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According to Weddle’s Fast Facts on Job Boards, there are now over 100,000 online job boards. The process of trying to find an ideal match using an online job board can seem an overwhelming task with a significant opportunity cost to recruitment staff and job seekers.

Online job boards have primarily been dominated by a small group of major boards such as Monster, CareerBuilder, SimplyHired, Indeed. The current trend in online recruitment is the use of targeted niche job boards that focus on a specific industry, job title, or geographic location. Niche boards make the search process more effective and efficient for both recruiters and job seekers especially for very specific roles like the MSL role where it is difficult to narrow the search.

While it is true that as a candidate you can narrow your search parameters with the major boards and get email alters when jobs matching your search criteria are posted, it remains a hit and miss experience.  Many times these job alerts present opportunities that are not related to your search criteria.  In many cases, the job listings are outdated so that your résumé is never even seen by anyone.  For recruiters, some have reported that when they post a job on many job board that if they get 100 applications for a role they have they feel they are lucky if 1 is a viable candidate. 

If you have sent resumes and not getting responses it may be that employers have blocked incoming email from these sites once the position has been filled or during peak work hours to avoid overloading their IT system. According to research conducted by, peak business hours for job seekers, 10am-2pm, coincide with that of most employers so that it may happen that your resume never reaches the email of the appropriate hiring manager.

Not all jobs boards are created equal. Some possess superior technology, along with an impressive history of helping companies and job seekers find one another in very targeted ways. Before signing up with any niche job board, it pays to follow a few basic guidelines as outlined below:

Make sure the website can produce results: The website should allow you to focus your search on your very specific needs and to be able to interact with employers. 

Experiment with the website and post your resume: If the site is user-friendly, that is a good sign. It should be very easy to search job listings or post your resume. If it is not easy or you cannot post a resume to the site, this is a mere advertising website and not a job board.

Establish search criteria: Test the board by creating a set of keywords most appropriate to the company and job you seek. Input these keywords into the search bar and evaluate the quality of results. If the board returns few, if any, results, you will know it is not a viable resource for your particular career goals.


Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.


Dr. Samuel Dyer is the Chairman of the Board of the MSL Society and the author of “The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break Into Your First Role“, the first step-by-step guide ever published on how to successfully land your first MSL role.