6 smart ways to use job boards to find your next gig—and one stupid mistake to avoid

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Networking with new contacts and existing connections to land your next job works. In fact, Payscale, The Balance, SHRM, The Muse and others all report that networking is actually the most effective way to get hired.

That doesn't mean a job seeker should ignore traditional job boards in conducting their search — but there's a right way and a wrong way to use these platforms to your advantage.

Here are six smart ways you should be utilizing job boards:

1. Create a profile

Having your profile set up allows recruiters to search for and find you to reach out to you for interviews (Remember: Keep your profile set to "confidential," when possible, if you are currently working.)

Don't be the one who has to find the opportunity every time – put yourself out there in a confidential manner to be found by hiring managers looking for people like you.

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2. Set up alerts

Don't spend hours poring over job listings looking for the right one to apply to. There is no bigger time suck than searching endlessly for a listing that seems right for you.

Instead, set up pre-programmed alerts to have jobs that seems like a good fit emailed to you. This will drastically reduce the time you'll have to spend scrolling through pages of job postings every day. That's time that you can use to perform more active and personal job search activities, like making professional connections with contacts via email, phone and in person.

By defining specific search parameters in the job alert functions, you will receive email alerts when roles that fit what you are looking for pop up.

3. Introduce yourself directly

Find an email or phone contact and reach out to the hiring manager to introduce yourself directly — don't risk getting sidelined by HR. If the hiring manager's identity isn't clear from the posting, do a LinkedIn or Google search using identifying details from the job description.

4. Find someone who can introduce you

Reach out to any connection who might be able to refer you to someone within your target organization. No direct contact with a hiring manager? Aim to become an employee referral to the firm. Use LinkedIn to see who you know that may know who may be able to connect you to an employee at your target company.

5. Upload a branded, keyword-rich resume

When applying to a role via a job posting, be sure your resume is "keyword rich." Be sure to include phrases pertinent to the job and industry for which you are applying. This increases your chances of advancing past automatic electronic filters and being found by corporate and search firm recruiters looking for people like you.

6. 'Where there's smoke, there's fire'

If you see hiring activity at a company, consider how it may affect hiring in your direct area.

For example, if you are an accountant, and you see a company hiring a small army of sales professionals, infer from that that the company may need to expand their accounting team soon to handle additional commissions, client revenues, related expenses and sales analysis for new business proposals.

Companies will appreciate this savvy thought process from you as a candidate, and it could help you discover unpublished job openings as well.

These tips will help you master those job boards — and stop wasting time endlessly scrolling.

Lisa Rangel is an Executive Resume Writer at Chameleon Resumes, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website and recently named one of the top 28 resume writers in 2016 by Career Toolkit. She is also the LinkedIn Premium Career Group Moderator and has been featured in Inc, BBC, Investor's Business Daily,, Fox News, Yahoo Finance, US News, and so many more reputable media outlets. Lisa's Get Hired Fast Package is now available.

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