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 dans, paying to look for a job, should I use job boards

I just have a quick question: As someone searching for a new job, is it worthwhile to register with a service such as BlueSteps?

Thank you for your question! To be quite frank, we had never heard of Blue Steps. In order to be able to answer your question, I went on the site to see if this is something I would personally use. Well, it isn’t and unfortunately I cannot recommend it to you either.

From what I understand, Blue Steps offers hiring managers free access to the site and instead charges job seekers membership fees. This is indeed the approach that recruitment firms used many moons ago and now don’t. Nowadays, when you deal with a headhunter, the service is free to you as an applicant, and it is the hiring manager who is invoiced upon hiring. The reason for that is that it is an employee-driven market. The situation might certainly be different in the US or elsewhere in the world, following the economic crisis. In Canada, however, the job market is quite healthy at this point.

The reason I would not recommend that you use Blue Steps is that is a blind investment. What advantage does the site give you? If it gave you access to job postings that were not advertised anywhere else, for example, it might be worth it. Otherwise, what are you paying for? A chance that someone in your area with a suitable position might find you on the site? LinkedIn is one of the most popular sites for connecting professionals with potential employers. Your profile can be easily found there.. and you have nothing to pay!

Another thing that makes me sceptical is the site’s claim that the average salary of their members is $200,000+. A senior executive at that level should not be posting his or her resume on a job board. At that level, you should have made enough of a name for yourself to (a) have a solid network around you should you be looking for re-appointment and (b) be constantly solicited by headhunters. This makes me question the site’s target market. As a headhunter myself, I would not use the site’s services to look for senior-level candidates (free or not). I would have a very hard time understanding why they are paying for services of a job board.

Blue Steps also offers a CV review service; however, such service is now a commodity and you would be much better off going to see a consultant in your area for an in-person consultation.

To summarize, I would stay away from Blue Steps and would focus my efforts on building a very strong LinkedIn presence, as well as networking pro-actively through the site (and other means). You will be better off investing the few hundreds of dollars you will have saved on networking events where you are guaranteed to make invaluable connections. Good luck!