Secrets of the Job Hunt


Thursday, February 09, 2006

New Rules for Online Applicants

There are new government rules coming out for employers in terms of how they hire and the information they collect. Ask Annie of Fortune Magazine has a new article out. You can read what it means for job seekers below or you can read the full article here. Gerry Crispin from CareerXroads offers his insights.

"To comply with these new rules and get the most diversity, employers will have an incentive to keep the pool of applicants for each job relatively small and as random as possible. To make sure you're considered now, you'll have to:

Follow the company's instructions. "If an employer says that, to apply for a given job, you must go to their web site and enter a certain code number, then do that," says Crispin. "Otherwise your resume will never be seen."

Spell out your qualifications clearly. "Pay very close attention to the specific qualifications an employer lists for a particular job, and make sure your resume contains those exact words," Crispin says.

For instance, if a job description includes the words "three years of credit accounting experience," put "three years of credit accounting experience" on your resume. "Don't just list a credit-accounting position with the dates you had it and assume someone will figure it out," Crispin advises. This may mean you have to rewrite your resume for each job opening you apply for.

Keep your resume up-to-the-minute current. "The rules allow companies to pick a random pool of applicants by searching the job boards for 'most recent' qualified applicants," Crispin notes. "In those cases, no one will even look at a resume that is more than two or three weeks old." Yikes.

Target specific companies and visit their web sites often. "The first announcement of a job opening very often appears on a company's own site before it is posted anywhere else," says Crispin. If enough applicants turn up on the site, the employer is unlikely to look any further. "Companies really do not want 500 or 1,000 applicants for each job," Crispin says. "If they get 30 who are qualified, that's a reasonable number for a hiring manager to consider and select from."

If someone is referring you for a job, make sure you -- and they -- understand how to do it. About one-third of all new hires now come through employee-referral programs, and companies are still permitted to run these however they like, as long as they follow a consistent policy. So if your pal at Ostrich Corp. wants to refer you for a job, know what Ostrich's policy is (whether via the company web site, having your friend submit your resume for you in a particular way, or what-have-you) and follow it to the letter."


w.frados said...

Please help me out here as I need to help out many job seekers in my line of work. Who is doing the interpretation - man or machine? 3 years of accounting experience? If I have 4 years of experience, do I still need to say "3 years" to be considered?
Also, how does this come in to play on corporate web sites where they invite you to post a resume to be considered for "future opportunities"? Will they really go back and look in their database or do you need to reapply for each opportunity as it arises?

C.M Russell said...

Hello Mr Frados. Lets see if I can help you. First, there will probably be a mix of human and machine interpretation. But a gov't agency will most certainly use computers to filter the data.

Secondly if you have 4 years experience, say four years. As long as it meets the required amount I wouldn't be too concerned.

Thirdly, corporate website always say they will keep your resume on file. But I have yet to meet a person who was discovered a year later and offered a job. Always re-apply. (perhaps with a different version of your resume each time).

Hope that helps.