Category Archives: Job Boards

Beat the job boards – 4 ways to get a call

How do you get people to pay attention to your resume when there are 100 others just like it?

You can’t.  You have to be different.

The best way to be different is to be obviously well qualified.  Another great way is to prove, not just say, that you have a great attitude.  You can also solve their problems.  Being bizarre even occasionally works.

1. Being Bizarre

Unless there is substance behind your resume, being bizarre just gets your resume trashed.  So, try bizarre for fun and personal entertainment. Try the others for results.

2. Solve Their Problems

Most managers hire someone because they have a problem.  If the first two bullet points under your current job prove you can solve the manager’s problem, you’ll get an interview.  You figure out that problem by reading the ad, and also by calling up and asking.  You can call Human Resources, or you can call and ask for the “Manager Of Computer Systems”. If you can find out the real problem, prove you have already solved it for someone else.  Make it impossible to miss the fact that you can solve his problem.

3. Prove You Have A Great Attitude

How did you help lead the team?  In what ways were you provably the best?  How was your attendance?  You need to figure out how to show that everywhere you go the teams work better.  Don’t just say, “Everyone works better when I am around”, say “When I joined the team turnover dropped from 60% to 10% per year.”

4. Be Obviously Well Qualified

Prove you have done that job very well in the past.  Don’t say, “Worked on the Accounts Receivable team.”  Instead say, “Highest collections rate on the Accounts Receivable team.

You need to prove that you should be hired.  You also have to make it impossible to miss that fact.

Something To Do Today            

Call up a company about a job you know they have open.  Ask for the manager of that area.  No matter who answers the phone, ask why the job is open and what problem the person hired will solve.


Later: Beat the job boards – beating hundreds

Now to get past the human filter

Beat the job boards – electronic filters

When I put an ad on a job board I often get 100 replies, but only 1 or 2 candidates are viable.  Since people have to go through 100 terrible resumes to find one or two good ones, electronic filters have been employed.  Some of those filters are pretty good.  Most of the filters are terrible.

Filters are mostly keyword driven.  They have a list of words that have to be on your resume in order for you to be considered.  If you don’t have those key words, you will either receive an instant rejection, or nothing will ever happen because your resume is dumped. 

There is another reason for the filters.  Federal law says large companies have to be able to prove they don’t discriminate by race, sex, age, etc.  They have to keep records of everyone they consider for jobs, except for people who are filtered out immediately.  There you are!  Another government law with unintended consequences.  Because they don’t want to have to guess your sex or race, they eliminate you completely unless you are obviously qualified.    

The easy way past the filters is to carefully read the ad, and put in all the keywords they use.  Even if you do NOT have a particular skill or experience here is how you can put it on your resume.  At the bottom just put a line that says, “I know how to fish, but have never done underwater basket weaving, though I can learn.”  Because you mention underwater basket weaving, you get past the filters.  It is at the bottom of your resume, so no one reads it.

Another method that works is to paste the ad at the bottom of your resume with a note that says, “This is the ad I am responding to.”  Every key word will be in it then! Note: you have to do this on the RESUME because the filter is always applied to the resume.

One last note, if you are totally unqualified you will still be instantly rejected by the first human to see your resume.  Spamming still does not work.  Also, if you are qualified, your resume has to get past the human screener. Well talk about that too.

Something To Do Today

Go fishing for trolling ads.  Find a few ads that look very generic.  Start collecting them and seeing if they are out there for month or years.  Some are a decade old.


Later: Beat the job boards – posting your resume

– beating hundreds

Now to get past the human filter

Beat the job board trolls

Putting out an ad for a job that doesn’t exist is called “trolling” in the recruiting business. 

When you troll for fish you drag a bait or lure behind your boat as you putter around the lake.  Eventually a fish grabs it, and you reel in the fish.  When you troll for candidates you put a generic ad out, refresh it occasionally, and try to catch a qualified person looking for a job.  You don’t have a specific job, you just place the ad.

A fishing rod is a stick with a hook at one end and a fool at the other. (Samuel Johnson)

By the way, trolling for candidates is illegal in some states.  Recruiters do it any way because it works. The candidates who get jobs don’t mind.

You need to decide which ads to respond to.  You want to find a company that has a job for you, or a recruiting agency that has a job for you.  That means at times you will deliberately respond to trolling ads, and other times you won’t.

A trolling ad is usually very generic.  It gives no disqualifying details.  It just says, “accountant”, “salesman”,  “vb programmer”, or “electrical engineer”.  Look at trolling ads to figure out which agencies work in your field regularly. Ask some friends if they know the agencies whose ads impress you the most.  Call those agencies when you really just want your resume out to as many hiring companies as possible.  There is nothing wrong with that.

If you are more concerned about getting the right job, only respond to very specific ads.  The more disqualifiers an ad has in it, the more likely you are to get the specific job you want.

Responding to trolling ads is a choice.  You may not care today, but someday it could be important to you.

Something To Do Today            

Go fishing for trolling ads.  Find a few ads that look very generic.  Start collecting them and seeing if they are out there for month or years.  Some are a decade old.


Later: Beat the job boards – electronic filters

Are job boards keeping you from getting a job?

On Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, or even Indeed .com.  Look for a job in your specialty. Did you carefully read the ads and find that the vast majority are put there by recruiting agencies?  Amazing, isn’t it?

The problem is not that corporations no longer have job openings, they have lots of them.  The problem is that there is a huge lack of skilled workers.  When a company desperately needs a skilled worker and can’t find him, they contact at least one agency.  Some companies contact 100 agencies.  Each of those agencies puts the job on the agency’s website and on at least one job board.  I don’t put ads on CareerBuilder, I put a few ads on 50 lesser job boards. So I also contribute to the glut of ads.

All those ads are causing less highly skilled people to apply for jobs through the internet job boards. A lot of under-skilled desperate people apply for the jobs instead. So, now they use computer filters to clear out under-skilled candidates.  Unfortunately the filters mess up a lot.  They tend to also filter out people who have less than stellar resumes, but great skill sets.

So what do you do?

I’ve got some great ideas coming up. 

Something To Do Today            

Have some fun.  See how many ads from agencies you can find for one particular job you can do well.  What is the same in all the ads?

Free career intelligence 5 ways

Here are 5 ways to get free career intelligence.  This can help you find and land a job.

1. Every day I give away useful business intelligence.  I am an expert in a few job markets. I’m a recruiter. Every time you talk to a recruiter, grill them.  If a recruiter calls you out of the blue, you have a right to be very nosey.

2. HR (human resources) people give away business intelligence.  They are experts in their company and will tell you how you fit in.  If you ask they will often tell you where you stand in the job competition. Hiring projection for 3 to 6 months into the future are often on the tip of their tongues if you just ask them.

3. Salespeople are incredible sources of information.  They also like to talk a lot.  Take a salesman from your own company, a supplier, or a place you want to work, out to lunch. Or just talk to them. You’ll find out more than you would think possible.  Often they can tell you about all the competing companies in your area.

4. The web. Indeed.   Monster.  CareerBuilder.  Look for “trolling” job ads.  What ads are there for months?  Often they are renewed weekly, but they are the same ad forever.  Those are jobs that constantly need people.  Sort by company and look for ad clusters.  Is a company creating a new project team?  Often they advertise for 3 different jobs while they have other unadvertised openings for the team that will be created. The manager job may be unfilled.  Or another team has an opening because the manager for this team came out of that team.  Keep all the possibilities in mind.

5. Every industry has a trade magazine or ten.  Subscribe.  Many are free.  There are even more industry trade publications appearing as email magazines.  There are specific trade publications for cement, computer banking systems, turkey processing, pizza shops, jewelry making, dog kennels, dairy farmers and more.  Even if you just read the cover you will be better off than if you didn’t get the magazines.

Open your eyes.  Look around.  Where do the experts go to become experts or to show off their expertise?  That’s where you need to go to get career intelligence.

Something to do today

Subscribe to 3 trade publications.

How people really find jobs in 2013

People are NOT finding most jobs at Monster, Career Builder and other job boards.

A survey was done in 2013 of companies with over 5000 employees.  These are companies that keep great records of where they find people.  These companies employ every possible method of finding new employees.  The details are at

The biggest job filler was internal candidates already working there – 42% .

There were an average of 74 applications per hire. Frightening, isn’t it?

Outside hires

From here on out, I’m going to talk only about percentages of the external candidates hired.  The ones who came from outside the company.

Referrals were the biggest source of external candidates at 25% of all jobs filled.  Of those referrals, 95% were referrals from people who worked at the company. You are 3-4 times more likely to get hired if you can get someone inside the company to refer you.

The company website got credit for 23% of candidates.  This is a suspect source according to the study authors, who suspect other things drove people to the website, but I’ll accept that number for the sake of argument.

Online job boards filled 18% of jobs.  The most significant job boards were Indeed and SimplyHired.  They found more people jobs than Monster and CareerBuilder.

It is simple mathematics, job boards are useful, but they are not the main way people find new jobs. Just going to company websites and submitting resumes blindly appears to be more effective than the big job boards.

Social media only got credited with 3% of hires, but it influences, drives, or combines with referrals, company career sites, job boards, direct calls into competitors, college recruting, temp-to-hire, and career fairs.

Recruiters like me only accounted for 3% of hires. They use recruiters only for the jobs that are begging for people.  They don’t want to pay my fee unless they just can’t find the right person easily.

Print is dead. Print ads only filled 2%.

What it all really means?

The real key, however, is networking.  It may not be easy, but it is still the main way jobs are filled.  Even in giant corporations. You are 3-4 times as likely to get hired if you network your way into a company.

Something To Do Today

Bite the bullet.  Do something in your job search other than rely on internet job boards.


Tomorrow:     Slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

How 2100 hirers say you should use social media

More and more companies are using social media to find and vet job candidates, and more and more often, social media is giving these companies reasons to not hire a candidate.

A survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder found that two in five companies…Click here to read more about the survey of 2100 hirers.

Resume spreading services and warnings

There are two types of resume spreading services. One sends your resume to many job search websites like Monster and The other sends your resume to hundreds of recruiters and companies like ResumeRabbit,, and

The dangers

If you are employed, your resume may be sent to your current boss, or to a website he will access while searching for employees.  He may be upset to see you are looking for a job.

Your resume may also start a life on the internet that you can never stop.  As companies and sites sell and exchange masses of resumes, yours may be preserved for years and repeatedly displayed as “newly submitted.”

The reality

Getting your resume out to 1000 potential employers and recruiters is called a resume blast. It could get you hired. However, in most cases the people receiving your resume do not read it.  They are bombarded with resumes from similar services.  If you use the services that send your resume to recruiters and companies, your resume must have an impact at first glance.  If it requires a thorough reading, you are doomed. The only one of these services I check daily is ResumeSpider . I am sure there are some other useful ones somewhere.

The pay services like ResumeRabbit that send your resume out to 75 job boards get you a lot of quick exposure and save you time.  You also completely lose control of your resume. Once you send it, there is no way to indicate you have been hired.  It will be out on the internet forever. and also will get your resume to a lot of employers, but function more like Monster or CareerBuilder.

Resume spreading services may be just what you need as long as you are not trying to keep your job search a secret.

Something to do today

Many job boards like Monster have resume spreading services that advertise on their sites.  You can also Google the phrase “resume blast”.


Coming up

Your pay reflects your interview

You, the movie

Internet resume filters, why? And how to get past them

You must change how you apply for jobs on the internet. Federal contracting jobs are already out of your reach unless you are a perfect fit.  Half the jobs available on the internet are no longer available to you.  And that is a conservative estimate.

A regulation is in effect.  It says that companies have to keep track of the minority status of all internet job applicants.  Last year it was for Federal contractors.  Now it is for all companies over 50 employees and their recruiters.

It is hard to keep track of race without being accused of violating the Equal Employment laws.  In the old days you could look through the resumes that came in and choose people who were close to your requirements to interview.  Then you could start tracking race.

Unintended consequences

The new regulation says you have to start tracking race immediately, but you only have to do it for applicants that are completely qualified for the position.  That means that the applicant filters that big companies use are becoming essential for all companies.  They are not going to track anyone they don’t have to.  They don’t want to phone screen anyone unless they already perfectly meet the requirements.

That means many jobs you were close enough to get a phone screen for a few years ago, will be absolutely unavailable for you this year. You will have to get through the computer filter to even be considered for a job.  And the filters will be tighter than ever.

From here on out you need to make sure that your resume has every qualifying skill asked for on a job ad.  Consider putting every acronym in the job ad at the bottom of your resume in a skills section.  I might even cut and paste the skills section of the job ad to the bottom of my resume in a “Job Applied For” section.

The results of the regulations are ominous.  Companies are swinging wildly from filters that are impossibly tight, to no filters at all.  We are in a period of amazing resume filtering swings.

Be prepared.

Something to do today

Start today.  Make sure your resume has every job skill asked for in every job you apply for online.


Later:              Clogging things up

Row away

50 job hunting tips from recruiters

Need a job? Recruiters see every possible mistake, and some unusually successful ploys.

Here are 50 job hunting tips from good recruiters.