Should you post your resume on a job board?

Many job boards allow you to post your resume online (you can’t on Idealist, and I’ll explain why in a second). Initially, this seems like a great way to give your job search a boost; after all, you don’t know about all of the opportunities available and if an employer likes your resume and contacts you, it feels like you’re more likely to get a job offer. However, does placing your resume on a job board actually increase your chances of landing a job?

Over on Ask A Manager, Alison Green explains why it’s not a good idea to put your resume on a job board:

It can make you look a little stale or like you’re not being choosy. And hiring managers tend to love candidates who are being choosy. If you look like you’ve posted your resume all over the Internet, you risk turning off some employers — and there IS a school of thought among some hiring managers that only desperate or unfocused candidates post their resume on job sites, because if you were great at what you do, you wouldn’t need to. (You can dispute that logic if you want, but the mindset very much exists.)

Read the rest of her reasons on Ask A Manager.

We also don’t think it’s a good idea to post your resume on a job board for a several other reasons, a big one being that your resume should reflect the job you are applying for. It’s impossible to demonstrate how your skills, experience, and potential will make you a great candidate for a job if you’re using a generic resume. (Not sure if your resume reflects the job you want? Try this test.)

And the reality is that if you put your resume online, you open yourself up to spam and identity theft.

That being said, there are other ways to get an employer’s attention online. For example, many employers use social media to research potential candidates, so it might be helpful to start thinking about your personal brand. If you want to expand your network, be thoughtful about using LinkedIn and Twitter. The difference here is that these still require you to be active in your search.

In the end, if your goal is to catch an employer’s eye, focus on strengthening your network, writing a fantastic cover letter and resume, and doing research to ensure that you’re a great fit for the opportunity and the organization.

Have you ever placed your resume on a job board? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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    • Jeremy Kruse
    • July 18, 2013

    Sorry, but I find it hard to completely agree with this article. I have been a corp recruiter for 10+ years and I have never seen a manager turn down a candidate because he was posted on a job board. The biggest problem with this statement is this: Why would a company pay thousands of dollars to have resume access if their managers are turning them down in the first place?
    In my mind there are stages of a job search depending your circumstances. If you are starting your job search and still have an existing job, it should start with your networking. As time goes on and this first option doesn’t work for you, you should add in posting your resume on job boards and sharing with staffing agencies. If you are out of work and need a job, your job is now looking for work. Post where you can, network, work with agencies. Do what ever it takes. Your career search is now a ticking clock. The longer you are out of work, the harder it will be for you to find something.
    The article has a point about submitting your resume. If you have a chance to gear your resume to fit the job better, you really should. In this day an age though, your LinkedIn profile should be written in a way to easily reflect the direction you want your career to go. Just like your resume posted on job boards, this can’t be changed to reflect a job. People find you based on the information on your profile.
    Join groups, get to know people, go to networking events, join, see what is out there.

    • H
    • July 18, 2013

    This is type of unfair bias and prejudging of people is what you expect from high school students not mature adults with the ability to think critically. Posting a resume online should not disqualify anyone from being considered for a job and you can only customize your resume so much. How many companies customize their job descriptions?

    Titles usually reflect the responsibilities associated with a given position regardless of where you were employed. A Program Coordinator or Officer generally has the same range of duties across firms and industries. Resumes that are too customized make it hard for individuals to relate and evaluate a candidate’s experience. Even if you take the time to tailor your application you still get rejected for reasons that have nothing to do with whether or not you can do the job. To add insult to injury, companies don’t bother responding to candidates anymore but yet you you’re supposed to cater to them?

    Unless you are independently wealthy you become desperate to work with each passing day and try to attract attention in any way you can. How can it now be a crime to post on a legitimate job board? If anyone wonders why HR professionals and recruiters are universally reviled then they should read this advice.

    The nonprofit sector needs to start treating people more humanely and with the dignity they deserve. There is a clear disconnect between the mission and the gatekeepers at many organizations. Instead of seeing their role as an opportunity to help others become part of something great, these people abuse their authority and act like bullies who are bestowing an undeserved privilege upon the unworthy masses.

  1. Allison,

    I can see your argument in this post and I appreciate you identifying these concerns with posting a résumé online; however, I do not think candidates should be discouraged from engaging in this practice.

    There are plenty of benefits to posting a résumé online. If you were to use this content as examples of potential arguments, and then offer ways to curtail these issues, I think it would resonate more with readers.

    I can appreciate your argument, nonetheless!

  2. I am not sure I agree with this. How are people meant to find you? If you only partially looking, then maybe, but if you need a job then its always a good idea to get your resume out to as many people as possible.

  3. Pingback: Should you post your resume on a job board? | Idealist Careers

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