Why Bolstering Your Online Resume Will Get You Hired
Do you know how recruiters find the people that they hire? Each year CareerXroads does a survey to answer that very question. Here are the latest stats:
Check out statistic #4: Direct Sourcing! That is very significant because… what? You don’t know what “Direct Sourcing” is? Well, in a nutshell, it’s access to free resumes and leads to people who are qualified but might not have their resume online. Hmm… I sense that some reading this are still a bit confused. Hmm… Let me point out a few truths from the recruiter’s desk:
1. When you post your resume on job boards like Monster, Dice or Careerbuilder, you are NOT making your resume available to ALL recruiters. Nope. You are making your resume available to recruiters who have PAID to access those resumes.
2. Recruiters have budgets and are trying to save money, just like you are. Such being the case, they might have access to one or a few job boards, but not all of them.
3. In an effort to save a buck, recruiters look for free resumes and free leads to people they might want to hire. One way they go about doing this is via a specialized resume search on Google.
Knowing this fact, helped me immensely in the last two recessions as during those times I was laid off and seeking employment in a big way. What I did was create a landing page and load it up with keywords so that when recruiters were looking for people with my skillset, a link to my resume would be at the top of the results. Why? One main reason: no one else was doing it back then and still are not today. If you do certain searches now on Google, I still come up number one. (See below)
For the record, let me say that I (insert expletive of your choice) love my job! I only have my info up for demo purposes in situations like these when I write about job search strategy or on the occasions when I present to job seeker groups.
Keep in mind as well, that when I initially launched (what I call) my “be found” strategy, it was 2008 and as you can see, it’s still working. I am now in the enviable position of having to turn down job offers. This is the position I want you to be in. So how did I do it back then? More importantly, how would I do it now? No big secret, I will show you.
In 2008, I created a landing page that was optimized for recruiter searches. Let’s take a closer look at the elements involved.
A) Although the image is broken now, it was a graphic of a slogan – “I recruit therefore I am.” I posted it there so that when recruiters find my info online, they could easily get an idea of who I am and the type of work I do. No thinking was necessary. (smile)
B) A short statement explaining more about who I am and what I do.
C) Some recruiters will find a resume and submit it to a company without my permission, so I added this language to guard against that.
D) I added a link to my blog where I show off some of the skills and talents that I think a recruiter would have an interest in.
E) My contact info. I also added a link to where they could contact me via Yahoo Messenger, just in case they were a night owl like me and wanted to talk sooner, rather than later.
F) I had links to two versions of my resume, a short one and a very detailed long one.
G) I added a bunch of keywords that might be used in a search to find someone like me.
What is not seen in the screenshot above is:
- PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Links to companies where I have worked before, company descriptions and work duties performed.
- TARGET LOCATIONS: cities, states, zip codes and area codes citing locations I was open to working in. I also added a note about my desire not to relocate.
- ADMIRED COMPANIES: I added links to companies I liked for two reasons: 1) I wanted to work there and 2) recruiters sometimes find resumes based on companies that are being linked to from resumes. At least, they did back then.
- SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS and IN THE NEWS: Another way of showing off my expertise so a recruiter would say, “Jeepers!” (Or, something similar) and want to reach out to me.
In 2011, I was laid off again due to another recession. (Ugh!) So, I went back to my old tricks of setting up a landing page. I had to do it again because my professional interests had changed since 2008. This time, I did things a bit differently.
- I updated the about page on my personal blog with links to my resume, a new career highlights page and a (now outdated) project page pointing to various online initiatives I created and managed.
- I made a video resume explaining who I was and the opportunities I was open to.
- I uploaded my resume to Scribd because I knew recruiters go there to find free resumes and that Google seemed to give it love in their search engine results. So, why not?
The end result of my efforts went pretty much as it did the first time I initiated this strategy. In the 2008 recession, it took me two months to land a new full-time gig. In 2011, it took me twice as long to find full-time employment. All things considered, pretty fast results. Being found easily by recruiters (and for free) helped a lot!
So, what would I do differently now in 2013? Nothing. Doing all of those things from 2008 to present, especially since it seems most jobseekers are not, would no doubt continue to work in my favor.
As I write this however, I can sense the thoughts of some readers who say that they are not as “technical” as they think I am. They do not know HTML or how to produce a resume video. If that is you, let me suggest an alternative for accomplishing much of what I shared with you today. Simply put, create profiles on various personal branding pages. This will give Google something to find when recruiters are searching for people with your skillset. Think of them as business cards on the web and not blogs, which have to be updated continuously to stay relevant. Make sense?
Here is a list of places online where you can create personal branding pages. (I may also add these resources are free. Good to know.)
As you consider the info that you place on your personal branding page, feel free to use my data for inspiration. Hope it helps.
Good luck with your job search!