positions for other firms. i usually get a phone interview w/ some asshole that knows nothing about the actual specifics of the job other than a list of requirements.

        They're constantly trying to talk you down on salary. The first communication he'll indicate the job is paying between $20 and $25 an hour based on relavant experience. By the next call, it's down to $20 to $22. By the third call it's $20, and if you make it even further you find out it's even less. "$18.65 an hour?!? I'm making more than that now! I thought you said $20! What do you mean up to $20.

        I usually find the best leads are from friends, contacts, and former co-workers whose companies are hiring.
      • by BigBlockMopar (191202) on Friday February 20, 2004 @06:04PM (#8344351) Homepage

        The job sites kept sending me nothing but "work at home" jobs (probably stuffing envelopes or telemarketing or something else distasteful.) The headhunters (when I could get one to return my calls, that is) sent me nothing but low-paying entry-level jobs that didn't interest me at all.

        Heheh... I got one off Monster or Hotjobs - can't remember which. They called me up and we arranged an interview in a rented hotel boardroom. They wouldn't tell me the name of the company citing secrecy (note that I've worked for defense contractors, so I've seen this before); just told me that it suited me based on my profile.

        Well, I donned my best suit and tie and went to the interview.

        Turned out they wanted me to be a cold-calling life insurance salesman, paid commission only. I started yelling right there in the meeting room about how they'd wasted my time. Made sure to tell the rest of the people who were waiting there with me that it was a scam. 4 other job-seekers left.

        Man, was I furious.

        Then, there's the horror story of the spam that comes from these places. Got one offer, just the other day, of a waiter position at Swiss Chalet (Canadian chicken joint). Apparently, they pulled my e-mail address from one of the sites and started hitting me with it. I've since dealt with the problem (sending a warning to Cara Operations which runs Swiss Chalet that their headhunters are spamming).

        Another site to *avoid* is 2jobsearch.net. When I put my resume there in 2001, they looked like a real recruiter. Now, I get the daily "AIONetwork Newsletter" which is just spam for debt consolidation scams with domain names like biz-dot.net and places like that. Fortunately, their spam is easy to filter, even though their upstream provider (startdedicated.com) has received loads of spam complaints from me and apparently refuses to do anything.

        Forget the job hunting websites, they're just crap. Pound the pavement yourself.

        I'm a creative problem-solver. With each resume that I hand-delivered with properly-researched names on the cover letter, I attached a small can of WD-40. In the cover letter, I referred to it as a problem-solver, just like me. Indeed, it got my resume noticed, and I got a bunch of interviews and offers from it.

        Just keep working at it.

        • by glesga_kiss (596639) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @12:51PM (#8349538)
          I've gotta agree. I've been looking for something new here in the UK and I've found similar experiences.

          What irked me the most was the repetition of the jobs accross the sites. You'd see the same job with a different description on multiple places. This is a serious problem if you apply for both, as the different agencies will fight over the fees. Often in this scenario, both agencies and the employer will simply walk away from you as it's not worth the hassle.

          When phoning them, they absolutely will not tell you the name of the company. Which is a huge factor in deciding if the role interests you or not! In the end I had a routine where I'd reel of a whole list of companies as my first question to avoid wasting time.

          And the result from all this? Well, only got a few interviews, each of them from people I knew in the industry, already working in companies. Nothing from the agencies at all. And it's not as though I'm a muppet; I've got a good CV and was offered every job I interviewed for.

          Like you, I believe that a lot of jobs on the sites are fakes. There were several that were a perfect match for my skill set that by all rights I should have at least had an interview for. Either the agencies are completely inept, or they are making it up. I suspect a bit of both.

          Perhaps a new saying: Those who can, do. Those who can't, work for job agencies.

    • My experience is that the only contact I get from sites like Dice and Monster are from headhunters.

      All my best leads on new contracts have come from friends or customers. Every once in a while I've gotten a call from a headhunter but it has never led to anything.

      -- John.
    • by Stone316 (629009) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:15PM (#8343615) Journal
      2 years ago a headhunter saw my resume on monster.ca and gave me call. In the end I got a job for a company I was dying to work for.

      I would say that job boards make it even easier for headhunters to find people.

    • Local Job Boards (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dareth (47614) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:16PM (#8343629)
      Many cites have local job boards. I found more real job offers and less "GET RICH NOW! BE YOUR OWN BOSS!" crap on the one for my city.

      If you are not interested in relocating, this can help. As always though, networking thru friends/relations is best.
    • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:17PM (#8343636) Journal
      Well if you're going to look at the context, you may as well look at the article.

      You can't compare most newspaper job listings to online job boards because most newspaper job listings are run by the same job board.

      The article is very fair, provides information that I did not have access to otherwise, and does not promote headhunters in any way. The only thing it promotes is (shocker) finding jobs via personal networking.
      • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TopShelf (92521) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:27PM (#8343770) Homepage Journal
        Even worse, how many IT jobs are even posted in the paper anymore. I keep an eye on the total of IT ads in the Indianapolis Star each Sunday, and for the last few months it has run from a low of 3 to a high around 10. I know Indy isn't exactly the Silicon Prairie, but it doesn't look like employers are using the newspapers anymore for tech hiring.

        As for personal jobhunting experience, the last two times I placed my resume on boards (Headhunter.net) I was contacted by a recruiter who placed me in a good job. Of course, YMMV...
    • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by artemis67 (93453) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:18PM (#8343653)
      C'mon, look at the context. The name of the site is asktheheadhunter.com. Whose interests do they have in mind?

      Actually, I've been on his mailing list for about a year, and I've found his writings to be very insightful.

      Common sense ought to tell you that when a decent job with decent pay pops up on a national job board, there's going to be a lot of competition. I know my own company's experience with FlipDog was that they were OVERWHELMED with responses, to the point that stopped using the service.

      The ATH newsletter is all about circumventing the traditional job application process, getting your foot in the door at the company you want to work at BEFORE the job is posted, and making a strong impression instead of just being one resume in a stack of thousands. His suggestions will undoubtably push you to be more outgoing than what most job seekers are comfortable with, but that's what puts you ahead of everybody else in the game.

      A great resource, IMO.
      • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:3, Informative)

        by tedtimmons (97599) *
        I can understand that, and I'm sure he's got a lot of good points.

        I think the best resource for jobs is friends and 'networking associates'. They tend to know about jobs in their workplace before it becomes public, so you can be an early applicant, at the very least.
      • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:45AM (#8347919) Journal
        It amazes me that so many people with skills start their job search by looking for job openings.

        I've used the same technique to get my last few jobs, and all were good and in my field:

        Use the yellow pages.

        1) Look for companies that do work in the field you're interested in, and find contact details

        2) Call them all and find out who makes hiring decisions

        3) Send resume with cover letter to that person, specifically comparing projects you've done with projects they've done if possible

        4) Starting from best company to worst, go to the offices IN PERSON and talk to the decision maker. It's not an job interview, which means you're the only one they'll be talking to, but they're not the only one you're talking to. This means they're not in a position of authority over you, and you can command some respect from them.

        5) Contact them again by phone the day after you've spoken to them to thank them and let them know that you're interested in working there, and call them back again to check up once you've covered every business in town.

        You don't need to know anyone to use this technique, and the longest it's taken me to get a GOOD job this way is 2 months.

        Bottom line is, ppl hate going through all the bullshit of advertising and interviewing. If you give them the opportunity to avoid doing so, they will take it.

        Oh, and another good thing to do once you get a job is call every other person you spoke to and tell them thanks for speaking to you, but you're not looking any more. That will really make you stand out in their minds, and if they're still there next time you need a job, they'll remember you in a very positive way.

    • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:24PM (#8343740)
      When I graduated and was looking for a job, I submitted my resume to some jobs I found on Monster and a few on my local newspaper's section at, IIRC, CareerBuilder. In total, about 20 positions over the course of 2 months.

      I got 0 response. Zip, zilch, nada. Except for the confirmation email telling me my resume was submitted for that particular listing, I got nothing. No calls, no emails, nothing. And I was qualified for the job.

      And I got my current job by knowing somebody who worked at the company. I knew somebody at another company too, called them, they checked, but they didn't have anything open for me at the time. But the guy said to get back in touch if I hadn't found anything in a few months.

      Word of mouth, networking (not that kind, the kind where you *gasp* talk to people!), and having contacts in companies seem to be the best way to go, and I didn't even need to read a study to figure that out.
      • by nehril (115874) on Friday February 20, 2004 @06:56PM (#8344995)
        one friend of mine applied to a job that was so perfectly suited to his experience it was eerie. the job description was basically his resume (in a somewhat specialized field too).

        He applied via the boards and heard nothing. Applied again because damn, if he wasn't worth a callback on THIS opportunity, the universe is essentially... wrong. Three times, still nothing. Emailed direct, called on the phone, and FINALLY got an interview. He aced it of course and they hired him. But you know what? even though they reposted the job 2 or 3 times (and he re-applied every time they did) when he came in for the interview they had never heard of him before.

        99% applications from monster, careerbuilder and all their kind go straight to /dev/null. hiring managers get too many and delete without looking. the rest pass some minimal "highlight the buzzwords in red" match, then get dumped because no intelligence was actually applied to keeping them.

        out of 200+ carefully selected applications over the past 6 months to carefully selected postings where I was definitely qualified, I have gotten 3 callbacks from headhunters, and zero from actual employers. Zero.

        I use all the tricks. custom resume, custom cover letter, choose carefully, etc. It doesn't matter. When this article cites statistics like "monster has a 3.6% hire rate, compared to 70% hire rate through referrals" I believe it because I've lived it.

        So post your resume, but don't expect anything to come of it. spend more time on your personal networking.
    • Yes, it's all about the URL, but not that one.

      For real results, you have only to look at Monster India. [monsterindia.com]

      Many jobs I am finding. Yes, good jobs, imported jobs, yes indeed.

      Would you like a side of Tech Support with that software?

    • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:5, Informative)

      by jdavidb (449077) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:28PM (#8343778) Homepage Journal

      Ask the Headhunter sells a book and offers a free website and newsletter. All three are simply spectacular sources of advice, whether you are unemployed or not. I hype it every chance I get (and made a recent post about it here on slashdot; I wonder if the article submitter discovered ATH through my post).

      Nick Corcodilos is not trying to hype his services as a headhunter. He no longer even works as a headhunter. A common misconception about headhunters is that job seekers should look for them or hire them. That is not true, and rarely happens. Headhunters are hired by employers looking to fill a position. You're not likely to be able to hire a headhunter to get you a job; instead you'll be contacted by a headhunter if he's aware of you through his contacts and thinks you're suitable for a position he is looking to fill.

      Corcodilos is looking to sell his book, but he gives out tons of free advice through his website and weekly newsletter. He's even interacted with interested geeks on slashcode based forums like use Perl; [perl.org]. ATH floated around as a meme in the Perl community due mainly to Andy Lester [slashdot.org] starting around 2002. That was very convenient for me because I was "surplussed" in late 2002. I bought the ATH book immediately and have found its advice invaluable ever since (yes, I do have a job, and I still find the advice invaluable). Andy Lester used the ATH information to help in making hiring decisions.

      The comparisons you suggest between job boards and headhunters don't make any sense, since headhunters don't offer a service to job seekers. If you read the site, you will see this for yourself.

      • Re:hrm, I disagree. (Score:5, Informative)

        by NickCorcodilos (755019) on Friday February 20, 2004 @09:06PM (#8346114) Homepage
        Awright, if somebody's going to praise me (thanks jdavidb) and somebody's going to question my headhunterness, and GoogleAlerts is going to tell me it's happening (man, that was quick), I'd like to set the record straight and maybe even say a few words about my article (Job Board Journalism), which apparently stimulated this thread.

        I'm a headhunter (still active, but I'm selective about searches I do). I also run a publishing business called Ask The Headhunter, which has become a lot more fun and a much bigger part of my time. The web site is free. The book isn't. But my agent fleeced my publisher a long time ago for a big advance (that was her job - to get the royalties up front), so while I love to know the book is selling well, nothing I do is designed to sell books. I haven't done another book because it's much more profitable to license my ATH features to web sites, newspapers, periodicals, corporate clients, and the like - so you can read them for free. Those "subsidies" let me keep my own site and newsletter free. Hope that answers some questions about motivations and who I am.

        What's more important is the subject of the thread. Some people sometimes find jobs via Monster, et al. But the only credible studies that have been done suggest that the boards are a lousy way to find or fill a job. Do you really think their success rates are decent? I don't. The strongest indication that I'm right: they don't publish their success rates. Never have. never will. Go ahead - ask them. They will never publish their results because they suck. So they talk about "30 million resumes online!". Yah. Ever hear the George Carlin line, "Suppose you could have everything in the world. Where would you put it?"

        While I found out about this thread through GoogleAlerts, it was a spate of emails I got from slashdotters who read my article -- all the email so far is from people who think the boards suck, and who have had lousy experiences.

        Some people love the boards. No skin off my nose. But if I needed a job, it's the last place I'd look.

        Forget headhunters. Like jdavidb points out, headhunters don't find you jobs. We only work for employers, and we don't look for candidates on boards or solicit truckloads of resumes with want ads. The hacks who waste your time not headhunters. They're bottom-feeder recruiters who are dialing for dollars -- and they treat you accordingly if your keywords don't match their limited vocabularies.

        One person on this thread said it well: all his/her jobs have come from personal contacts developed over time. Consistently, studies show that 40-70% of jobs are found and filled that way. The big boards seem to be responsible for about 1-3%. Niche boards produce better. Job listings on "professional" sites are better, too. Company sites are pretty good, too. But my casual polls (for about 10 years) of managers suggest that managers hire people they know first; people recommended by people they know second; and then it peters out dramatically. You want a job? Your best bet is to go hang out (literally or virtually) with people who do the work you want to do. That's your best bet -- others get to know you, see your value, and they recommend you to a manager. (Hey, I don't claim it's quick or easy. But it beats blasting out 10,000 resumes and waiting by your screen for an email announcing that you have qualified to be A Successful Telemarker if only you'll ring up your PayPal account for $95.

        Speaking of fees: The latest racket on the Big Boards is charging you $79 for a Titanium Upgrade on your resume. That puts your resume "higher on the results list employers get when they do a search for people like you." Yep. 30 million resumes in the data base. Did you know that the "basic deal" on CareerBuilder allows an employer only 300 "results" each day? Lotsa luck getting your Titanium resume up ahead of all the others. More interesting: emloyers are doling out the same payola to get their job listings "played higher on the list". So everybody's paying the boards off for

    • by RhetoricalQuestion (213393) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:28PM (#8343783) Homepage

      It's fairly well-known that personal networking is more effective than job boards and newspaper ads. That doesn't mean that job boards are useless -- in fact, I just got an interview off Monster. It does mean, however, the time you spend job hunting on Monster et. al. versus talking to people should be proportionate to your likelihood of success.

      Most people I know who are looking for a job spend 90% of their job-hunting time looking online, even though the likelihood of finding a job that way is something like 2%. (Don't have exact stats handy.)

      As for headhunters, your success partly depends on what kind of headhunter you have. If they are on retainer with the company (rare), then they get paid regardless of whether or not they find a specific candidate, so chances are they will spend more time recruiting good ones -- otherwise, a bad placement could cost them their retainer.

      If they are contracted by the company to find a specific role (more common), than they don't get paid unless they get someone hired, so they're more likely to blanket-bomb the employer with resumes. Worse yet are those headhunters who were not solicited by the company, but are attempting to sell their services to the company anyway. Most companies try to avoid these guys, so you're not at all likely to find something that way.

      But in any case, the headhunter does not work for you; your best interests are not their top priority.

    • by cshark (673578)
      If you use these job boards the way you're supposed to use them, then this article is probably right. I have found every job I've ever had on either dice or monster. The way I do it... I cheat.

      I indescriminantly send my resume to recruiter I can, if my skills match what they're looking for or not. I get a lot of calls from confused recruiters, but after about a month of doing it for six to ten hours a day, I usually end up getting my resume into the right hands, or hopefully several pairs of right hands. W
  • by abcxyz (142455) * on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:57PM (#8343341) Homepage
    I was a Sr. Oracle DBA, working for contract electronics manufacturing firm (CEM). We specialized (unfortunately) in Telcom, and the group I was with was in fact outsourced from a large telecommunications company. With the industry turn down, a number of the CEM sites were force to close and ours in North Carolina was one of them.

    I had posted my resume on Monster, Hotjobs and Dice at the time -- actually about 2 months earlier to sort of feel out the market. Didn't want to leave early, since there were serious incentives to stay through your scheduled termination date. About 2 weeks prior to my last day I was approached by a local recruiting agency with an opportunity for a DBA with OpenVMS skills. Interviewed and was hired and started with them about a month later. Talked with the recruiter and they indicated they had found my resume on jobs.com which is Monster.

    So I guess I had a positive experience with them, but this was in March of 2002.The unfortunate thing is that I now get what I consider spam from hotjobs, havent' been able to get off their email lists, and I now just let Mozilla dump them automatically in the spam bucked.
    • by Eagle5596 (575899) <slashUser.5596@org> on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:27PM (#8343772)
      My personal experience has been horrible with on-line job applications. When I finally accepted my current position, I asked the head of HR how effective they really were. He said that most of the time HR makes it's hires from recommendations, and paper applications, and that on-line applications tended to be placed in the "read later pile", or worse yet, added to a computer database, which was then searched for key phrases. The end result? While my on-line application never came up in their searches, my paper based one was their top pick (and it was the exact same application).

      Just my experience.
  • True story! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Maradine (194191) * on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:57PM (#8343342) Homepage
    True story.

    My first (and only) shot at Monster was in August of 2000. I was getting sick of my $13.50/hr sysadmin job, so I posted to Monster on a whim. I had a call from the recruiting department of a global consultancy within 20 minutes. They offered me 55 up front. I didn't even really negotiate. Moved 300 miles to take it.

    The punchline? We all got laid off in January. The Company disolved in June.

    Use at your own peril? :)
    • Re:True story! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mick Ohrberg (744441) <(mick.ohrberg) (at) (gmail.com)> on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:00PM (#8343398) Homepage Journal
      I had a little more luck :)

      March 14th of 2003 I was laid off from a company I had worked at for more than 2 years. Seeing as how the economy was still very shaky then, I settled in with the idea that I would be unemployed for a long time. I put my resume on Monster (among [many] other sites), and on April 14th, exactly one month later, I started a new job that I got through Monster. Lateral pay move, even. It worked for me!

    • Re:True story! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MouseR (3264) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:06PM (#8343482) Homepage
      That's true of any new job, and does not necessarily involves job recruitment companies.

      I work in Montreal, in a company that, before being bought by a big US multi-national, was doing OK when one of our co-workers was lured at ZeroKnowledge. Remember them?

      Months later, he had ZeroEmployment.

      The company he feared was going down is now a multi-national and he's out of the loop.

      Sometimes, your worse enemy is yourself.
  • Post a resume (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geeyzus (99967) <mark_madej&yahoo,com> on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:58PM (#8343357)
    The only responses I've ever gotten from these boards was not from replying to a job posting, but posting my own resume and letting them come to me. It's easy, and IMO the best way to find jobs via those kinds of job boards.

    Mark
    • Direct approach (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nycsubway (79012)
      When I was looking for a job last spring in the New York and/or Boston areas, I decided to take the direct route and mail my resume to companies/organizations that I would want to work for. I was looking in biomedical engineering, research, and medical fields. So I mailed out 500 resumes. It took me a few weeks to print the letters, labels, and fold/seal/stamp them all, but you know what happened?

      NOTHING! 500 resumes sent out, with research experience in college, experience in the medical field, adept at p
  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:58PM (#8343363) Homepage Journal

    My employer hasn't posted to any of those boards for ages.

    Unqualified people from all over the world would apply for jobs they were obviously not suitable for yet HR has to keep all resumes on file for $FOO years (I forget the number)

    They went from being a good tool to something that generated more work & filing than they were worth.

    (This from a casual conversation with one of our HR people)
    • by hndrcks (39873)
      Here's a post from above from 'cshark':

      "I indescriminantly send my resume to recruiter I can, if my skills match what they're looking for or not. I get a lot of calls from confused recruiters, but after about a month of doing it for six to ten hours a day, I usually end up getting my resume into the right hands, or hopefully several pairs of right hands. Works every time. Just takes a little patience. There's a lot of competition out there these days."

      Combine that with "HR has to keep all resumes on fil
    • by CptTripps (196901) on Friday February 20, 2004 @06:23PM (#8344584) Homepage
      I am an IT director for a smaller consulting group. I can tell you that I've NEVER had a 'good batch' of resumes from Monster or CareerBuilder. Both were far too expensive for the resumes that we received.

      The best resumes ALWAYS come from a Newspaper ad that has people respond to an email address, referencing a specific job in the 'Subject' field. I immediately weed out the people that can't use email, or follow directions. I know they are all local, and can start weeding from there.

      I spent $500 for an ad on CareerBuilder, and got 400 resumes, about 6 were usefull and none were hired. I spent $75 on a newspaper ad, got 90 resumes, and ended up with about 10 that I could have hired. MUCH better results...
  • Please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdc180 (125863) on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:59PM (#8343373)
    Those online job sites are so filled with contract positions and work at home garbage that it's frustrating to do any kind of real search. The local newspaper uses career builder which is a little better because it's stocked with real classified ads that appear in the newspaper. Better to stick to something local than some national job search scam.
  • Craigslist (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yohaas (228469) on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:59PM (#8343376)
    Craigslist [craigslist.org] worked for me on my recent job search. In less than two weeks I got 3 interviews and an offer (which I took) from the job section.
    • Re:Craigslist (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Elwood P Dowd (16933)
      Craigslist is popular with small employers. Small employers, taken together, are the largest employer in the nation (maybe not bigger than the gov't).

      Craigslist is IMHO an excellent resource not mentioned by the article. Perhaps it does not have the same pitfalls as Monster 'n' the other crappy job sites.
  • Hm. (Score:3, Funny)

    by scowling (215030) on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:59PM (#8343379) Homepage
    So you managed to get a job two years ago on the first try, but haven't been able to get a job since?

    Maybe you're just not having any luck finding new work because you can't keep a job for more than two years...
  • a resource (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:59PM (#8343383) Homepage
    Does anyone in IT even use these boards to look for a job?

    As long as they're there and employers are posting jobs on them, you'd be a fool not to.

  • by ender_wiggins (81600) on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:59PM (#8343384) Journal
    Add a extra period or space to your monster resume if its been stale awhile. It will flip a switch somewhere and youll get more inqueries.
  • by tealover (187148) on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:59PM (#8343390)
    an internet job boards is reduced to using that antiquated of mediums known as "television" to push their product.

    I think a lot of people are turned off by the ridiculous job requirements and the blatant posting of non-existant posititions. Most people I know have gone back to what works best:

    Networking with people you know.

    A friend of mine is leaving her job next week. We've already talked about her bringing me on board if things look good from the inside.

  • by StuWho (748218) on Friday February 20, 2004 @04:59PM (#8343392) Journal
    "Is it a fraud? You decide. Devote an hour each day -- about 12% of your working time -- surfing one of the many CareerBuilder or Monster.com sites, or DirectEmployers.com, or CareerJournal.com. Scan the job postings. Read the advice. Update your resume daily. Your challenge is to justify your investment."

    And to justify the loss of your salary when your boss catches you.

  • by t1nman33 (248342) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:00PM (#8343397) Homepage
    My first job out of college was from a recruiter who found my resume on Monster. The job after that was from a company who found my resume on Monster. My most recent job was actually due to a recruiter finding an 8-month-old resume on Dice, then placing me at my current job.

    I have had virtually no success in directly contacting potential employers from their listings on online sites. On the other hand, I have had great success at companies and recruiters contacting ME from my resume being posted.

    If nothing else, it doesn't hurt to leave your resume up there (while you're actively looking). You never know who might stumble upon it. YMMV.
  • Last Resort (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FortKnox (169099) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:00PM (#8343399) Homepage Journal
    Its usually used as a last resort.

    When a job opens up, first they look internally for someone to fill it, then they go off a referal basis (and at this time, who doesn't have a few friends that are unemployed IT workers?), then they look locally in papers and such...

    THEN they go out to a place like dice to find a job.

    The market isn't "good enough" for them to work well. The market is a lot better than last year, but needs to build back up to happier times before places like monster will get you a job fast.
  • I think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jiffah (685832) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:01PM (#8343413)
    "Does anyone in IT even use these boards to look for a job?"

    More importantly;
    Does anyone in HR use these boards to look for an employee?

  • i use (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:01PM (#8343418)
    yourjobisnowinindia.com
  • It all depends (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:02PM (#8343430) Homepage Journal
    Most of the jobs I've found on those are either posted by headhunters/recruiters or are jobs that you wouldn't want anyway.

    A local job site has some crappy listings too, but they kick Monster.com's ass. They're recent, relevant and have more information.

    On the other hand, the best jobs I've found/interviewed for were not posted on those sites. If you want the job, you're looking for them - not the other way around.

    Many positions aren't posted to HR until they have someone ready to hire anyway. A few companies I recently dealt with were in the interview stages. Their HR depts were unaware that there was a job opening. That's because the manager didn't want to post an opening and then spend six months trying to fill it. It makes him look picky/incompetent or that people don't want to work for him. He found his guy and sent the resume, position description/job req. and employment contract to HR in one paperclip.

    It was a great job, too.
  • by Thalia (42305) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:03PM (#8343443)
    Clearly, as another posted pointed out "headhunter" writing the article has an axe to grind. After all, if we find jobs on these boards, he's not getting the outrageous fees he once got for placement (about 1/3 of your annual salary!)

    Also, there is one key facet missing. Many of us, myself included, see jobs listed on Monster.com and the like. We THEN go to our friends and say "do you have a contact at company X, they have a job posted, and I'm interested." So, with a little luck, your social network works, and you end up finding out a bit more about the company. You also end up putting your resume in through that person, instead of through Monster et al. So, what does this mean? It means that Monster.com did its job in alerting you to the availability of a position. But the "statistics" cited by Mr. Headhunter would show that you got your job through a personal referral.

    Bad statistics lead to bad results.

    Thalia
  • by vicparedes (701354) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:03PM (#8343447)
    monsterindia.com?

    Apparently, it's the best out there. =D

  • Good Experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by j_kenpo (571930) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:05PM (#8343459)
    I had used it briefly in the past and never had any success. I left it active during employment periods with no hits. After the department where I was a network security analyst for was dissolved in 2002, I re-wrote my resume, and reposted on Monster, and within two weeks I had a few bites, best of which was by a contractor for a large financial institution, in which I was hired on full time as an IT manager for their training department. The moral of the story is it can be a useful tool if used correctly and if your resume is done correctly. Id recommend using a professional resume writer and basing your online postings off that.
  • by silentrob (115677) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:05PM (#8343462)
    Slashdot, of course!

    24 year old sysadmin looking for employment in the OKC area. 4 years experience + Microsoft certification. Reply to thread with offer if interested.

    (yes, i'm being a smartass)
  • Worked for me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nphinit (36616) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:05PM (#8343463)
    I found my current engineering job using Monster, so I'm biased. Be agressive though; I'm probably an exception. I got about 1 interview per 20 jobs I applied for.

    One thing I noticed...when you upload your resume, the employers view them sorted by date. I noticed right after I would update it, I would get lots of hits. So I started adding/deleting a period or space every couple days and then saving it, so my resume would always be "current" and near the top of the list. It really increases your clicks.
  • by shallow monkey (155686) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:06PM (#8343472)
    Laid off one year ago.
    Took about 2.5 mo.s to "find myself"
    Started looking, registered with Monster.
    Received 2 really good leads and I'm still working at the one I preferred. Both leads came the week I registered.
    Continue to receive leads from Monster.

    now the catch...
    The lead I accepted was from a HeadHunter who found me on Monster. I would have likely never found the job (even though it's only a 55 minute commute away) otherwise.
    With that said, I'd recommend Monster but understand that HHs are a reality even with Monster. and yes, HHs do leave you with that "used" feeling. I recommend showering twice after talking to them on the phone and NEVER meet with them in person....
  • by lumpenprole (114780) <lumpenprole.yahoo@com> on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:06PM (#8343477) Homepage Journal
    I was in a position a couple years ago to hire somebody. I decided to do it the 'tech' way since it was a tech job and post the job on Monster and Dice. I would never, ever do that again. My job for three weeks was to sort through the over 100 resumes I got a day. Most of which were laughably unsuited. I kept a few of the emails I thought were really funny around for years.
    Like the ones that were in all caps. If you're applying for a computer job, I think some mastery of the caps lock key might be a demosntrable asset. But those were the entertaining ones. Most of it was just depressing.
    Since then whenever anybody I work with has to hire somebody, I recommend checking the posted resumes, talking to agencies, asking friends, posting on craigslist, but not posting on the commercial boards. It just hurts.
  • Personal Experience (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clark625 (308380) <clark625 AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:07PM (#8343499) Homepage
    I placed my resume on Monster.com a long time ago and got a relatively large number of companies e-mailing and calling me for interviews and such. My wife also did the same, and got nearly the same results.

    Skipping to recently--I don't have a resume available anymore because I was getting too many screwy/shady/questionable "companies" calling and nearly harassing me. My wife was laid-off and she posted her resume, only to get these same people hounding her. Most of them were pyramid-scheme type compaines, or they wanted her to call everyone in the area to see if they could lower their interest rate on their mortgage if they refinanced. Urgh--what a mess. They still call.

    I'm really not sure that good companies wouldn't use the online resume sites as a hiring tool. A lot of the problem could just be the economy and how many companies just aren't hiring yet. Once everything starts picking up (hopefully in a few months), I wouldn't be surprised to see my favorite companies even posting jobs to those sites. It's just hard to know where a good place to offer yourself up for employment is when many companies still have hiring freezes in effect. I guess that's where personal contacts become the most valuable asset.
  • by borgheron (172546) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:08PM (#8343515) Homepage Journal
    Most of these boards are nothing more than a haven for recruiters who want to get you for a little as possible.

    Instead of removing the middleman as Monster is supposed to do, Recruiters are allowed to join for a fee and post the jobs that they are looking for people for. So instead of getting into direct contact with the hiring director, you usually end up talking to some no-nothing recruiter who doesn't know jack about IT and think he or she is your only conduit to getting a decent position.

    A wonderful experience, bah!

    GJC
  • by erick99 (743982) * <homerun@gmail.com> on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:08PM (#8343520)
    I've had to look for a job three times in the last five years (the computer industry is fickle around here). Each time I have checked the email that monster.com faithfully deposits daily into my inbox. I haven't found a job using monster. Each of my jobs, including the one I am interviewing for on Monday, came from people who already worked at the "target" company. Networking is still the best way to get a job for most people. At least, that has been my experience. I am not surprised at the statistics for monster.com's placement rate.

    Happy Trails!

    Erick

  • Nearly Worthless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blunte (183182) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:12PM (#8343571)
    Online job boards went steadily downhill from 2000.

    For each _real_ client position, there were probably 10 recruiting firms pushing the same job listing, some with different wording, some with identical text.

    Then in 2001 when the shit hit the fan in IT world, other interesting things started to happen. Client positions would be listed and relisted as if they were new, but in fact they were positions that had been vacant for a year. The client had created the position, but due to market or other reasons had just avoided filling it.

    To make matters worse, the bubble burst destroyed consulting firms. Firms with 30+ people suddenly became 2-3 person operations. They started getting hundreds of resumes, and in my view they began to thrash. One headhunter couldn't handle that volume. In any event, there just weren't many jobs anyway.

    Fast forward to now. The job boards are full of MLM bs. I glanced at monster a couple of days ago and was shocked to see what it had become. 3 of 5 listings supposedly related to the "java" keyword were for bogus "work from home" jobs.

    So basically, it's all a crock. The one thing that has, and will always work, is human networking. Get to know people, lots of them. Then you'll have people to contact when you need a job. They may not have a job for you, but one of them may know someone who does.

  • Online resume (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jeroen94704 (542819) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:14PM (#8343593)
    While indeed sites like monster and dice have been no help at all, having a resume online and making sure it can be found through search engines worked out well for me.

    What I did was this: Put a version of my resume online. Not on one of the job-sites, but on my own website. Make it available in several formats: Word, HTML, plain text and maybe PDF. Then I submitted the url to a number of search-engines, including Google [google.com] and the Open Directory Project [dmoz.org].

    What I found is that sites specializing in tech-resumes often copy the content of the ODP resume section. Many hits for my resume come from such sites.

    The rest come from keyword search-engines, so it's a good idea to put the right keywords in your resume: Try to think of which terms a recruiter (NOT the tech-manager) would search for when looking for a candidate in your field. Remember, this is a non-technical person, so "buzz-words" (annoying as they are) tend to work best.

    The result is that even 7 months after I found a job, my resume gets 50-60 hits a month and every once in a while I get an email from a serious recruiter.
  • CareerBuilder (Score:3, Informative)

    by mog (22706) <alexmchale.gmail@com> on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:14PM (#8343604)
    I don't know what my success really means, but I found my current job over CareerBuilder. I've been here over a year, and it's pretty much the best job I've ever had. However, I really could have just as easily found it in the classifieds. It's just that I ran into their ad first at CareerBuilder.
  • by Rasvar (35511) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:23PM (#8343739)
    When the market is hot, these sites can be jumping becuase it was harder for companies to find candidates. Now with a slower job market, a company is more likely to have candidates at their door and they do not need to resort to online services. If I were hiring right now, I would look for folks who were actively coming to me. Shows a bit more ambition, IMHO. I know too many folks who have posted resumes on these sites and said that was how they were hunting for jobs. Then they sit around and bemoan that they don't have jobs while playing video games all day long.

    When the job market is slow, a job board like that is not the best place to be hunting. Phone, mail and sneaker net beats them right now.
  • by oZZoZZ (627043) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:27PM (#8343768)
    maybe it doesn't work becuase your resume looks like this [stud.ntnu.no].
  • by gupg (58086) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:29PM (#8343800) Homepage
    None of these websites worked for me. I am a very well qualified Phd in computer science and was able to find better opportunities through contacts than through any of these websites.
  • by mgeneral (512297) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:29PM (#8343808)
    I hire all of the technical talent at my company. We are a small systems integration and consulting firm doing about 6 million a year in revenue.
    Here is my bottom line response to Monster. It looks great, but is priced WAY out of my range. I can't afford the thousands of dollars they want for posting my open positions. Even there economy option is to restrictive. One job post, 60 days, no changes to the verbage, under one position heading...$500. So Monster simply isn't an option for us.
    Sure, if I am ebay or some other mega-sized corporation hiring tens or hundreds of people, then one of those boards may be an option, but my guess is that most small business under 100 people find that it is priced out of their range.
    Where do I post now? Craiglist [craigslist.org]
  • It's who you know... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Call Me Black Cloud (616282) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:35PM (#8343876)
    While I've had success using the job boards (I still get calls about outdated resumes I left floating around from my job hunting days) to get a job you need to exploit your connections.

    I got my current job from someone bringing in my resume. I then submitted resumes for 8 of my acquaintances and 5 of them received job offers.

    Keep in touch with former coworkers after you leave. An e-mail every few months just to say hi will do. You never know when you'll need a job or when your company will need an employee.

    That being said, any programmers (US citizens only) needing a job near Balitmore just reply to this message with your e-mail address. See, the system works! :)

  • My experiences (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <kcocknozzle AT hotmail DOT com> on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:35PM (#8343884) Homepage
    In my opinion, the quality order of the big job-boards, from greatest to absolute worst is:

    1.) Monster. Tons of ads--most are actually for legit jobs. Only a couple "Help Desk Internship" postings for training companies. Plus, the resume posting has gotten me attention from half-dozen different outfits.

    2.) CareerBuilder. Used to be all headhunter crap, but now that they've partnered with 1,000,001 newspapers, you get real ads for real jobs from your local paper. There are occasionally ads for those "Earn $60,000 with 12 months training" places, though.

    3.) Dice. Godawful. Almost 100% headhunter/fakeout-fraudster listings. I've never called somebody re: a job on Dice where the conversation didn't end with "Sorry, we've already filled that." And I don't think its because Dice is "so awesome" at getting people work. I think its because their ad-rates are uber-cheap so headhunters use them to collect a good pool of eligible applicants' resumes for when they have actual jobs to fill.

    Overall, my online job site experiences have been mixed. Monster has gotten me three interviews, and about half-dozen inquiries in the last year, which is a pretty good "hits to interview" ratio. (Hits to interview ratio is my own made up, totally non-scientific statistic.) CareerBuilder has brought me one interview after inquiring with more than 50 employers, so not a very good ratio. Dice is garbage though. 100% of the time I've spent on Dice.com has been wasted. You'd do better to hire a crop duster to drop your "Resume folded as origami" from an airplane over the city than to spend your time searching Dice for jobs. Their new service where, for $50, they spam your resume to several thousand headhunters also looks rather scammy/worthless.

    My advice? Network. Figure out what companies you're interested in, and find out where the employees hang out after work. Go there, meet a few of them, and make friends. Then drop an email a few weeks later mentioning your job-search. I've gotten a handful of interviews using this technique as well.
  • by rjnagle (122374) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:36PM (#8343897) Homepage
    during my unemployed in 2001-2 I quickly discovered (and wrote about) the problems with these boards.

    Here's the trick I learned. Don't bother applying to any of the jobs on monster! But be sure to put a profile on monster/yahoo with lots of keywords. HR and contractors are not interested in receiving lots of letters and resumes from people who are trying to fit their skills into a job description. More likely, they want to punch in a few keywords and then email 5 or so people who they think have that skill (and other things).

    As far as the recommendation about whether to update your monster profile every day, that was true for about a year, and then afterwards the major job boards fixed that way to game the system.
  • UK experience. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Paul Johnson (33553) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:42PM (#8343970) Homepage
    I used Jobserve in the UK. Although I didn't find a job from it, I did get some interviews.

    The process seems a bit different to the US. Jobserve adverts come from recruitment agents. They are specialists who deal with the avalanche of inappropriate resumes in response to each advert and winnow it down to a manageable short list. These people also maintain their own resume databases, so a key part of job hunting is to get your resume on their databases. You do this by applying for jobs.

    That said, it was a personal contact who got me my current job. Personal networks will always win in the job hunting game because hiring anyone is a risk, and knowing a prospective employee is the best way to reduce that risk. Thats why the inside candidate always wins, and there is nothing wrong with it.
  • by faust2097 (137829) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:44PM (#8344010)
    At least for the Bay Area craigslist.org is where it's at. I got one job through HotJobs in 2001 but basically every other job [contract and permanent] I've gotten from the internet since 1996 is from craigslist.

    I think most of those make their money because companies have to publicise postings to fulfill their EOE status.
    • by TheSync (5291)
      I second this. In the current era, why should employers PAY to have an ad on Monster? For things like web design and development where you can expect 1,000 resumes to come over your desk, just post to Craigslist. My wife regularly does this when she is hiring, and gets excellent candidates (once the wheat and chaff are separated).

      Also the job sites of potential employers is a good idea as well. I got my current job from the company's career section of their web site.

      Specialized organization web sites
  • Work-at-Home Jobs (Score:5, Informative)

    by Robotech_Master (14247) * on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:48PM (#8344076) Homepage Journal
    Semi-topical perhaps, but if you're looking to find out about legit work-at-home jobs--not those envelope-stuffing or pyramid marketing scams--check out wahm.com [wahm.com], the "Work-At-Home Moms" (but the information's good for anyone with a work-at-home interest, Mom or not) website. They've got message boards, informational links, and debunkment of the most common scams. I've been looking for a resource like this for a long time.
  • by Go Aptran (634129) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:57PM (#8344240)
    I temped at an HMO for about a year and they finally were forced to hire me because they could no longer keep temps, due to a newly implemented policy.

    Their hiring policy was that any job posting HAD to be posted publicly for at least 48 hours, and they used Monster.com for this purpose. In that time period, they recieved about 90 resumes for my position.

    How do I know this? It was my job to sort my boss's email and print them out.

    There was absolutely no intention to read any of these resumes or invite anyone for an interview. I stopped taking online job searches seriously after this experience.

    As an off-topic post-script:

    Six months to the day after I was hired, I was laid off because my job was automated. Actually, it was at my six-month evaluation... after taking most of my work away from me, the new manager stated that I didn't seem to be "working out" the way they expected. I found out later from a coworker that they never intended to hire me in the first place, as they always intended on automating my position, but the "offshore" programmer that they hired to write the program that automated my job, took longer than they expected. If they kept me on beyond the six months, I would have to get severance pay!

    These new automated reports were skimpy and full of errors, but only a handfull of people actually read them... so it really didn't matter to anyone.

    I like to imagine that there was once a time where people weren't so disposable... but I'm sure that's not true.

  • by airjrdn (681898) on Friday February 20, 2004 @05:59PM (#8344271) Homepage
    We tried it once. The number resume's we got was tremendous. The number of them from people with names we could pronounce was about 10. The number of those that we could understand was about 5. The number of those willing to relocate was about 3. The number of those with technical and communcation skills we considered mandatory was about 0.
  • by rjamestaylor (117847) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Friday February 20, 2004 @06:01PM (#8344316) Homepage Journal
    Friend of mine worked in a high-level tech position with Monster. Time came for me to look for a job a while back and I asked his advice where to look. Without hesitation he said: don't bother with web job boards.

    I wish I listened. I posted my resume and was innundated with MLM offers, "career counsuling" and resume writing services, and "opportunities" to become a "branch manager" with Citibank (!?), who was opening 50+ branches in my area (!?).

    Beware: if you post your information on Monster or the other general job boards, you *will* get email that sounds like a request for an interview for a position but is careful constructed to *not* precisely say that it's really a high-priced Want Ad re-distribution scam. Oops. What a joke. Here's a sample:

    From: Careers [mailto:careers@pxxxx-txxxxx.com]

    Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 10:09 AM
    To: []
    Subject: Interview

    Hello Robert, My name is Mr. Txxxxx Wxxxx and I am a consultant with Pxxxxx-Txxxxx. I am e-mailing you because your credentials have just come across my desk and I must say they are very impressive. I am working on filling numerous job searches and you may qualify for one or more. I would like to sit down with you to explore your background sometime this week for about one half hour to see if in fact we could help place you. My direct line is 949-721-6xxx and when you call if I am not available, please leave a message with a couple of good days and times for you to meet. I schedule appointments from 7 AM to 3:30 PM Monday through Friday. Please call in today.

    Thank You,

    Mr. Txxxx Wxxxx
    Consultant

    Pxxxxx-Txxxxx, LLC
    949-721-6xxx

    I wrote back saying that a simple Google search on his company's name turned up numerous "Pxxxx-Txxxx is a SCAM!" web pages and, knowing the Internet is want to exaggerate grievances, could he answer back a short statement to easy my apprehension. No response. I guess my impressive credentials weren't impressive enough to warrant the effort...

    However, having been on the other side as an employer looking to fill a tech position I found Monster quite effective at producing skads of resumes for me to glean from. Wow. An entry level position with high bar qualifications garnered quite a number of resumes. However, this being the Internet, it is all too easy to click and send a resume/application for a job that you're not qualified for or that you're not truly interested in. I was not impressed with the candidates.

    So, it's true: it's who you know. My best jobs, my best hires -- those I've had personal contact with.

  • by sadr (88903) <skg@sadr.com> on Friday February 20, 2004 @06:02PM (#8344328)
    First, he calls these services ineffective because they only fill a few percent of the jobs nationwide. But that percentage jumped from 2.5% 2 years ago to 5% last year (total, for all job boards.) Given that rate, it'll be at 40% in a few years.

    Second, he doesn't discuss what fraction of jobs are even posted on these boards. If only 20% of the jobs are posted on these boards, and 5% of them are filled from resumes on them, that's a pretty good percentage.

    Last, recruiters use these boards as well, and they probably aren't included in the 5%. The hiring company wouldn't know where the recruiter found your resume.

    Overall, I got quite a few hits from the job boards. Some of them were direct and some through recruiters. Not a bad route, especially for high-tech jobs, in my experience.

    For what it's worth, I got one contract through the job boards, and then a full-time job through a referral last time I was looking.

    The job before that I got through searching the web (altavista at the time) for my keywords. I found several possible companies that had ads on their site but not on the national job boards via google last time I was hunting as well...

    SKG

  • by vidarh (309115) <vidar@hokstad.com> on Friday February 20, 2004 @06:06PM (#8344388) Homepage Journal
    I got my current job by using one of the job sites.

    However it isn't a matter of just registering and waiting for the offers given the current market. I used the sites to find agencies, and actively applied to every single position that looked remotely interesting, sent mails to every employment agency that listed positions along the lines I was looking for, and updated my CV or "renewed it" (on Monster you can, or at least could, just click on a link to get to the top of the pile again) on the sites EVERY day to make sure my CV was looked at.

    It got me several calls from recruiters, and a new job starting last summer at the same salary I had at my previous job, despite the general tenedency being that people in my type of positions took steep pay cuts to move into more secure positions last year. But the number of responses (including people telling me the position had been filled) I got was perhaps 1 in 50 - the rest just didn't bother answering at all.

    Another thing to keep in mind, though, is that you MUST make sure you follow up the recruiters. They will NOT follow up you if you don't show interest. I got calls about a couple of positions that I wasn't too interested in, but that I told the recruiters to put me forward for anyway, to find out more, the ones where I wasn't on the phone to the recruiters daily never got back to me at all.

    These people are still drowning in CV's and you can assume that when they call you they have probably already called 10 other people. Of anyone qualified they will hire one of the few that are actively spending time trying to understand what their clients want and helps them provide it.

    The last thing to keep in mind is: Your CV MUST be keyword friendly to be successful on these sites. In my case, I'd originally not mentioned much about Microsoft products and kept to my core competencies, even though I have in the past used Office and even (I am ashamed to say) programmed Word macros. Many job specs will mention things like Office etc. even if they are completely peripheral to the job - the recruiters will put it into their searches anyway if they get to many results with more relevant keywords.

    The other deficiency my CV originally had was that recruiters tend to search for the degree level the employer asks for, while many (most?) tech employers are relatively flexible (the main exception being banks that tend to be really anal about it) about your formal qualifications if you have relevant experience - in my case I quit uni to start my first company at 19. When I added (truthfully) that I am currently taking a MSc. as a correspondence course in my spare time (mostly to "get the paper" for future job hunts...) the level of interest suddenly increased a lot, including for positions where the employer had stated an MSc. as an "absolute requirement".

    Do anything except lie to get the interviews - the recruiters often don't know the position well enough to judge whether you'd be suitable... :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 20, 2004 @06:14PM (#8344473)

    Two years ago, when I had been laid off for four months, an in-house recruiter at a company I was not interviewing with told me the following.

    She said all recruiters post to the Internet job boards simply becuase they're supposed to as part of their job. They do not expect to find candidates from these boards. Furthermore, these boards are a hassle, since they make it so easy to apply for a job. They get volumes of resumes for each posting they send to the boards, and most of the candidates have no experience relevant to the job being posted.

    So, they trash the resumes they receive, without even bothering to sort through them!

    She advised me to use the old-fashioned way - networking. Hiring managers give more weight to resumes they receive from direct referrals. Also, most direct referrals bypass the in-house recruiters and go directly to the hiring manager, which guarantees your resume will get seen by someone with hiring authority.

    I followed her advise, and received three offers within two months.

  • by dschnur (61074) on Friday February 20, 2004 @07:16PM (#8345176)
    In December we posted a sales position to monster.com. It was the first job we ever advertised using them, and from what I heard, it was a good way to generate lots of prospective employees. In it, we listed the responsibilities and minimum experience required for the position. We also said -- clearly -- that we wanted applicants to call us instead of send resumes. (We get lots of resumes, all they do is take up space in the "Keep this or the lawyers will make money" file cabinet.) What we wanted was a sales person to call us and demonstrate their skills on the phone.

    The responses: Zip.

    Oh, there were resumes sent to us. They were sent in exactly the way we told people not to. There were even two phone calls. No body had skills that were even close to what we were looking for. I quickly came to the conclusion that most job seekers on monster are so jaded by looking for work that they don't even bother to read the posting and just click "send" on their resume.

    Score Monster 1 - Us 0

    Monster made their money, we got Zip. I might as well have written the job posting on toilet paper and stocked the bathroom in our building with it... Never mind... That would have gotten a better response..

    In the end, we filled the position the old way. Via the network of customers and vendors we have build over the years, and by asking "Hey, do you know anyone who can do the job..."

    Any other employer have a similar experience?
  • by JWSmythe (446288) * <(moc.ehtymswj) (ta) (ehtymswj)> on Friday February 20, 2004 @08:33PM (#8345822) Homepage Journal
    A friend of mine came out to LA, and started job hunting, including through the job sites.

    Her skills are in network and windows administration, with plenty of training and experience in high end phone systems (like enterprise sized Nortel stuff).

    The first call she got was from Belkin, being an independant sales rep, only making commissions.

    The second was from a major national insurance company, who asked her to come out for an interview. She verified that it was a computer job before she went. The interview itself was an hour outside of LA. We drove out, and they asked if I was interested in sitting in on the meeting too. Why? I'm not looking for a job. So, I go to the car, and start playing with my laptop. 10 minutes later, she comes out bitching. It's a multi-level marketing thing, where they had a room full of unemployed non-english speaking people to sell insurance (or ideally recruit new sales people) to people that can't afford it, and take the commissions.

    WTF? computer job? Nowhere in that job required a computer. It required being able to con people into spending money they couldn't afford on life insurance they'd never see. You didn't even use a computer to file the applications, they were by paper.

    {sigh}

    Aparently they went throught Monster.com, took down all the names and titles, and contacted everyone they could, offering jobs in their field, only to find that it was this sales crap.

    Computer Job != Insurance Salesman

  • Here in Denver. . . (Score:5, Interesting)

    by walterbyrd (182728) on Friday February 20, 2004 @09:07PM (#8346123)
    When I look at hotjobs, I see Raytheon has posted another 100 jobs again today. Funny thing is, Raytheon isn't hiring. Another funny thing is, Raytheon is still looking for a "NT Systems Admin" that job has posted several times every week for years - and I can assure you that here in Denver there are - at least - a few hundred unemployed people who are easily qualified for that job.

    Qwest does the same thing. There are also hundreds of jobs from the U.S. Navy.

    Qwest, Raytheon, and the U.S. Navy account for about 80% of the jobs posted. The rest are from those recruiting companies.

    Point is: I strongly suspect that 9 out 10 jobs posted are not for real. These people are just collecting resumes "just in case."

    I don't know how this cr@p works, but it's obvious that it's a joke.
  • by gopherdata (228790) <slashdot@@@gopherdata...net> on Friday February 20, 2004 @09:11PM (#8346143) Homepage
    I do most of the hiring for a small internet entertainment company in Montreal. In the past few years we've advertised job vacancies (mainly programers and graphic designers) about a dozen times in our local newspaper and online (mainly Monster). We usually get around 20-30 resumes from a newspaper ad and around 200-300 from job boards.

    For most of the positions we've ended up hiring people who saw our ad online. In our experience the most qualified responses come from the job boards. However, we've also noticed that the least qualified responses also come from the job boards. Of the 200-300 responses we'll get from an ad, may 30 of them are worth considering. The rest are pure garbage.

    When I have a stack of 200-300 resumes to go through initially I'm looking for any excuse I can come up with to thin the pile. Speaking as someone who's read a lot of resumes here are the things that irk me the most...

    1. Language - Even though we're located in Montreal which is in a predominantly French city our ads are always posted in English. Atleast a third of resumes will come in French. A few always come in other languages such as Spanish or Polish. To me that displays either laziness arrogance or cluelessness. None of which score any points for the applicant. If they can't be bothered to send me a response in the language of the advert, I can't be bothered to read it. These resumes are generally relegated to the circular file.

    2. Distance - Even if our ad is for an entry level position in Montreal, we still get a large number of responses from people who either want to telecommute or relocate to take the job. We get people apply from as far away as Africa or Asia (and rarely Europe). Some of these people will even want us to sponsor their immigration to Canada. We might go to the trouble to do that for someone with unique talents but not for an entry level programmer. These resumes also get sent to the circluar file.

    3. Vastly Overqualified - Whenever we post an opening for an entry level programmer we'll get 5-10 responses from people who are so vastly over qualified that there's little chance they'd be happy here (and stay with us long term). People who were professors or who have PHDs are not good matches for entry level positions.

    4. Totally Wrong Careers - We get a fair number of resumes from people who seem like good candidates except for the totally wrong career. For example we had one guy apply who had been a chef for 15+/- years. He'd attended several prestigeous culinary schools and had worked at some rather well regarded restaurants. But now he wanted to give programming a shot.

    5. Egregious Resumes / Cover Letters - When you apply for a job you should make some effort to "put your best foot forward". A surprising number of people don't. These run the gamut from simply bad spelling and grammar to people who send us resumes and cover letters for different companies and positions. Then there are the resumes with obviously bullshit "objectives". I mean things like "To synergize new ideas outside the box and take my employer to the next level of ebusiness". There also was the guy who had a resume to be a mechanical engineer (or something similiar I forget exactly) who had replaced the words "mechanical engineer" with "database admin" most places in his resume. Not everywhere mind you, just most.

    6. Stalkers - If you send your resume and you don't hear back from me, its fine to send one follow up email. However don't start calling, faxing, and emailing on a daily basis to make sure I read your resume. Rest assured if you do
    that I will read your resume but there's no chance you'll get hired. Same goes for post interview follow ups. Feel free to call me once. If I want to talk to you, I'll call you. If I don't call there's a reason.

    7. Upon Request - Every time we post a job opening, we include what we want you to send us when you apply. References, portfolio, etc. It never fails that people send us resumes that say "Portfolio available upon request". Are they stupid? Did they not read the ad? I've got 200 resumes to go through am I going to take the extra time to request portfolio individually? Certainly not.
  • let's be clear. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RomulusNR (29439) on Friday February 20, 2004 @09:14PM (#8346159) Homepage
    Monster is ineffective if your use of Monster sounds like the following:

    1. Enter your resume, and then enter it again but using Monster's input boxes.
    2. Search for a type of job or skill and find a list of jobs.
    3. Come across an interesting-sounding job.
    4. Press "Apply Now".
    5. Wait for manna to fall from heaven.

    However, these job boards are not without merit, but only as a means to see jobs, not as a means to apply to them.

    Those who truly want a job will go the extra step of sending a personal email, with a custom cover letter, and possibly a tuned or custom resume. This method will be more effective than simply using the stock Apply Now method -- which employers now apparently routinely ignore.

    Both of my jobs attained over the last two years have been gained via this method, since IT recruiting (my previous boom-time sure-fire method) fell through in early 2002.

    (As a hiring manager at a small company, I'm finding it astonishing at how many people apply for positions with no cover letter, and nothing stating why they want or think they would do well in the position! I don't consider those applicants terribly seriously, because they clearly don't consider the position very seriously.)
  • by MadAnthony02 (626886) on Friday February 20, 2004 @11:39PM (#8346968) Homepage

    One quote I found really interesting:

    Hiring managers were asked what recruiting tool they found most effective. Echoing the job hunters of the previous year, managers said that "word of mouth referrals" were the best source of hires (62%). Meanwhile, the HR folks -- the people who buy online job ads -- said such personal contacts were the worst recruiting tool. So, who's right?

    One of the job hints that one frequently sees is "try to bypass HR and go directly to who is in charge of the department where the position you want is" It seems that HR frequently is seen by managers and employees as a roadblock for hiring the best employees.

    It seems true - and in my experience, interviews by people who are in the department where you would work are generally more comfortable, and more likely to ask you questions that seem relevant rather than "if you were an animal what type would you be" questions.

    I work at a college where I used to be a student. I know that when another student was hired, his manager had to argue for his hiring, and was accused by HR of "trying to create a position for him" - despite the fact that he was filling a position for someone who had retired - and been working as a contractor in the postion for several months.

    Dave Barry once parodied the old "avoid HR" job hunting quote by saying HR never wants to hire anyone because they just know they will be employees who never fill out their healthcare forms right

    This all does make me wonder about the disconnect between how HR percieves itself compared to the negative light it seems to be seen in by employees, potential employees, and managers of other departments.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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