Dear Career Coach Lisa,
Is it detrimental to my job search to publicly post my resumé on the job boards? If I do post on any of the job boards, is it better to have my information "confidential" so that if a potential employer is interested in me, they have to go through the process to send me a message?
— CM, Short Hills
This is a personal choice. I have clients who believe it is the best way to get noticed, and others who believe they would never expose themselves. There is no right answer here except the one with which you feel most comfortable. Think about the information out there on yourself. Google your name and see what comes up. This may give you a sense of how public or private you actually are.
Some clients believe posting to the top job boards enables the recruiters who have real job openings to find you and to contact you immediately. Others may not want to be able to be "found" by many recruiters and employers and prefer to control and direct their own search.
Think through your job search strategies. Are you effectively networking online and in person, engaging family, friends and acquaintances in sharing what you are seeking and offering to help them as well? Developing a strategy will help determine which job boards may be best for your search.
If you are doing a targeted job search, then using company career sites will be most useful. Many employers use their corporate websites to list job openings, solicit candidates for future opportunities, allowing you to submit even if there is not an appropriate opening at this time. These sites typically have information about the employer, articles about the company in the news, information about their corporate culture, career opportunities, benefits, and more.
If you are doing a generic search such as an entry level with core technical skills, you may want to post on the national job boards. There are numerous job listings with the ability to post your resumé if you wish. Some of the most popular ones are: CareerBuilder.com, and Monster+HotJobs.com. There are many others.
If you want to do a broad search, use a meta-search job site such as Indeed.com or Simplyhired.com. These sites pull job postings from search job sites, newspapers, associations and company career pages. You can search by title, keywords, company and location.
If you are targeting a specific industry or profession, then use the niche boards that serve your area of expertise. For example, Dice.com is for technology professionals and Mediabistro.com is for media professionals in journalism, on-line content, book publishing, TV, radio, PR, graphic design, photography, and advertising. These sites offer great insights on executive changes and information about the industries they serve.
Social media sites such as LinkedIn has an option where you can tag yourself as "looking" and available for new job opportunities and make yourself open for contact. Some groups have active discussions that can guide you on insights for the industry and some have job postings within the groups as well. This may be a great way to get introduced to an opportunity.
You can post your resumé "anonymously" to most of these boards. This option allows recruiters to view your skills and accomplishments to determine if there might be a potential match. They are able to send an email which is directed to you by the job board but the recruiter cannot see who you are. When you have posted your resumé anonymously, recruiters and employers can contact you as an anonymous candidate via the job board’s email without identifying your identity. You can respond only if interested.
The key to posting your resumé is in the use of keywords. Be sure your resumé includes industry specific words. Ensure your resumé has the keywords up front (summary section) to get picked up by the employer's keyword searches. Update your resumé on these boards often, at least weekly. Check the job board’s policies on how long your resumé will remain active. Remember your overall job search strategies. Do not allow one strategy to consume all of your time.