Guest blog post: “Graduate job boards can be the worst… and I work for one”



Guest blog post by James Howell

Content & Marketing Executive at Graduate-jobs.com

“Graduate job boards can be really frustrating. They can promise so much and offer so little when you’re frantically trying to hunt for a position so you can get your career on the move. I know this more than most too, I work for one. It might be surprising that I’m being critical of graduate job boards while being on the pay roll at one but it wasn’t so long ago that I was on the job hunt myself and I know the trials and tribulations.

Now I’m “on the inside” I feel these frustrations as much as you do. At graduate-jobs.com I am responsible for content on the site and always try to make sure we’re producing relevant, informative and helpful content to improve your job hunt. But it can feel like an unwinnable battle sometimes. Like all in all workplaces no matter whether you work on a building site, an laboratory or a graduate job board, things do go wrong occasionally. Don’t get us wrong, we know how you feel. Here are some of the most frustrating things you’ll come across using graduate job boards.

Saturation of Sales and Recruitment jobs

This was a massively irritating when I was scrolling through what seemed like endless and repetitive job lists of Sales Executive and Recruitment Consultant positions. These seem to cover all graduate job boards, not just the one I now work at, but all of them, like a rash.  I used to be quite suspect of these jobs, presuming them to be very insecure positions and the high volume of them I saw only added to this apprehension.

But these are popular on graduate job boards for a different reason. While a small percentage of them might be insecure positions, many are just targeting graduates because they take little experience at junior level and require graduates to be enthusiastic and great communicators.

Email Updates

This follows on quite nicely to the next issue I found utterly annoying when using a range of graduate job boards for my job hunt. Most sites operate an email policy, promising to notify you when a job comes available that you might be interested in. We do this here at graduate-jobs.com by graduates choosing what areas they’d like to work in and sending them updates when jobs are added to this sector.

However, this is not where it all goes awry. Sometimes when companies or agencies post jobs to the site they are a little bit too frivolous in the selections they make when they associate jobs to sectors. This was something I found when I looking for jobs in Media and would receive lots of irrelevant jobs in Media Sales – something quite different. Why we try to be quite militant and strict with these, so do slip the net and I can only apologise for this.


Searching for jobs by Location is another infuriating thing about using job boards and again I am going to pass the buck on this one. Many companies and graduates have different ideas about classifying locations. At graduate-jobs.com we try to separate the country into sections with special nods to big cities like London and Birmingham. But what might be one man’s London might be another man’s Hertfordshire.

If I am honest, from my experience here at graduate-jobs.com the other frustration about location searching on job boards is that sometimes there are not enough jobs in your preferred destination. For example, if I wanted to move back to Hull I would struggle to find many graduate positons in the area and this is a broader economic issue.

Jobs closing without warning

As much as we pretend to operate for the benefit of you, and I believe all our intentions are firmly placed there, it is difficult to have much leeway without abiding to the demands of the employers. They keep job boards like us afloat and if they want to close their job, it gets closed. They have the ultimate control over the job postings on our site and it is in our interest to keep them happy.

This happens, in most cases, because they’ve received a high volume of applications and are happy with the standard of applicant they have received. Sometimes they don’t even bother letting us know they’ve decided shut it down, although with a bit of warning we could have added it to our Closing Soon Page.

A tip for using graduate job boards is that if you find a job you like the look of, and feel confident you can do, would be to apply for it as soon as possible. I have a graveyard of emails I’ve sent to myself of jobs that have come and gone without me actually getting round to applying to them. So make sure you prepare properly and get your application in with plenty of time to spare.

Job boards are a fantastic resource and tool for graduate job hunters, but like most things they are not perfect. The frustrations are part of wider annoyances about graduate job hunting and just require patience and persistence.”

Employer Engagement Team


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