f you're starting a job search, probably the first thing you'll do is hang out on job boards. But be wary: They have the potential to be a waste of time.
Yes, this may seem counterintuitive, given that we at Bright Green Talent post all of our jobs on job boards.
However, it seems like every day we get an email from some new "green" job board, claiming to be all sorts of superlatives (the "best," "largest," "most relevant," etc).
The creators of these job boards are correct in identifying a market opportunity -- there are a LOT of jobseekers right now, there's a LOT of interest in green jobs, and it seems like you can make a quick buck by setting up a posting site and charging per post or just for advertising given increased traffic.
However, in the end, another green job board doesn't really help anyone: It wastes time for jobseekers, who have to add another site to the list of places they visit and for the employers who feel like they have to post their job in another location. The reality is that, as of yet, there aren't the mass numbers of green jobs that necessitate so many different green job boards, so each of these hundred-odd sites basically shows the same set of jobs.
So, how can you fight back and make sure you're using your jobseeking time efficiently and effectively?
1. To reiterate: You should not be spending hours daily perusing job boards. To stay up to date on what's being posted, set up a Google Reader account with RSS feeds from your favorite job boards. This way you can see at a glance when new jobs are posted without getting bogged down in visiting all of them.
2. Install the Alexa ranking tool bar on your browser so you can see which job boards are actually getting a lot of visits. Some of our personal favorites include GreenBiz.com's, Treehugger, Net Impact, Justmeans, Idealist, StopDodo and SustainLane (we post in a lot of other niche places according to the specific job).
3. Use a job board aggregator. In your RSS feeds, set up a search within SimplyHired or Indeed with specific keywords you're interested and the locations you're open to -- the feed will do all the work for you of grabbing jobs from across the internet.
4. Use a recruiter. Signing up with a recruiter like Bright Green Talent will put your search in the hands of folks whose job it is to actively place people all day long -- plus, a good recruiter will be your advocate to get you an interview, coach you in advance of that interview, and help you negotiate should an offer come through.
5. Get well-integrated on social media sites so you can make direct connections with hiring managers. The best tool is LinkedIn, where you can see exactly who posted the job, who you know at the company, and can be much more strategic about your application.
6. Get in front of people. The truth is you're much more likely to get a job through spending half an hour having coffee with someone each day than spending that time on job boards. Eighty percent of people are hired through having some sort of connection with the company. Plus, given that companies know they're going to get swamped if they post a job on a job board, a lot of jobs are going under-the-radar right now, and are being sourced exclusively by recruiters doing targeted searches or through employee referral networks without ever being posted publicly.
Carolyn Mansfield is the community engagement associate at Bright Green Talent, which helps connect people with green jobs around the world.