Photo credit:  utnapistim, Creative Commons/Flickr

Photo credit: utnapistim, Creative Commons/Flickr

Because of my work, I’m constantly looking at changes in how we define our careers and search for opportunities. While many experts encourage seekers to stay away from job boards, I’ve noticed two interesting trends when it comes to job boards that might make them incredibly useful to job seekers:

  • They have gone beyond size to thoughtful curation. Many of the newest job boards have a very tight focus and brand—Levo League, ReWork, The Muse, NYC Creative Interns—which is reflected in the jobs they share. Instead of just emphasizing size, they focus on match and relevance.
  • They have gone beyond listings to services. From quizzes and helpful articles to webinars and online mentors, many job boards are, well, more than just job boards. They are job search hubs, where seekers can learn about opportunities, network, and think about their careers. I think LinkedIn is a great example of this.

These shifts are likely in response to the needs of  Millennials (who, according to a study by Pew, are likely to job hop, seek feedback, work collaboratively, and desire to be top performers, all while leveraging technology to help them on the way). In fact, many of these sites target Millennials explicitly. However, they have several implications for seekers across generations:

  • They encourage seekers to tighten their focus to ensure a great match. It’s not about sending your resume everywhere. With many of these new sites, you can’t do that at all. In fact, given their focus, you have to be very specific about what you want to do and where you want to work.
  • They encourage seekers to think beyond their search. It’s about career advancement and career planning, not just getting a job.
  • They encourage seekers to see overlaps in their networks and sectors. It’s not just about nonprofit vs for-profit. These boards hone in on what makes a great job exciting—mission, room for growth, match in passion and skills—and help seekers find what works for them.

And I don’t think these shifts are going unnoticed by the larger job boards, including Idealist. We’re developing more content and services and incorporating more social enterprises into our job board as the nature of social change careers has expanded.

I think this presents an interesting opportunity for employers, too. Going beyond a job description to sharing interviews, videos, photos, reviews, and going through an editorial selection to demonstrate what it means to work for your particular organization also ups the ante when it comes to transparency and hiring being a two-way street. Celebrations and criticisms are more visible requiring more thinking around culture and the hiring process.

So, ironically, these job boards demand that we go beyond job boards to craft meaningful careers and build organizations that are great places to work.

What changes have you seen in job boards or in how to search for jobs online?