Job boards guilty of recycling careers advice

With almost 30% of job seekers visiting a job board to obtain careers advice and key industry information, isn’t it about time that job boards provide current and appropriate guidance to people rather than recycling the plethora of careers advice articles that have done the rounds since time and memorial?

Perhaps I am cutting my nose off to spite my face, however, as a careers advice writer for several of the top 10 UK and US job boards I have written over 600 articles covering all aspects of workplace issues and job hunting strategies. Yet a minority of the articles I have been commissioned to produce since the onset of the current economic downturn have been aimed at how job seekers can find a job in a recession.

For me as a writer this is frustrating. But for anyone looking on these job boards for sound advice on how to conduct an effective job hunt during a recession, these articles lack any real punch; hence, the popularity of such books as How to get  job in a recession by Denise Taylor and another using the same title by Dr Harry Freedman of Career Energy.

All too often job boards are more focused on building a bank of careers articles that have longevity and are not time-sensitive rather than addressing the needs of job seekers in the here and now. Let’s face it job seeking during these testing times, when there are at least twice as many applicants per job than the pre-recession hay-day, demands a different and more inventive approach. Which means that the advice currently offered by the majority of job boards only scratch the surface of what job seekers really need to be doing to land the position they are looking for.

If job seekers use the same methods employed during pre-recession times they won’t get very far. Competition for jobs is at its highest in 15 years and there is no longer a bevy of opportunities that once existed as recently as two or three years ago. So job seekers need to raise their level of activity by becoming skilled networkers, personal branding specialists, social networkers…the list goes on.

Non-time sensitive guidance pieces are perfectly OK during comfortable economic conditions, but they have little (or no) relevance to the major issues and demand that jobs seekers are currently facing. A recycled article is not a ‘new’ article. Indeed, in much the same way as brands aim to encourage loyalty, job boards need to follow suit. And that means providing relevant and timely information to help job seekers get where they want to be.

About yourcareermatters
CareerMatters was founded as part of MacKenzie-Cummins Communications in 2006 by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins MICG (Member Institute of Careers Guidance), regarded as one of the UK's leading career's advice and guidance writers and specialist PR consultant for the UK recruitment industry. Since 2006 Paul has been the leading advice writer for and - the two biggest careers website in the world -tackling all aspects of workplace and management issues, job seeking, career change and hiring trends. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 his writing contributed to Monster winning the Best Employment Advice on the Internet Award for an unprecedented three times beating the likes of The Guardian, Learn Direct and Personnel Today on each occasion. And his work was a runner-up for the same award in 2009. In 2009 Paul was a nominee in the prestigious HR Journalist of the Year Award and Recruitment, Retention & Motivation Journalist of the Year Award. Paul has been commissioned to write more than 500 careers advice and guidance articles for a number of lpublications, from regional and national newspapers to industry publications and various career-specific websites in the UK and USA. Recently, Paul was the Technical Editor for career psychologist Dr Rob Yeung's Job Hunting & Career Change for Dummies (John Wiley & Son, 2007). Dr Yeung is better known as the TV psychologist for Channel 4's Big Brother and the BBC's Who Would Hire You? series. Clients include: MSN Careers (Europe) TheLadders TotalJobs IntaPeople Recruitment Lifetracks/YouthNET MediaSalesJobs The Press Gazette

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