A few more things I thought of and thought I would share with regard to posting your resume to job boards:
1) think about WHEN you post your resume. Many recruiters use search agents that seek out key words on your resume and deliver links of the top results to their inbox. I use Monster search agents that run daily and for each agent, I get the ten top results via an e-mail. If you post your resume the same time that a bunch of other people do, you might not show up in my top ten. Here are the times when I’ve noticed spikes in resume posting activities:
- weekends (obviously). People have time to put their resumes together
- holidays. Funny how much people think about career changing over a holiday or long weekend.
- after major layoff announcements or economic projections
- beginning of the calendar year (I think this is a combination of people having holiday time off and making a new year’s resolution to start looking)
In general, summer is a busier candidate season because many people have kids out of school and are open to moving more at that time. But I wouldn’t recommend you holding off until fall to start looking. So if you are going to put your resume out there, try a weekday (evening’s probably best if you are working, I think). There will be less resume “traffic“ coming in to recruiters.
2) Zoe mentioned the idea of refreshing your resume now and then to make it appear new. Do this, but not too often. I don’t want to see the same resume come up over and over again in a short period of time. You want to be noticed, but you don’t want to make it look like you are trying to trick the system.
3) Think about the user interface and speed you experienced when registering and posting your resume to a job board. Consider that the recruiter is probably experiencing the same thing on their end. If it takes a long time for you, it will probably take a long time for them. Last week, I was on Monster.com and hotjobs. Monster has a great interface, is speedy and has really well thought out fields for searching. On hotjobs, not only was the UI not as good, it took FOREVER to load pages and I just gave up.
4) Don’t apply to every job a company has posted. I can’t tell you how often I experience someone applying to ALL or most of the jobs I have posted to a particular site. Recruiters really do notice when you do this and it gives the impression that either you aren’t clear on your greatest strengths and the kind of role you would fit, or you aren’t particularly selective or in demand. If there are a large number of positions that fit your background and interest you, prioritize your applications based on where your skills most closely match.
A lot of recruiters will tell you that they haven’t gotten many hires from job boards. Well, I have. I think that if you are going to do a search, using a job board is a great way to jump start your activity and get a sense of how desirable you are in the market (remember to ask the recruiters all those questions to help you benchmark your value as a candidate). Also use your own personal network, apply on corporate career sites and participate in user groups. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.