Monster is the mother of the job boards, but they’re facing some serious competition.  It’s not just the other big boards, either – there’s a whole slew of new options out there for corporate & agency recruiters to choose from.  Remember, these guys make very little (if any) money off of the job seeker – they make their money selling access to your resumes, as well as charging companies to post jobs with them.

So, who’s nipping at their heels, revenue-wise?  Well, there are the usual suspects: careerbuilder, and yahoo! hotjobs.  Some of the niche players have taken a chunk: is probably a better destination if you’re on the tech side.

All that said, why make a company _pay_ for the privilege of seeing your resume?  Job-search, like sales, is a numbers game: the more prospects that you’re in contact with, the more likely you are to make the sale.  No good salesperson would choose to limit access to his products from potential buyers.  You shouldn’t either.

Here’s the thing – I don’t use the job boards much.  I’ll use craigslist to post before any of the “big” boards – I ran some tests at one point, tracking returns from ads on different services, and craigs won hands-down.  Better quality candidates, more of them, and at $25 a pop versus $300+ for the Monster’s etc al, kind of a no-brainer.

Beyond that, I don’t really even like the boards for resumes – you tend to see the same names over and over, and the majority of the candidates aren’t even active anymore.

So – how do you access job postings efficiently (who has the time to go through company after company), and how do you get your profile in front of hiring authorities & recruiters?  Funny you should ask, as I have a couple of suggestions.

On the job postings side, there are several free services that crawl all sorts of companies job listings, keep them, and make them easily searchable by you – essentially, vertical search engines that focus on open positions.  I like Indeed, but you should also try SimplyHired (do check out SimplyFired, because, well, it’s funny) and Jobster.  Full disclosure, we just announced a partnership with Indeed, so I’m biased, but I’ve been a fan for awhile so I figure my sleep won’t be too disturbed by this little plug.  They all allow you to get updates e-mailed to you (or if you’re kinda techie, an RSS feed) when new jobs come up that match your criteria.

As for making sure you’re seen by the right kinds of people, here’s what I recommend.  First, another shameless plug: build a ZoomInfo profile – over 3,000 recruiters log-on every day to look for people to network with.  May as well be one of those people.  I’d set up a LinkedIn profile, as well.  Find job boards that don’t charge recruiters to look at resumes and upload your information – if you’re an engineer, try DevBistro as an example.  A blog’s another way to get your presence up, but does require some bit of commitment.

The bottom line is that you want to get some visibility when you’re job searching.

UPDATE (3/9/07): Almost forgot one.  I haven’t used JibberJobber’s suite of tools much myself,  but like what I’ve seen – quick, apparently easy way to organize & track your hunt.  No more spreadsheets of where you sent what resume, when you followed up, etc al.  Please tell me you’ve at least been doing that…