Are Job Boards Becoming Obsolete? (And Why LinkedIn is Becoming Essential)

Linkedin Last night, I saw Julie and Julia, a movie set in 2002. I was struck by the large size of cell phones, and was reminded of how quickly technology becomes obsolete.

My personal prediction is that today–the traditional job board is becoming obsolete. While it's still essential to submit an application online for positions in order to get hired, increasingly both companies and job seekers are turning to alternative hiring means–especially social media sites liked LinkedIn, and aggregated sites with position listings such as and SimplyHired. Recently BusinessWeek acknowledged the trend in an article entitled, "Recruiting: Enough to Make a Monster Tremble." The subtitle: Online job-search and headhunting is changing rapidly, and frontrunner Monster is losing ground to LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, and even Twitter.

Many companies are finding it more cost-effective to use LinkedIn and Twitter to find candidates, both in terms of advertising cost and access to information.
After all LinkedIn provides much more than the opportunity for companies to post profiles, where else can employers easily assess candidate writing skills (your profile), networking ability (the size and scale of your relationships), and peer review (recommendations)?

And for candidates, where else can you find a question & answer forum, a searchable database of companies and people, and identify your relationships within three degrees? It's a gold mine of opportunity, with a wealth of resources to help you identify, engage, and connect with hiring decision makers. (One of my favorite tools is the "JobsInsider" application which allows you to look at a position listing and identify any in-network contacts you have within the organization–very useful for networking!)

One of the reasons LinkedIn is attractive to employers is because of the strong user demographics. As of September 2008, the median LinkedIn user was 41 with an household income of $109K. Not bad.

Since that time, LinkedIn has grown exponentially–and they've also made a great strategic decision: they hired my friend Lindsey Pollak, author of College to Career, to partner with them in growing their presence on campus. (Unlike Facebook, college students have traditionally been one of the slower growing demographics on LinkedIn, but that is changing–just as adults over 50 are the fastest growing population on Facebook.)

I sat in on a webinar Lindsey ran for Career Services professionals last week, and got the latest stats on LinkedIn: The site now has approximately 45 million members, and is adding another million users every two weeks or so. Each second, a new member becomes LinkedIn.

Are you LinkedIn? Or if you are, do you feel you profile accurately conveys your skills, experience, and value proposition for your next (and current) job? I can help; I've helped many of my clients develop winning profiles that put their "best career fit forward." Contact me. Let's link up and move your career forward!

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