“I don’t understand it! I’ve pasted a resume onto Monster.com, CareerBuilder, and HotJobs, but nobody is calling me. What more can I do?”.
Sound familiar? In my work as a career counselor, I’ve heard similar pleas for help from so many job seekers. Thanks to heavy advertising by some of the major job boards, many people end up thinking that all they have to do is “paste” their resume onto a major job-search website to get their telephone ringing.
Wishful thinking! Unfortunately, an effective job search is going to require much more effort on your part. Think about it. It is a lot of work for a recruiter to query an online database, sort through THOUSANDS of resumes, and actually read some of them to figure out who might be interested in their particular job AND who will be willing to relocate for it. This doesn’t even take into account the “cold calls” that the recruiter would need to make in order to convince a candidate to interview for their job. It is MUCH easier for a recruiter to post a job announcement, wait to see who applies, and go from there.
Here are a few reasons why you typically can’t rely on such a passive technique in order to find a great job. In order to understand this better, try thinking like a recruiter:
1. If a recruiter already has hundreds of people sending their resume, why would he or she need to waste time querying the Monster database to look for candidates to “cold-call”?
2. If a typical recruiter doesn’t have time to send a “reply” to all of the applicants that have already expressed interest in a particular job, then why would they waste even more time by querying an online database to look at resumes from people who may not even be interested in their jobs?
3. How “old” is your resume? Even in the off-chance that a recruiter actually queries one of these online resume databases, finds your resume, and reads it…if your resume is more than a month or two old, they will likely assume that you have already found a job, and so they won’t waste time calling you.
4. Why should a recruiter pay money in order to search a database if they are already getting lots of applicants from more direct sources? Only if they are looking for someone with a unique skill set (such as specific foreign language or technical skills, for example) is this route cost effective for them.
5. Is your personal information on your online resume? If so, you might get some phone calls about jobs that aren’t in your particular career interest area. For example, I’ve noticed that insurance companies are always looking for new sales people, and so their company recruiters tend to contact everyone in their locale that posts a resume online. So, don’t be surprised at some of the calls you do get. For example, even if you graduated with a computer science degree, you still might get some calls about jobs selling insurance or even Mary Kay products. I’m not knocking either of these industries, just warning you not to be surprised at who calls you.
Some final words: Be smart about your job search. Go ahead and post your resume onto an online job board if you want, but be smart about it. Don’t put all of your personal information into an online resume that is floating around for anyone to see. Don’t just rely on this one job search strategy, either. Use these job boards to your advantage by reading their job announcements, but then use more direct strategies for expressing your interest in the job openings. Remember, you have a lot to offer to an employer, but if your resume is just floating around on the internet for someone to find, who’s going to ever know it?