Online job boards still get the job done

Few job hunters have faith in online job listings anymore, but for Hugh Taylor, they were the ticket to the perfect job.

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By Jessica Dickler, staff writer

Hugh Taylor was laid off in February and hired in April after applying to positions online.

NEW YORK ( -- In the midst of the worst job market in 26 years, desperate job seekers are trying all sorts of extreme tactics to find employment.

But for some, sorting through good old-fashioned job postings reaps more results than parading down Main Street wearing a résumé on a sandwich board.

Hugh Taylor, 44, has had a very successful career in software marketing so far. With three books under his belt, a bachelor's and business degree from Harvard and previous positions at Microsoft and IBM, Taylor admits he was caught off guard when he received his layoff notice in February.

"I don't think of myself as the kind of person that gets laid off but I guess that's true for a lot of people this year," he said.

But when IBM cut thousands of jobs earlier this year, Taylor's was one of them. "It was a pretty bad situation," he said, "the worst possible time to be out of work."

With a wife, three young children and a mortgage, "I thought I was going to have to start auctioning my kidneys off on eBay," he said.

Before things got that drastic, Taylor relied heavily on his network, to no avail. "The recession was so severe at that point, everything was kind of frozen."

He also applied to jobs online, several of which led to job interviews and one, ultimately, to a job. "I found my job through a process that everyone says does not work," he noted.

To refine his search to jobs at his level, Taylor opted to use a pay service, Subscribers to TheLadders pay $30 a month, or $180 for a year, to gain access to high-paying postings. The site caters exclusively to the $100k+ job market and while many of the listings are available elsewhere, at no cost, the site also has some exclusive postings, according to Robert Turtledove, chief marketing officer.

Taylor eventually came across a posting for a senior director of marketing and advertising at Los Angeles-based Mitratech, which sells software that helps corporate legal departments manage litigation.

The 80-person firm was a far cry from Taylor's most recent corporate experience. But at a comparable salary and title, a family-friendly atmosphere and a location just two miles from his home, it was also a perfect fit.

After three rounds of interviews, Taylor was hired and started work on April 20.

The traditional route

According to our career experts, job seekers should utilize a variety of ways to find work, including job boards.

"Job seekers need to understand that there are many avenues to find their next job," said Mark Mehler co-owner of Careerxroads, a consulting firm based in New Jersey. "Job boards are fantastic because instantly you can find opportunities all over the world. The downside is so can everyone else."

To increase your odds of success, Cheryl Palmer, an executive career coach at Call To Career in Silver Spring, Md., recommends finding specific association, organization or niche job boards that cater to the type of work you are looking for.

Since résumés and cover letters are typically sorted by key words, it's important to "tailor your résumé and cover letter to the specific positions you are applying for because it is going to increase your chances," she said.

It's also a good idea to back track, Palmer added. "Follow up with people in your network and find if anyone you know is connected to the opening."

"When you find an opening from a job board, you need to find a friend who will give you an advantage and walk your résumé in to the hiring manager or assigned recruiter," Mehler echoed.

"The competition is fierce," he said. "Use your friends, connections, associations and alumni players to get you ahead of the pack."

Read updates on the people previously profiled in Hired! Join the Hired! group on Facebook.

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