Q: An awful lot of postings seem to be from third-party recruiters. How can I apply directly to employers?
A: A significant portion of jobs on the big boards are posted by recruiters/headhunters/executive-search firms.
While that’s not necessarily a negative, it does make it harder to connect directly with employers and make an impression. “The golden age of Internet job sites has passed,” lamented one of our readers, who asked to remain anonymous. “I used Monster three years ago. I’m using it again. The difference: employment agencies.” When you post your resume, you become a target for recruiters who don’t necessarily have a good job match for you. “Normally, many headhunters call to get you to sign up with their firm, but I have not seen any productive results coming out of it,” said another anonymous reader. Another said, “The only responses I’ve received are from recruiters who call to tell me they don’t think I’m qualified for the posted job. In the same breath they begin to pump me for names and phone numbers of my co-workers who also ‘may appreciate the referral.'”
One way to avoid these third-party job postings is, of course, to apply for jobs directly through company career sites.
Q: Any special tips for boards like Monster that require a fill-in-the-blanks profile form for resume submission?
A: One important tip is that you don’t have to fill in every blank.
Think twice about filling in the blanks with information that would limit your opportunities. In an article for Career Connections, the newsletter of the Career Management Alliance, Ross Primack of Connecticut Works suggests leaving blank the questions about ideal job and ideal company as they can limit your options. Other advice from Primack:
- The salary and references fields are not required and should be left blank.
- Stating that you can start your next position immediately can make you look disloyal and as though you are prone to leaving employers in the lurch.
- The job-seeker’s answer to the question about site location can also be limiting. Given Monster’s three options of on-site, off-site, and no preference, choose no preference.
- Similarly, when you’re asked about company-size preference, you’ll keep more options open by indicating no preference.
- Be as specific as possible in completing the skill section, especially regarding software skills, and use the skill section to list keywords associated with your background and experience.