Job Boards: On-Line Gaming With Your Resume

Search the internet when you have a minute for “how many jobs were posted on-line in 2019 in the US” and you probably will not find the answer.  You will see statements such as “80% of jobs are found through referrals” and “your chances of finding a job on-line are around 2%.”

This certainly reflects our experience in talking with thousands of job seekers each year.  Many are frustrated by having sent hundreds of resumes to on-line job postings without having any response at all, or if they do get a response, it has usually been “no thank you.”

Looking for a job online from our perspective resembles a game of chance

That is why looking for a job online from our perspective resembles a game of chance.  Take any casino.  Most people lose money in casinos.  That’s why they exist.  Similarly, job boards exist for the convenience of the employer, not the prospective employee.

One executive from a sporting goods company told me, for example, that their ad for a mid-level job attracted more than 1 million responses.  It is difficult to find reliable statistics on this subject, however, it is a fact that the so-called Application Tracking Systems (ATS) commonly used by on-line job boards today filter out candidates who do not include the right keywords and therefore most likely do not have the right experience or skills. 

That’s nothing new really. 

A resume has long been an exclusionary document—employers mainly use it to exclude candidates.  However, our resume writers know how to work around these exclusions and help you tailor your resume to get through these screens much more reliably so as to increase your chances of getting serious attention.

In fact, about 15% of our clients will ultimately find a job through an on-line job board due to our ability to help you effectively deliver your messages.  That being said, 85% of our clients land through other means, particularly the unpublished market.

Application Tracking Systems (ATS) commonly used by on-line job boards today filter out candidates

Despite this reality, SHRM reports that recent research by the Pew Research Center found that “a majority (54 percent) of Americans have researched jobs on the internet and nearly as many (45 percent) have applied for a job online.”  This reflects a doubling of the percentage using this tool within ten years.  Interestingly, the research goes on to report that “53 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds…have used a smartphone as part of a job search…”  Honestly, that does sound like searching for a needle in a haystack, at least to me.

So, rather than leave your job search to chance as you would when you enter a casino, why not consider the alternative?

Oh, you think I mean recruiters?  Well, that is a valid approach as well, of course, but frankly only about 10% of our clients land through the recruiter market as I have explained in my last blog: Recruiters are Special.

No, I am definitely talking about the large and hungry unpublished market where fully 75% of our clients find their next opportunity.  They do this in many ways under the guidance of our professional career consultants, coached for both clear objectives and offer negotiation, supported by researchers and writers, and helped by our client concierge.  This six-member team helps career changers focus and avoid pitfalls so that their chances of finding the job of their choice rise to 90% within three to six months if they follow our program.

But do not take our word for it.  Here is what one recent client has to say about his Barrett Group experience:

“After leaving the corporate world in exchange for a slower pace that included travel, great food and beverages, with great friends, I decided to re-enter the corporate arena once again. That’s when I hired The Barrett Group. This was a totally new experience for me as I contemplated what avenues I wanted to explore. The Barrett Group assisted me in updating my resume, as well as identifying potential opportunities. I found them to be exceptionally qualified and motivated to get me back into the marketplace.”


Why run the risk of working so hard to achieve nothing but frustration while leaving your career to chance?  Your career is your most important asset—probably far more valuable than your retirement savings as an income producing engine.  Should you not invest in this asset and ensure its optimum performance?   We can help.  Give us a call.

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group

Barrett Speaks

Our View from the Front Lines of the Job Market

Do You Deserve More Money?

Do You Deserve More Money?

Compensation is a fundamental component of employment, but it’s one of the most difficult topics for workers to discuss with their employers.

Read more

Leveraging The “It” Factor

Leveraging The “It” Factor

You’ve revamped your LinkedIn profile, added new skills and credentials to your value proposition, and practiced interviewing. You’ve re-written your resume for every job opportunity, crafted your cover letters with the care of someone wooing a new love interest, and sent follow-up messages to every hiring manager you’ve met. You’ve even lost weight and refreshed your wardrobe.

Read more

Emotional Intelligence May Be More Valuable Than Skills In The Job Search

Emotional Intelligence May Be More Valuable Than Skills In The Job Search

Knowing how to read clients and colleagues, and understanding what underlying thoughts and emotions are influencing their actions and decisions, have long been useful skills in business.

Read more

// Pardot tracking code if(window.attachEvent) { window.attachEvent('onload', async_load); } else { window.addEventListener('load', async_load, false); } })();