Difference Between a Job Board and a Job Search Engine

Maximizing Your Job Search

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It can be confusing to tell the difference between a job board and a search engine, but it's wise to know where the job listings you find online are coming from. A job board is a website which posts jobs supplied by employers, whereas job search engines scour the web and aggregate job listings from job boards and employer websites.

Job Boards

With job boards, companies have specifically listed their open positions and often accept job applications directly through the job board.

Employers typically pay a fee to the job board in order to list their jobs on the site--essentially the site warehouses resumes and sells employers access to them. Monster, the largest and best-known job board, is a general board with postings across a broad range of industries. Indeed and Monster tend to have more candidates without a college degree and are geared towards teenagers, temporary job seekers and job seekers with only a high school education. Indeed offers a broader array of jobs including contract positions, work-at-home opportunities, summer jobs, and volunteer work. CareerBuilder is focused more towards people with a Bachelor's degree.

Niche Job Boards

Other more specialized boards focus on a particular industry. Dice, for example, is a leading site for tech jobs. Career Bank and eFinancial Careers focus on finance and banking. Variety Careers posts media jobs in television, radio, and production.

TalentZoo covers advertising and marketing. Very niche-oriented job focus on highly specific careers: a rig engineer would look for work on rigzone.com or oilcareers.com; if you're an expert in natural language processing, NLPPeople.com is the job site for you.

Other niche boards cater to a segment of the job market like entry level jobs, summer jobs, or internships.

Job Search Engines

Indeed and SimplyHired are two of the most popular job search engines and they collect millions of listings on their platforms. LinkUp searches through the websites of small, medium and large employers without including input from job boards. Niche job search engines, like Green Job Bank or JobsOnTheMenu, collect jobs from various industry or career-specific sites.

Job Boards vs. Job Search Engines

You will find a wider variety of job postings on job search engines because they contain listings from multiple sources. However, you may also have to look through duplicate listings and make sure the job vacancy is still available. In addition, targeting a broad job search can be difficult. This author searched "Microsoft" on Indeed.com and found 3,521 openings. Knowing your parameters such as location as target salary helps, but there are still 1800 jobs open in Redmond, WA and 3,000 jobs that pay $80,000 or more.

If you find an opportunity through a job board, you may have to register on that site and some even require a fee to join. You may also deal with a lot of spam and advertisements. Also keep in mind that very few hires actually happen through job boards. According to the article "Ask The Headhunter: Is LinkedIn Cheating Employers and Job Seekers Alike?" on PBS.org, employers reported that just 1.3 percent of their hires came from Monster and 1.2 percent through CareerBuilder.

To maximize your job search, use both job boards and job search engines along with a variety of sites because no single site searches all job listings.