Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Posting Your Resume On-Line

So this is partly to test out Google Chrome's "Blog This" add-on (which seems to work beautifully, by the way). Personally, I don't see any reason not to have a resume posted on the major job boards when you are engaged in a job search. I have received positions through my Monster resume, and have placed numerous candidates, both active and passive, while I was in both agency and in-house recruiting positions.

MN Headhunter/Nerd Search: Increase Your Odds. Candidate Job Board Tricks

Paul has a Recruiting Blogswap article about increasing your odds of getting contacted. They read as general resume advice to a certain extent. I only want to highlight these points (again, they are not Paul's, but Jessica Miller-Merrell's)

4. Update Your Profile Weekly. Job boards list resumes by most recently updated and allow recruiters to use search by resumes updated daily, weekly, and monthly. Keep your resume at the top of the pack by updating it weekly. You can also take advantage of CareerBuilder’s advantage option which automatically provides you this service but at a fee.

5. Use Searchable Buzzwords & Keyword Terms. Recruiters resume mine for qualified candidates also by keyword search. Include terms relevant to the industry or job you are interested in. Include any specialized certifications and their abbreviations as well as other specific qualifications to increase your exposure.

First, the major job boards no longer default to listing resumes by most recently updated. They have some kind of similarity score algorithm to sort by relevance instead of date posted. A recruiter can sort by date if the recruiter wants (I do, but most probably don't), and some recruiters will only search the last week or month of resumes for a given search, so updating is important, but having a searchable resume is far more important.

Regarding keyword terms, it is important to realize how recruiters search for resumes. Many will use complex boolean logic to target resumes for a specific position. Here's a search I might run for a software engineer: (embedded and ("C++" or ADA) and ("DO 178*" or "DO-178*" or "DO178")). I might run 20 different searches for this position to target people who highlight specific skills. Using buzzwords and keywords only makes sense if you actually have substantive skills in those areas. The job boards highlight the keywords in the resumes when viewed, so if I looked at a resume and it only mentioned DO-178B in passing, or in a section that looked like it was intended for keywords, the resume will get passed over quickly.

Some recruiters, however, do not yet know how to use boolean searches. They might do a search for: Software Engineer, Aerospace. Then they will try to weed through many more resumes to try to find something useful. To accommodate both parties, here are the two things to do when posting a resume:

1. Title your resume with a short objective statement so your resume gets opened. If you are a software engineer, your resume title should be "10 year Embedded Software Engineer, Aerospace and Medical Device Experience." Or whatever happens to be relevant.

2. Include all relevant job titles in your resume. I would say that the most common keyword searches run by recruiters will include the job title. I tend to run searches for all possible job titles ("Director of Operations" or "VP of operations" or "vice president of operations" or "general manager" or...etc.) to make sure I don't miss anybody. Most recruiters won't be this diligent, so the job seeker needs to make sure that they are. This is one case where having a keyword section could make sense, but it would be better to try to include it in the resume. So if you were VP of Operations, your title on the resume should say VP of Operations, but then in your description you might say "As Vice President of Operations...." Or if you had a funny title (Value Stream Leader), you could list it as "Value Stream Leader/VP of Operations," to make sure that it gets picked up in both basic and complex searches.


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