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Don't just post your résumé online and forget it

Hemera Technologies/(c) Hemera Technologies


There are lots of online job postings and ways to post your résumé to a company online, but is it really worth it? In my experience most of those postings are there because a company must publish the job publicly and their human resources department will never take a look at the résumés it receives. Most of those jobs will be filled by the employees they have, even if they don't have the right qualifications, or if an outside candidate has better skills. Is this the case? Can you get your résumé noticed by filing it online or is this a waste of time? What's the best approach?


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You are right there are lots of online job postings. This is one avenue of advertising for positions that companies and organizations use. You want to take every opportunity to have your résumé seen and reviewed by companies. It is important to realize that companies often have internal and external postings. Internal employment opportunities and jobs that are filled internally without postings are usually not posted physically or on online job websites. External postings are typically an indication that the company is opening up the competition to attract new talent from outside.

Company and HR officials normally screen résumés from both internal and external candidates when a position is posted online. Remember the company or organization is trying to find the best candidate for the position so it is in their best interest to screen all online applicants.

Often companies will not respond to job applicants unless candidates are short-listed for an interview. Many ads state this upfront. So your frustration may be misdirected in that this may be a sign to review your résumé and cover letter. If you are not getting contacted for interviews then you will want to contact officials from a number of these companies and find out what may be missing from your experience, skill set, cover letter and résumé. Take specific notes in your conversations with the company officials and make the necessary changes. Ask specifically why you were not contacted for an interview and what you can change to be successful with the next online job posting.

Make sure that you have a résumé and a cover letter that will stand out and that are tailor-made for each position you are applying for. Often people have a standard résumé and cover letter that they use for all positions, with some minor changes. Then they wonder why they do not get selected for an interview. You want to reflect the needs of the company in your cover letter and indicate both in your cover letter and on your résumé how your skills, experience and education uniquely qualify you to meet the company's needs.

Send hard copies of your résumé and cover letter as well. The more times company officials see your résumé and cover letter the more likely they are to remember you.

Take an active approach in your job search. Do not think that posting your résumé online is the only way to land a position. Go for information interviews with key individuals in the companies you are interested in, even the ones that posted positions online that you were not successful in getting an interview initially. Do your research on the company. Be curious and attentive in the interviews and indicate your interest in working for the company. Ask for feedback on your résumé and cover letter.

Take a more positive approach to your job search. Imagine HR officials receiving your customized résumés and cover letters online or in person and wanting to contact you for an interview to learn more about you and to see if you are the right fit for the position. Take charge of your career search. Take action and make the necessary changes and contacts. You will find the positions you want much quicker this way.

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Bruce Sandy is principal of and Pathfinder Coaching and Consulting.

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