The Work Search: Job Boards

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nick Corcodilos, the man behind "Ask the Headhunter" and weekly guest for the month of July, discusses how to most successfully navigate the job market. This week: are job boards really the best way to find work? Plus tips and tricks for making your resume stand out. Special Deal for WNYC Audience: If you use the code tenoffwnyc you can get a $10 discount on Nick's new online book, How to Work With Headhunters.


Nick Corcodilos

Comments [24]

Naomi from Brooklyn

Does anyone have any feedback on
Out of curiousity...

Feb. 21 2010 12:25 AM
Nick Corcodilos from

@MichaelB: Every job offers an opportunity to save money, make money for the employer. Think about it. If you employer knows you are not having a positive impact on profit (revenue-costs) - either by helping increase one or decrease the other - you will probably get fired. They don't need you. Every job impacts the bottom line. Most companies don't think about that. That's why so many are in trouble. That's not often the employee's fault, but anyone in any job (or applying for one) should be able to explain how they will contribute to the bottome line. I did a radio show where a technician in a blood testing lab got his job by showing how the way he organizes samples and records them raises efficiency... a short order cook could do the same thing. Please: think about this. It could make all the difference the next time you talk to a company. See "Put a Free Sample in Your Resume" at:

Jul. 16 2009 01:19 PM
Nick Corcodilos from

@Christophe: Salary is a big topic on the website and blog. Check this article:
My advice, even if it hurts, withhold your salary history. If you disclose, they will absolutely use it to influence the offer. Check the article. This must be handled diplomatically, but firmly. There's a discussion about it on the blog... Use the search box, "disclose salary".

@Amy: I don't advocate going thru headhunters. Only about 3% of jobs are filled that way. And 95% of "headhunters" are pretty unsavory - and unskilled, "playing the numbers game." Check any headhunter out before engaging with them. Resumes are too often a crutch. You don't need to use one to get in the door. Consider your competition: they all submit resumes and they way. Resumes are a dumb piece of paper that cannot defend you. Go to:
Find "The Truth About Resumes". A resume is useful once you have gotten in the door, to help fill in the blanks about who you are. But it's a lousy way to compete...

Jul. 16 2009 01:18 PM
Nick Corcodilos from

I've covered all the posts here... for more Q&A, please feel free to post your Q's on my blog, where there's a post about today's WNYC segment...

Thanks, All! And thanks Brian for another good discussion!

Jul. 16 2009 12:21 PM
Nick Corcodilos from

@Joe Slater: (Even though your post was directed at Brian) I agree with your suggestion about resumes. My message is that people should not rely on them as a form of introduction. Far better, as you suggest, to do it more personally, one on one. I also agree with your 3 criteria for judging candidates. That list (plus a 4th) is at the heart of my book, Ask The Headhunter, and what I teach.

As for headhunters (having been one since 1979), I spend a lot of time online. I speak to lots of groups. I get tons of e-mail. Lots of folks post on my discussion forums. Sorry, but the pool of people who call themselves "headhunters" is wide and deep, and not reflective of what good headhunters are and how they work. It may be easy for you or me to tell the difference, but not so with even sophisticated professionals who get hosed and fleeced every day by hucksters. This topic is such a big one that I just released a book titled "How to Work With Headhunters". 3 objectives:
1. How to tell the difference between a good headhunter and unsavory one
2. How good headhunters operate, so you can leverage working with them
3. How to profit from working with headhunters.

The stories my readers tell about sad experiences with "headhunters" are legion. The media don't help. Just Google the word "headhunter". What you find at the top of the list is... a job board. That's what promotes the problem and encourages the hacks.

Jul. 16 2009 12:20 PM
Nick Corcodilos from

@AP from ny: I don't think any "boards" are worth paying for. But the oldest online "higher level/exec/manager" site - NETSHARE - is more of a club/association. They charge. I think their services are good because they offer far more than any board does. Okay, okay, you nailed me on the UI on the site - the design is old as the hills! Urgh! I'm always open to suggestions and help. Pls drop me a note via email link on the site with descriptive subject so I won't delete it! I'd love to hear from you. Thanks.

Jul. 16 2009 12:13 PM
Thomas Bell from NY

Will agree with the headhunter - in some instances snail mail (I'll even add faxing) a person is a more personalized approach. That's how I managed to get a contract after the information interview with the VP (and, after a meet and greet lunch).

Jul. 16 2009 12:12 PM
Nick Corcodilos from

@maria: SPAM will always be a problem, and it's a risk. You don't know whether it got through. Honest: It's far better to invest time in identifying people who know your target company. Develop a personal referral. Don't pursue so many companies. 40-70% of jobs are found/filled through such contacts. I know that isn't as easy... but it works.

@Clif: Great! I'm glad Monster worked for you. The stats are still what they are. Type of job, as one caller pointed out, makes a huge difference.

@hjs: If you use the boards, try to be rational about it. Consider success rates, and invest only appropriate amount of time in them.

@Christie: Sounds like you work for an interesting company. They throw out mail as a policy? What does that tell the community of people the company recruits from? I open snail mail. But that's me. I figure if someone went to the trouble to personalize a communication, it's more worth reading. I dump more e-mail than snailmail.

@p crumb: I have an article about finding headhunters on my web site. "How Do I Find a Good Headhunter". It's at:
Best method I know, but it takes some work!

Jul. 16 2009 11:54 AM
Nick Corcodilos from

I don't have data on LinkedIn or craigslist... but I can tell you anecdotally that LinkedIn is taken more seriously by people looking for jobs and by employers... it takes more work to use it. Maybe that's why. Don't laugh: that's a good filtering mechanism. As long as you don't "blast" to LinkedIn members, "I'm looking for a job, got any leads?" It's best to actually cultivate relationships. People recommend people they KNOW something about, or they wind up looking bad...

Jul. 16 2009 11:45 AM
Nick Corcodilos from

Regarding various "niche" job boards... as I said during the segment, niche boards tend to be more fruitful for the simple reason that by nature they "filter" people. Big boards encourage anyone and everyone to post for any job -- and that kills their success rates. I can't comment on specific niche boards because there are so many. Suggestion: Look for niche boards that also have discussion forums attached. Ask partcipants what their experience has bee. Even better, contact 2-3 companies you really want to work for and ask their HR dept what their success rate has been on a particular board... it's also a good way to break the ice and talk to a human!

Jul. 16 2009 11:41 AM
Joe Slater from Woodbury, NY 11797

The headhunter you had on provided some opinions which could be construed as fact as well as some direction which would be deleterious to one's job search.
Firstly, He indicated that only 5% OF headhunters were good. THis is his misguided opinion and would lead people away from a very useful resource. My experience as a Headhunter(22 years) and as a Director of Human Resources previously (18 years) is that most headhunters are genuine service oriented individuals with positions to fill - even in the current environment. As with any industry there are "bad eggs". However, my experience has been that only about 5% of any industry, including executive search and employment agencies, are not excellent resources.
Additionally, Please stress that all position seekers should prepare and use resumes. This is a primary ticket for entry into any process leading to a position. Certainly, direct contact, as your speaker indicated, is preferable to randomly sending out resumes. But once that contact is made, a resume will allow the individual to know if you can do the job and possibly if you have the motivation to do it in a superior manner.
Lastly, all of your listeners should be aware that whatever an evaluator (hiring authority) asks, you should answer one of three questions:
*Can you do the job (i.e. do you have the skills, education, requisite licenses, etc.)
*Will you do the job (i.e. have you achieved in similar positions in the past)
*Can you deal with people as per the needs of the job?
I'm an avid fan of you and your show. You constantly answer the three questions very effectively.
Joe Slater
Managing Principal
Personnel Consulting Associates, Inc.

Jul. 16 2009 11:27 AM
Richard Williams from Larchmont, NY

Sham interviews was mentioned. I was a victim of a sham interview on, at least, three instances. These were for music teaching positions that were advertised. Not a very happy camper. By the way, those were among interviews with twenty-two school districts since 2002.

Jul. 16 2009 11:10 AM
AP from ny

really valuable information...i just read your piece about TheLadders. i did have some success connecting with some recruiters (with names, the jobs and companies they represent) through it. are there any boards you think are worth paying for?

other than that, you have great content but not very good user interface, design. happy to help with that if you're interested since focusing on UI for major media companies (alas, including the one that eliminated my job recently) was my life until last year!

Jul. 16 2009 10:59 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Although I appreciate some of the insights the guest is expressing, I believe that many of his suggestions fit only a small number of jobs. Most positions don't offer opportunities "to save the company money." Most positions are very clearly defined: you put a square peg in a round hole. That's it.

Jul. 16 2009 10:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I don't see how "go through headhunters & personal contacts" contradicts using a resume. Headhunters usually want to see a resume & send them out to potential employers, so it's really just going through a middleman but still using a resume.

Jul. 16 2009 10:56 AM
Christophe Tedjasukmana from Williamsburg, New York.

Been a freelancer for the past 4 years. Looking for a full-time / editorial position and am curious how to responding to salary requirements requests.. Do we answer them directly? range? or choose to discuss this in person? How do I fulfill that answer if I have freelanced in different positions?


Jul. 16 2009 10:55 AM
p crumb

How do you find a good headhunter?

Jul. 16 2009 10:54 AM
Christie from NYC, NY

It is a terrible idea to submit your resume via regular mail - as an executive assistant I know I have thrown out resumes in every job I've ever had - it's standard practice. Don't waste your money - submit by email, or if you must send a hard copy, deliver it in person.

Jul. 16 2009 10:51 AM
hjs from 11211

on the other hand it doesn't hurt to check out the job boards

Jul. 16 2009 10:51 AM
Clif from Manhattan at my new job

Got my current job through monster. I also get e-mail and phone calls almost daily from prospective employers.

Jul. 16 2009 10:50 AM
maria from manhattan

how do you deal with SPAM when sending your resumes/cover letter via e mail?

Jul. 16 2009 10:50 AM
Melissa from Crown Heights

Any data on finding jobs through craigslist?

Jul. 16 2009 10:49 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

What about networking sites, such as LinkedIn?

Jul. 16 2009 10:49 AM
Ruth from Manhattan

What about non-profit job boards such as "Idealist", etc. ?

Jul. 16 2009 10:47 AM

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