Don't start sending a resume out until it's ready
By Alex Freund
People in transition or those who contemplate making a job change should not start dispersing their résumés all over the place before those résumés are up to snuff. I know that people in transition are very eager to get back in the game, to restore their (temporarily) lost identity, and to restart the flow of income, but the biggest mistake they make at this point is to start blasting weak credentials. Once your résumé hits cyberspace, you never know where it's going to end up. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that before you post a résumé, it be a solid and strong one.
Next, the question is where to post it? Generally there are three types of job boards:
- The big and popular job boards such as HotJobs.com, Monster, and CareerBuilder.com are musts. While there may be overlaps among them, you never know which one is used by which recruiter or which potential employer.
- Those in the six-figure-income range can also post their résumés on such job search sites as sixfiguresjob.com, which is still free. They can also possibly try for at least one month certain others such as TheLadders.com and ExecuNet, which charge a small fee. The value of these sites is hotly debated among their users. Some job seekers were greatly helped by them, while others considered it a waste.
- There are several other, specialized sites such as lawjobs.com, Biospace, and HigherEdJobs, which should be used as appropriate.
A question I'm being frequently asked is how many job boards to use. My answer is that five to eight are suitable. Posting on job boards is laborious when setting them up for the first time. After doing so, it's important to visit the sites daily -- yes, daily -- and make a small change such as adding or deleting a line and then saving the change. Doing that makes your résumé appear to be fresh. Recruiters have many fresh résumés to choose from, so why should they bother looking at older ones whose owners may have already found employment elsewhere?
The push and the pull
Now that you've pushed your résumé out into cyberspace, you should pull in openings that have been posted. Several job search sites do that for you. They're known by the term aggregators. Indeed.com is one of the most popular ones, and there are others such as JobCircle and Simply Hired.
The aggregators are very user-friendly, and as a job seeker, you should set up a number of job alerts, as they are called, to reach your in-box daily. In fact, you should have several of them based on different keywords you've used and the distance from your ZIP code that you're willing to commute to a job. The disadvantage of these types of sites is that there will be many duplicates. It takes a few trials and errors before hitting it right.