Title isn’t Everything – how to find the good stuff on job boards

A Recruiter's Perspective

School of Fish
Title isn’t Everything – how to find the good stuff on job boards
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About the Author

Laura Machan

Laura Machan

Laura Machan is a Partner, Recruitment Solutions for a major human resources consulting firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Although she has been recruiting for quite a few years, she still gets a big thrill from calling someone to set up an interview and an even bigger thrill when she hears a happy dance as she tells them when their new job starts. Laura lives with her family in Oakville, where she has lived for over 25 years, and is a significant contributor to the Canadian Federation of University Women - Oakville and Women in Nuclear, Golden Horseshoe Chapter.

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It can be pretty overwhelming to wade through the maze of different jobs posted on LinkedIn. It is easy to start clicking away only to realize that an hour has passed and you have nothing to show for it but an opportunity for your brother-in-law.

There are two main issues: multiple postings for the same job and a huge variety of job titles

Multiple postings are a fact of life. Companies feel that they get wider coverage if they give a search assignment to several agencies. This a highly debatable but nevertheless here is a hint: if you see a role and it seems like you have seen it before, pick out a unique key phrase and put it into the search bar. The results will show you which firms are working on the search.

You can apply to all of them if you wish, but I would pick the one you feel will best represent you. Check out the other postings they have. Are they related? Do they do a lot of work in your industry? If you do decide to apply to multiple firms for what appears to be the same role and they call you, come clean. Share that information in the early stage of your conversation. Keeping it to yourself to increase your odds of getting an interview is bad poker and a recipe for embarrassment down the road.

Job titles are tricky. While they make perfect sense in the context of an organization, they may sound like gibberish out of context. The key is to search for what you want to do, not what that role might be called. You will get a wider variety of jobs and levels, and maybe roles in companies or sectors that you had not considered.

Human Resources is a great example of this. Postings might have titles such Generalist, Specialist, Business Partner, Lead Business Partner (what?), or Manager. It is not until you get to the body of the posting that you can identify the nature and scope of the role. Title is no indication of whether there are direct reports, seniority level or really anything meaningful. So read the posting and requirements carefully and then decide if it is worth your time to apply.

The bottom line is that you need to actually read job postings. Mindless applications will get you nowhere. Don’t waste your time and reputation. Save your efforts for the good stuff.



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