Blog Post

The best IT job boards


There are three job boards that I use: Dice, Monster, and LinkedIn.  I prefer Dice by far, since it has a ton of IT jobs on it, and it is focused solely on IT.  Monster is OK, but it does not have nearly as many IT jobs as Dice and all the IT jobs on Monster are usually also posted on Dice, plus with Monster you have to filter out all the non-IT postings.  Also, Monster has annoying ads that force you to click a “skip this ad” link to proceed to view your matches.  Job searches are new to LinkedIn and they did not have much functionality or jobs until recently, but with 100 million users it could soon become the top job board.

I highly recommend setting up job alerts/searches on all three sites.  These allow you to follow jobs that match your criteria, and then optionally send you an email with all the matches.  You can get pretty sophisticated with them: with Monster, I use Keywords: “SQL Server” And (“Business Intelligence” Or SSAS Or “Data Warehouse” Or Dba Or “Analysis Services”), with a radius of 50 miles within Houston, TX.  I have it send me an email each day, and I usually see 1-5 matches.

With Dice, I have two alerts setup that email me each day: One that is the same setup as Monster, and the other that has the keywords: “SQL server” AND (“business intelligence” OR “SSAS” OR “analysis services”) AND NOT “SharePoint Administrator” AND NOT “SharePoint Developer” AND NOT “.Net Developer”, is anywhere in the US, posted in the last day, and is a contract position (corp-to-corp, independent, W2).  So basically I’m looking for a perm or contract position locally and only contract positions outside Houston.  I usually get 4-6 matches a day with the first alert, and 25-50 with the second alert.  Dice also has an excellent job discussion group that you should check out.

For LinkedIn, I use the last alert mentioned.  LinkedIn just started to offer job listings this past year, but has really made a lot of progress.  It does not have as many jobs as Dice (Microsoft makes up a large portion of the jobs), and there is a twist: Most of the job postings on LinkedIn are posted by the hiring company, while most of the jobs on Dice are thru a consulting company.  For example, Best Buy might have an opening posted on Linked for a SQL DBA, but on Dice, Kforce Technology Staffing might post for a job opening for a SQL DBA for one of their clients, of which you find out after you submit for the job that it is with Best Buy.  This means LinkedIn will have mostly perm jobs where you apply directly with the hiring company, while Dice will have many contract jobs and many perm jobs, but the perm job will require you to first must contact a placement company (i.e. the “middle man”) who has the hiring company as their client.  LinkedIn is also missing an option to filter jobs by job type (i.e. contract or perm).  I usually get 5-15 matches a day.

It’s important to set up these alerts even if you are not currently looking for a position.  The reason being it will allow you to see if the types of jobs you are interested in more demand or less demand, and see what type of qualifications companies are looking for.  So it’s a good idea to read at least of few of these postings each day.  You want to make sure you see the upcoming trends, as well as notice which technologies are no longer in favor.  Some of the job postings will list the salary/hourly rate, which is always helpful.

Monster and Dice allow you to upload your resume so recruiters can find you.  And both have an option to make your resumes not searchable in case you are getting too many recruiters contacting you (I currently get 10-15 calls/emails a week).  But be carefull when you update your resume on one of these sites, as it triggers an alert to a ton of recruiters that there is a new or updated resume that matches a search they have set up, and you will get swamped with calls if you have an extensive resume.  When I updated my resume on Monster about a year ago, I got 25 calls the next day!

A few more notes about LinkedIn: I get 1-2 emails a week from a LinkedIn customer representative which lists jobs they feel that I am a good match for, as well as an automated “Jobs you may be interested in” email; They have a Resume Builder site that will turn your LinkedIn Profile into a beautiful resume in seconds, where you can share a URL so others can view it, print it, or convert it to a PDF.  You can also save multiple versions of your resume online; They will be launching a button for employer career sites called “Apply With LinkedIn,” which will allow candidates to submit their LinkedIn profiles as resumes through their HR management systems.  All these features has some people thinking LinkedIn will put job boards out of business.

The bottom line is if you are not using these three job boards, especially Dice, carve out some time in the upcoming weeks to set up accounts on each.