Your resume is ready to go. Now where do you post it?
Job seekers would expect a simple answer – post it anywhere and everywhere – but you’ll get different marching orders on even that first step in the job search, depending on your particular circumstances .
Some experts, such as Steve Burdan, a certified professional resume writer who works with TheLadders resume-writing service, will tell you to “shoot at anything that moves. There is no bad place to post (your resume),” he said. “(You just) never know where that golden contact is going to come from.”
Others, including Susan P. Joyce, an online job-search expert, urge job seekers to be more selective. Posting at random won’t allow you to customize your resume for specific employers or opportunities if you post it to hundreds of job sites or blast it to countless recruiters or employers.
The case for saturation
Burdan believes distributing your resume is a numbers game : The more people who see your resume, the better your chances of connecting with the right opportunity.
“There is no bad place to post,” he said, and job seekers shouldn’t restrict themselves (unless you need to keep your job search quiet ).
How to saturate
If you decide to hit all the major job sites and display your resume to as many recruiters as possible, you can save time by hiring somebody to do it for you. To that end, Google offers this list of resume- and portfolio-distribution services.
Such services might be tailored to particular industries; for example, there are resume-distribution services for the medical-device industry, as well as a service for distributing resumes to pharmaceutical, medical and biotech sales recruiters. Alternatively, some of these services, such as Resume Rabbit, feature one-stop resume posting to up to 89 major career Web sites and job banks.
The case for moderation
Joyce is the editor, publisher and Webmaster of Job-Hunt, a widely recognized employment portal. She believes that “blasting” your resume at hundreds of job sites or to hundreds or thousands of recruiters and employers “is a self-defeating strategy.”
“You won't be able to customize it for a specific employer or opportunity, which reduces your chances of being called,” she writes. “And, you won't be able to follow up the resume with a phone call or an e-mail to establish contact and move your application forward in the process.”
There are services that will distribute your resume for you, but that can be counterproductive, she said. “Most recipients of an e-mailed resume probably view it as spam, if it survives the spam filters.”
A job seeker who inundates in boxes and job sites may also be diluting his brand, Joyce said. “In the unlikely event that someone receives your resume who might have been interested in you, they know that everyone else has a copy of it, too. If the recipient is an independent recruiter, he will ignore it because he will know that he’ll have a tough time earning a commission on your placement (an employer may also have received it directly or competing recruiters may be ‘shopping’ your resume around to the same employers). An employer probably won't be interested in competing with several other employers.”
How to conduct a discrete job search
Finally, if you are trying to keep your job search under wraps and discretion is your concern, you should start your search within your personal network. Another step is to talk with a selection of executive recruiters. Burdan recommends you find one in, what recruiters call the “Red Book,” the “Directory of Executive and Professional Recruiters 2009-2010.” This directory lists recruiters by industry, niche and geographic location.
“If you are trying to be careful about who knows that you’re looking and who cares, you should move slowly,” Burdan said. “You don’t want to post online. If you post online, your company knows you’re looking, and they will confront you, and you’re going to find out real fast what your company thinks of you. Either they’ll throw money at you or let you go real fast.”
As much as possible, job seekers should control the speed of their transition into a new position, Burdan said. But bear in mind: Large employers can be just as proactive as job seekers when it comes to searching for who’s looking for a job online in public forums. “The Internet is the big, wild frontier,” Burdan said, and most job seekers are unlikely to know what applications their employers are using to track who’s searching for employment.