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It can't hurt to post your resume online

By Justin Bachman
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Q: I've been job-hunting the old-fashioned way, but am curious: Should I put my resume on all those online career sites, given the millions already posted there?

A: Absolutely. If you're like most of us, a new job is elusive quarry best tracked with every possible bow in your quiver. There's no good reason to skip an online resource that won't cost you a penny and could even end up getting your resume onto the computer of a good recruiter.

The major job destination sites such as Monster, CareerBuilder and HotJobs aggregate thousands of job leads for you, while letting recruiters sift through thousands of resumes easily, potentially finding yours.

However, don't forget that finding a new job takes hard work, dedication and focus. There's no easy route to a greener career pasture, Internet or no Internet. And many people wrongly assume that posting a decent resume with fine education, skills and background is the bulk of the effort, said Mike Worthington Jr., a co-founder of ResumeDoctor.com, a resume and career guidance service based in South Burlington, Vt. (The company sells resume preparation and advice only, and does not compete with the job sites.)

Be realistic, he cautions.

"How many millions of resumes do they have? It's a needle in a haystack. What are the chances of your resume being found like that?" Worthington said. "You might as well play the lottery."

The best approach is to post the resume, comb the job listings germane to your search and then approach the employer with a resume customized for the position being hired. Your online curriculum vitae is a good backstop, akin to dropping a business card with a potential client or business partner.

Monster is the biggest of the online CV pack with 45 million resumes, while Chicago-based CareerBuilder.com has 12 million. The company is owned jointly by media giants Gannett Co. Inc., Knight Ridder Inc. and Tribune Co. -- the job section of newspaper classified advertising pages is also an online endeavor.

The process is interactive -- companies pay to list their jobs, helping amass a pool of talent worldwide for a particular position. Headhunting firms troll the sites for clients, too, said Worthington, a former freelance recruiter for large aerospace engineering companies. Some companies even use the data as a way to keep tabs on the supply of talent for certain positions.

And software in the process offers companies unique advantages. For example, let's say you graduated from Georgia Tech or Rice. For whatever reason, some company might be set upon only candidates who attended those schools. Your skills and experience might match your job rivals who studied elsewhere, but the myriad data slice-and-dice features in much of the sites' software allows recruiters to narrow their searches to graduates of Georgia Tech and Rice. Suddenly, you're ahead of the pack.

Jeffrey Taylor, founder of Maynard, Mass.-based Monster WorldWide Inc., also theorizes that the online world has "turned the paradigm" when it comes to the interaction of employer and candidate, shifting some power to those seeking a new position. You're the unknown talent essentially advertising your abilities and data to a worldwide audience of organizations that need someone like you.

Thus, they can approach you, soliciting a relationship.

And when you go into the interview, "You can now say, 'I'm here because you called me,"' Taylor said.

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