Maybe you were laid off and are looking for a new job. Maybe you are looking to begin your career. Or maybe, you may just be looking for a change in your professional life.

When beginning a job search, many people first look for jobs online through a job board, such as Monster or CareerBuilder. However, despite the large number of postings, career counselors say that applying for jobs alone through sites like Monster and CareerBuilder won't get the jobseeker very far. Networking is crucial.

For college seniors beginning to search for their first job, websites such as Monster or CareerBuilder usually serve as a starting point, but further steps need to be taken, said Lisa Kastor, a college adviser to The College of Wooster, located in Ohio.

If a student does show interest in a job posted on a job board, I counsel [the student] to try to make a contact within that company, Kastor told the International Business Times.

Bob Frederick, the director of Advising and Career Services at the University of Northern Iowa, agreed with Kastor. He told IBTimes that during his time as director, he knows of almost no one, especially recent college graduates, who received their first job solely using job posting websites.

Frederick has observed that jobseekers spend too much time on job posting sites and too little time working contacts within the industry. For example, Frederick says that if a jobseeker spends 40 hours a week job hunting, some 30 hours are spend on career sites and only 10 hours spent on networking.

Since jobs usually come from networking, the amount of time spent on sites versus networking should be vice versa, he noted.

People don't like to do it (networking) because it takes more time, but the yield is greater, Frederick said.

Job posting websites see earnings up

The fortunes of two of the largest job posting websites operated in the United States -- Monster and CareerBuilder -- reflect the interest in surfing job sites. Monster reported Thursday that they turned a profit of 31.9 million in the third quarter, up from a $5 million loss last year.

The largest owner of CareerBuilder, Gannett, said last week that while their earnings declined 1.7 percent in the third quarter from 2010, digital revenue was up 10.3 percent. The company attributed most of the success to CareerBuilder.

Naturally, when the job economy is tough, more people visit and engage with job searching websites. For example, Monster said 874,000 resumes are added to the site each month.

Employers continue to use sites in hard times

Employers continue to use that site too. At Monster, consolidated bookings have increased 20 percent year-over-year. Frederick said that even though hiring is slow in the United States, medium and large companies will still post jobs at a steady rate in order to have a wide range of talent at the firm.

In fact, much of a job board's revenue comes from employers. On, an employer typically has the option of posting a job for either 30 days or 60 days. Depending on a variety of factors-including duration, job location and the amount of jobs posted by the company-a job posting costs between $210 and $395 a day.

Market moving toward niche recruiting, networking

IBTimes attempted to contact multiple employers to gauge their opinions on the job boards. The University of Houston told IBTimes that it had a contract with the Houston Chronicle newspaper, but Monster bought the rights to their job postings. For higher-level positions, the university uses job boards that cater to the education industry.

According to our Human Resource department officials, Monster is an effective resource for recruiting in bulk for general positions, spokesman Richard Bonnin wrote in an email.  However, we have found that it is not the best resource when we are trying to recruit for a specialized skillset or higher-level positions.

Overtime, Frederick said sites such as Indeed and Simply Hired, which direct people to more targeted sites posting jobs, will likely overwhelm Monster and CareerBuilder's business. He also said networking sites such LinkedIn will also overwhelm the business of standard online job boards.

Both Monster and CareerBuilder seem to realize this, as they are trying to get into the networking market. Monster has teamed up with BeKnown, a company which will allow people to use Facebook to search through jobs through shared connections in profiles. Meanwhile, CareerBuilder has teamed up with BranchOut, a rival company to BeKnown.

Clearly, the way people search for jobs is changing.

The job board as we know it...I think will eventually go away, Frederick said.

Write to Samuel Weigley at