If you’re looking a for a new job, chances are you’ve been browsing job boards! Job boards are the most common way to find new opportunities, but that doesn’t mean they’re always easy to navigate or understand. Let our top tips for jobs boards help you through the search and application process.

What’s a job board?

If you’ve ever browsed Seek or Trade Me jobs, you’ve used a job board! Once upon a time new job vacancies would be literally pinned to a notice board in a community space. These days those notice boards are gone, but we have websites like Seek instead.

A job board is not typically specific to one organisation (though larger organisations will likely have their own internal job board and recruitment agencies will have their own too), instead it’s a central place for any organisation to list their vacancy, usually for a fee. If you’re job hunting, a job board is the perfect place to start.

Most job boards include search functions that’ll allow you to find roles that match your criteria. You can often save your searches and opt in to have new vacancies that match what you’re looking for emailed through directly.

There are industry specific job boards too, so when it comes to looking for work these websites are an incredibly useful tool. However in order to put your best foot forward, it pays to understand the different types of job board available because not all are created equal!

Understanding the different types of Job Board

Typically you’ll find two main types of job board – standard and aggregate. One may be more helpful than the other with your job search, so let’s take a look at the differences:

Seek or Trade Me Jobs are two examples of what we would consider a standard job board. These’re websites where employers or recruiters pay to advertise a vacancy. Interested job seekers can apply to the opportunities by either being directed to the employer’s application site, or having their application submitted through the job board to the employer. Normally the employer will have to have an account set up with the job board in order to post their listing, and ads will only stay on the website for a set period of time.

The other kind of job board is what we call an aggregate job board. These are essentially search engines that scour the internet for job vacancies and collate everything together on one website. This kind of job board comes from overseas, but is becoming increasingly more common in New Zealand – Indeed or Jora are just two examples. While some of these websites do allow for an employer to post an ad directly, more often than not, the vacancies being displayed have actually been lifted from other websites. This means that the employer is likely not even aware that their role has been listed on the aggregate job board and has no control over the information shown or how long the ad is listed for.

Is one better than the other?
The short answer is yes; while both types of job boards have their place, when it comes to looking for a job in New Zealand we highly recommend sticking to the tried and true like Seek or Trade Me Jobs. The main reason being these are paid listings, so you’re less likely to find “ghost jobs” that are really only there to get your personal information for other purposes.

Aggregate job boards are useful for keeping an eye out for opportunities and getting a feel for what’s available, but if you do use one, we strongly recommend doing some research on any vacancy you’re interested in before submitting an application. The reason for this is when you have an aggregate job board, you don’t know where the vacancy has originally come from. In our experience, aggregate job boards will pick up older job ads that’re no longer active and post them on their website as if they’re new. Because they haven’t been listed by the employer or recruiter directly, they may also have some of the basics like location or salary incorrectly listed.

Long story short, an aggregate job board is useful for keeping an eye out for opportunities, but when it comes to making a formal application, it’s not as reliable as a standard job board because there’s no guarantee your CV is going to the right place and being seen by the hiring manager. If you’ve ever wondered why you never heard back from an application you’ve made, this could be why!

What should I look for?

Regardless of what kind of job board you’re looking at, it’s always important to check a job ad for the application closing date, location of the job and contact details in case you need further information before applying. While we do see it happen on legitimate job ads too, it pays to be wary of anything that doesn’t provide these basics.

If you’re ever in doubt as to whether a job ad you’ve seen is the real deal or still accepting applications, head to the organisation’s website to see if the role is listed on their own vacancy page. If you can’t find the job you’re looking for there, it might pay to contact the organisation or recruiter directly to enquire whether it’s still available before you go to the effort of putting together an application.

A word on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great tool for professionals and job seekers, and is used all the time by recruiters and employers to connect with potential candidates and head hunt for roles. LinkedIn also offers a job board service similar to that of Seek, so it’s another good place to keep an eye out for opportunities (or have them emailed directly to your inbox!).

We regularly post vacancies on LinkedIn ourselves, however there’ve been some changes to the way LinkedIn allows job ads to be listed. This can mean the job ad you’re looking at on LinkedIn is not necessarily the original (or legitimate) posting – so we just wanted to raise awareness in case you do use this platform for your job searches.

Advertising a vacancy on LinkedIn has a cost associated with it, but recently they introduced a free option, albeit with some limitations. As a result, we’re now seeing a trend of those aggregate job boards mentioned before, re-posting job ads to LinkedIn from their own site, which in turn have been taken from somewhere else, all without the actual employer knowing this is happening. In some cases, this is causing a duplication of ads for the same job on LinkedIn. If you happen to come across the ad that’s come from the aggregate website, your application may not be going to the right place. Other times we’ve found old vacancies that’ve already been filled being posted to LinkedIn by an aggregate job board, tricking job seekers into thinking the role is still available. Both situations are really frustrating for job seekers who think they’ve found their dream job, and employers who can’t understand why people are contacting them about jobs that are no longer available or actually located somewhere else!

Again, LinkedIn is a really useful platform and it’s a shame to see these aggregate job board ads starting to pop up on the site without much oversight as to what’s actually a legitimate job ad. Other platforms like Seek and Trade Me aren’t necessarily immune to infiltration from aggregate job boards either, but because those platforms have costs associated with their listings, it does seem to be less common.

Regardless of where you’ve seen a job ad, always make sure you do your due diligence before sending your application off into the ether. We’ve included a list below of reputable job boards – it’s by no means an exhaustive list of what’s available in New Zealand, but certainly a good place to start with your job search!

Good luck,
Kirsty and Nikki

Below are links to Job Boards we know and have used ourselves. As with anything these days, always be careful about who you share your personal information with online!
Standard Job Boards:
Seek
Trade Me Jobs
LinkedIn
Student Job Search
Industry/Sector specific Job Boards:
Not for Profit Jobs – Do Good Jobs
Health Sector Jobs – KiwiHealth Jobs or Te Pou
Māori and Pacifica focused jobs – Kumara Vine
Government/Public Sector Jobs – Jobs.govt.nz
Arts Sector Jobs – The Big Idea
Marketing Jobs – Marketing Association

Managing Job Interview Nerves