The list and review of green job boards is one of the most popular destinations on the Green Career Central site.

It doesn't take too much thought to understand why this is true. People who are looking for a new career are "trained" to go straight for the job boards. If you are looking for a job opening, you go where the jobs are listed. Right?

Well, yes and no...

You will find job openings. That's true.
Will you find all the job openings in your profession or geographic area? No.
Will you find job openings that are a good fit for your skills and experience? Maybe, maybe not.
Will you happen upon a job listing that fulfills your dreams for a green career? Probably not.

So, What's the Best Way to Use Job Boards?

The best way for you to use the job boards will depend on where you are in your quest for a green career. Take a close look at each of these methods so you can use the right one when needed.

  1. Learn Something About Yourself

    When you are in the early stages of your search, use job boards to discover what you are drawn to. As you read job listings, notice which topics, tasks, and responsibilities you are drawn to. What opportunities sound and feel exciting to you?

  2. Learn About Jobs

    When you are clear about your interests and passions, visit the job boards that have a powerful search function. Plug in your favorite key words to discover the jobs that may be a good fit for you. As you read each job listing, pay close attention to what you are drawn to. What kinds of jobs look like a fit? Keep track of these job titles for later searches.

  3. Learn About the Kinds of Companies That Are Green

    As you explore the jobs that interest you, pay attention to the kinds of companies that are showing up in the job boards. Don't worry at this point whether the companies are in your region. Instead focus on the kinds of companies you are seeing. Are you likely to be hired by an environmental consulting company or a financial firm? Would your skills be better utilized by a green manufacturer or a marketing company?

  4. Learn About Various Geographic Areas

    As you begin to narrow your focus, it's time to look for opportunities that are available in your area. If you are open to moving, you'll want to expand your search to explore the regions you are considering.

    It's easy at this point to get a little panicked if you don't find your favorite job in your area. Remember, not every job is listed in the job boards. You'll need to move your research to offline exploration. Talk to people. Connect with the green community in your area.

  5. Learn About Companies That Are Hiring

    The next step in the process is to determine which companies in your area are hiring. Sometimes you'll find definite trends in which companies are hiring just by scanning the job boards. Consider this search a starting point for your offline efforts.

  6. Search for Possible Openings in Your Area

    Now that you know the kinds of jobs and companies you are interested in, you are ready to use job boards to find possible openings. Remember this is still a starting point. You want to use what you learn in the job boards to step up your offline job search results. When you discover a local company that is green and does work that aligns with your skills, make contact even if they don't list a current opening.

If you expect job boards to be the source of a miracle, you are likely to be disappointed.

If you use job boards as a research tool, during every step of your green career journey, you will discover gems and insights you can use to advance your offline job search. Keep your focus and you'll see results!

Author's Bio: 

Green Career Expert, Carol McClelland, PhD, is the author of Green Careers For Dummies and founder and executive director of Green Career Central, an online resources center with easy-to-use resources, coaching programs, and training events to help professionals and career counselors make sense of the green economy. Download your free report: Explore Your Green Career Options!