Job Seekers, Beware!: Why Job Board Resumes Are Seen As Re-circulatory Garbage

Take a good look at the attached image and you'll begin to understand the analogy between Job Board resumes and Re-circulatory Garbage . . . 

Take another look at let it sink in a little bit.  Many candidates I speak with do not truly understand the ramifications of having their name, address, and phone number, etc. public on a board like Monster, CareerBuilder, etc, for the whole world to see.  Think about it: Do you really want your information to be used as wallpaper for every corporate and third-party recruiter out there? 

Sure, I appreciate that by doing so, an opportunity may find you - after all, maybe you hate your job so much that you're willing to take the risk . . . and although this comment might sting, maybe you're part of that 10% of the job market that is simply ALWAYS looking for a new job (or new boyfriend/girlfriend, new home/apartment, etc., thinking that the solution/perfect job/soulmate is out there for you somewhere!)

If that's the case, I'm not a pyscho-therapist so I hesitate to provide advice . . . however, if this doesn't describe you, consider the following:

a. Your resume may have been auto-downloaded by HR through a job-board bot - if you don't have the keywords necessary in your resume, you never wind up in anyone's email account or on their applicant-tracking system desktop (i.e. your resume is never physically seen, yet alone reviewed, however HR "owns" your resume for 12 - 18 months). What this means is that you did not make it through the keyword criteria in the first place, and if a recruiter presents you, HR steps in and says, "We have that resume in our system and they were passed over due to lack of match."

b. An unscrupulous third-party recruiter (exec search consultant / headhunter / etc.) may have submitted your resume to a position without your approval.  Yes, there are dirty recruiters out there that will do this in order to get the OK to work on a position. They may attach your resume in an email to the hiring manager ("I found this candidate who may be a good fit for your open position"), and then when they get approval to work on the position, they then say, "Oh, that candidate failed a background check", or "That candidate took another job".  In other words, your resume became a marketing piece for a dirty recruiter to fill the position through one of his/her own candidates . . . to earn a fee on the placement.

c. You may have inadvertently submitted yourself to a position a recruiter is working on, meaning in addition to the client company (as a headhunter's job is to find the passive seeker, not the active seeker) - If so, we will be given the red light by HR. I hear things like, "That candidate has already submitted themselves to 4 open jobs - they don't even know what they are looking for".  What happens?  It's simple - the headhunter is not able to create an aura of mystery and confidentiality regarding your candidacy.

There is a perception of the boards that great candidates don't put their information out there for the world to see - the perception is that the best candidates are happy where they are and are not looking for a competitive opportunity. The other perception is that, at any given point in time, 10% of a given workforce is actively looking for a new opportunity, whether they are unhappy or improperly matched, etc. - the question for a prospective employer is, "Since this 10% makes up the job board resume database, is this the 10% you want working for your company?"

While I can personally say that while these perceptions are true 95% of the time, there are anomalies. Not everyone on the job board is a mediocre candidate - it's just that it's hard to find the good apple in the bunch.  Worse, the good apple is seen with a skeptical eye.  If you sleep with dogs, don't complain when HR or the Hiring Manager thinks you might have fleas.

At the end of the day, Monster (and the other boards) make their $ by selling two things:

a. Access to the site by HR and recruiters (meaning access to the 5 million resumes), and

b. Job advertisements.

The more people that post resumes on the site, the more they can 'cost-justify' their pricing. The best analogy I can make is nightclubs that realize in order to get the guys to come and spend some serious cash, you have to give the girls free admission and free drinks (well, maybe until 11pm or so!) Without the women, the guys won't show up. In the same respect, a database of 5 million resumes is quite the attraction to HR and 3rd party recruiters.

Moral of the story:  If you're going to put yourself on a board, at least put your contact info as 'Confidential' - it's a small conciliation, but at least communicates that you're aware of the re-circulatory garbage floating around in your midst.

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