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In this part of the series we will look at three popular job boards that all function in a similar manner and offer numerous postings but all come with some baggage. Craigslist, Used Victoria and Kijiji are websites that operate like all-encompassing community bulletin boards. A visit to any of the three will allow one to look for a new apartment, apply for a job and buy some used ski equipment, all in the same session.

All three provide new job postings every day with Used Victoria and Craigslist leading the way in volume. So for a job seeker who is looking for new postings it’s reasonable to bookmark all three of these sites and to check them on a regular basis. If you don’t approach the boards with some sort of strategy however, there is a high probability that you will end up wasting time scrolling through a number of job postings that may or may not be real and in some cases be employment scams.

Since all these sites allow anybody to post an ad for free there is very little oversight involved. Some employers choose not to identify themselves when they post an ad. The main reason for this is that they do not want to be inundated with emails and phone calls from ambitious job hunters (see the online archive of this column for advice on how to deal with this type of situation). Some postings masquerade as job postings but can be elaborate scams. This is somewhat rare but there are documented incidents where unknowing job seekers were relieved of their money or personal information or ended up participating in activity that was illegal. A reasonable policy is to never provide personal information to someone who has posted an anonymous job ad. Legitimate employment opportunities don’t require someone to disclose a social insurance number or banking information via a phone call to a stranger or an email to a hotmail address. Another common problem is that people who are looking for work will post in the help-wanted section instead of a section dedicated to the offering of services. This adds to the signal-to-noise ratio.

Despite these issues there are enough real opportunities on each of these sites to make them worth a daily visit. It can be-mind-numbing to scroll through pages of new jobs, but all three sites categorize jobs. I recommend that you bookmark the opportunities (or at least use the search function) that are of interest to you (office/admin, customer service, trades/construction, etc). This will minimize the amount of wasted time and ensure you see the postings that are most relevant. You need to be as efficient as possible when surfing job boards so that you have more time for networking and other activities.