I recently learned that a company for which I’d like to work sometimes pulls job candidates from resumes posted online at Monster.com. So in addition to submitting my resume directly through the company’s job site, I did what any eager job-seeker would do: I posted my resume on Monster, too.
Two weeks later, I was contacted by a headhunter about a position–100 positions, actually. (That’s how many jobs they had to fill.) The headhunter asked me to review a job description–and if I was interested, to submit an updated job resume and cover letter to them via email. This is when I realized one of the drawbacks of applying for a job through a headhunter.
A good cover letter is carefully tailored to a specific job–at a specific company–that you’re applying for. But when a headhunter tracks you down online, they won’t tell you the name of the company you’re being submitted for. (At least, not before you’ve been submitted.) And this means you have NO WAY to tailor your cover letter for the position. So….
You can’t tailor your cover letter to the position.
Similar to the previous point: an effective resume–one that will get you called for an interview and accurately depicts your skills for the job you’re applying for–is tailored specifically for that job. So….
You can’t tailor your resume to the position.
Now let’s dig a bit deeper: not only are you unable to tailor your resume or cover letter for the position–YOU HAVE NO IDEA what job you’re being submitted for! I don’t know how you feel about this, but I don’t want to be submitted to just any old company. Even if the recruiter provides you with a job description, you still don’t know what company the job is with–and that makes a huge difference. You want to know if you’re applying for a job with the Federal Government, a broker on Wall Street, or the restaurant chain that cheated you out of your last order of french fries. You get the picture….
You have no idea what company you’re applying to work with.
So what about privacy? With all the detailed work history, location information, background, education, and–heaven forbid–personal information such as your phone number, address, and social security number, there could be a lot on your resume that you don’t want to end up in the wrong hands.
To avoid problems with identity theft or harassment by marketers, carefully review all information on any resume you post online. (The exception to this is closed systems such as those belonging to private employers or the Federal Government–but even then, you should take care with the information you’re submitting.)
The company you are hired by will have a big effect on the conditions under which you carry out your tasks–and what benefits you get. If you have a family, you’ll obviously want to analyze whether your potential employer has family-friendly policies–or not.
Your private information may be at risk.
When it comes to posting our resume on a general job site like Monster.com, always carefully review the information you’re submitting and make sure there’s nothing that you don’t want the whole world to see. This goes for both private information that may put you or your assets at risk, or information that is potentially embarassing and doesn’t show you in the best lite.
Online job sites can be great tools to add to your job-hunting toolbox–but like anything, they have their drawbacks. Also realize that submitting to these sites should never take the place of other job-searching methods such as making good use of your contacts and proactively submitting to companies, regardless of whether they have open positions posted.