How to develop a comprehensive job-search strategy: job boards

Donna Kridelbaugh
By Donna Kridelbaugh
June 14, 2019

You need to use a multifaceted and targeted approach to find career opportunities, from staying updated on the latest funding and research news in your field to networking and maintaining an online professional presence.

How-to-develop-job_search_strategy-original.jpg

This week, we bring you the first post in a series that will cover these various facets of a job-search strategy in more detail. One such component may include searches on job boards. As a forewarning, you may hear folks throw out statistics about how few jobs are secured by blindly applying for positions found posted online. While there is some truth to that, people still do land jobs this way, but you may need to apply for more positions and be selective in what you apply for to increase your chances.

This also is where a comprehensive job-search strategy comes into play. For example, if you find an interesting job opening on a career site, then you can turn to your networks to see if you know anyone who can personally connect you to the hiring manager. Or, you can make note that you are interested in working with that employer in the future and figure out ways to network and build connections there.

Job boards are extremely useful for researching the job market as well. If you're in career-exploration mode, you can use job boards to see who all is hiring in your fields of interest, what types of jobs are out there and the necessary qualifications required to be successful in that position. You can save a copy of these job postings and use as a reference for your professional-development plan to know what skills and qualifications you need to develop moving forward.

To make the most use of job boards, identify a few of these sites that post jobs most closely matched to your career interests. There are lots of job boards to choose from. These range from aggregator sites that pull content from multiple sources, general science and discipline- or trade-specific job boards, and those that are focused on different sectors (e.g., academia, industry or government). It may be helpful to pick a general one and a few that are more specific.

You'll additionally need to identify targeted keywords (e.g., job title, techniques) for searches to find relevant job postings. You can further streamline this process by creating a checklist of sites to review on a regular basis and setting up automated job alerts with those keywords, if that's an option. Some career sites also may allow you to upload a résumé that is kept on file for recruiters and employers to review.

In case it's useful for your own job searches, here is a listing of job boards (sorted by generalized categories) that I have run across while researching jobs, internships and fellowships for the careers blog.

This list is not comprehensive by any means. Other places to check for job boards are the alumni associations and career offices at your affiliated academic institutions, local chambers of commerce and employment offices, and individual employers' career websites.

Disclaimer: We do not endorse any specific job board (besides the ASBMB Job Board, of course) nor have we verified the validity of the organization providing the service. Always be vigilant when submitting personal information or if asked to pay a fee-for-service.

Aggregators

Academic and nonprofit institutes

Discipline-specific/professional society boards

Diversity-related job boards

General science

Government job boards*


*Note: All official U.S. government job openings are posted on USAjobs.gov. However, many government jobs are contracted through other employers. A few examples of job boards for contracted agency jobs, internships and fellowships are listed here.

Industry/tech transfer

International jobs

Science communication and outreach

Science policy

Donna Kridelbaugh
Donna Kridelbaugh

Donna Kridelbaugh is a communications consultant and founder of ScienceMentor.Me. Her mission is to create an online field guide to self-mentoring in science careers. She offers writing, editing and marketing services for early career professionals who are ready to advance their career to the next level.

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