When it comes to sending out your resume, not all exposure is good exposure. Reapplying to the same company or posting your resume on all available job boards can actually backfire, say experts.
"Don't think of the job search as a numbers game -- conduct a targeted job search, targeted by job type and employer type," says Jim Grant, cofounder of Cleveland-based Chagrin Valley Job Seekers.
Here's what to keep in mind when sending out your resume:
Keep It Consistent
Some recruiters pay for daily resume downloads from online job boards, so it's important that your resume and job history stay the same when posting it online, says Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum in Cardiff, Calif., who is also the author of Job Searching Online for Dummies.
"You need to make sure that you are very consistent after you post your first resume," she says. While each version of a resume should not be identical, any major discrepancies or completely different versions can be a red flag to recruiters looking for honest employees. Since most recruiters also look-up your LinkedIn profile during the job search process, make sure your resume also matches the information provided online.
Similiarly, keep your resume consistent with the profile you fill out with HR departments. Large companies require users to login through the HR site and answer questions, which can take several hours. If your answers don't match your resume, it will hurt your chances of getting an interview. "I would pass over that person...if there's something about the profile that tells me that the person is distorting their background," says Janice Weinberg, author of Debugging Your Information Technology Job Search.
Keep Track of Where You Post Your Resume
Most job boards won't automatically take down your resume after you've stopped looking, so it's up to you to keep tabs on different versions so someone doesn't see an out-of-date version. Before posting a resume online, know which job boards you are using and don't take a shotgun approach. After your job search is over, go back to clear those accounts so your old resume doesn't get circulated further, says Dixon.
Avoid Working With Multiple Recruiting Firms
Even thought there's no official rule about working with multiple recruiters, submitting your resume to more than one firm can hurt your working relationship with a recruiter, says Jessica Hernandez, president of Great Resumes Fast. Additionally, companies are wary of resumes they get through multiple sources because of competing recruiter fees. So if two different recruiters submit your resume, you may be unknowingly taken out of the running just because of the conflict, she says.
Be Discerning About Job Boards
When it comes to job boards, not all are created equal. Before submitting your information, do your due diligence on each site. Look for user-friendly features, read customer reviews and be wary of sites that promise to help you find a job right away or allow other users to quickly see your resume, says Dixon. Otherwise, you can be the victim of identity theft or get tricked into pursuing a fraudulent job offer. Some sites may appear legitimate but set up by scammers, while others may simply sell your information to companies who are eager to capitalize on consumer information, she says.
Take Off Identifying Information
If your approach is to post your resume on as many job boards as possible, it's best to keep your name and other identifying information private. For example, instead of using the name of the bank where you were a vice president, identify it as a 'large financial institution.' If you're not discrete, you can unwittingly tip off your current employer that you're looking around for a new position, Dixon says. Once your employer finds out you're eager to leave, it may be tough to negotiate future raises or promotions.
Tailor Your Cover Letter to Each Position
Despite the time commitment, taking the time to edit your cover letter is especially important when circulating applications widely -- especially for multiple roles within a company. Once you submit your resume online, employees can easily filter your application for previous positions. Spotting the same exact cover letter implies laziness and is a turnoff for hiring managers, Weinberg explains. "The worst case scenario is the boilerplate cover letter," she says.
Be Specific With Recruiters
If your job search is especially sensitive and you don't want your employers knowing that you're considering other options, be specific with recruiters and speak with them about widely circulating your resume and your concerns with overexposure. "If you are searching confidentially make sure your recruiter knows that," Hernandez says and recommends sharing a list of companies where you're not interested in working. Being up front during the initial conversation can help keep others from circulating your resume too widely.
Write to Alina Dizik at email@example.com