First, understand that posting your resume online is not a guarantee of a job. Everyone knows someone’s brother’s friend’s cousin who landed a high-paying job by posting a resume online. It has taken on the status of an urban legend.
In fact, the success rate is miniscule. Online resume posting has only an 8% success rate for discovering an opportunity. That doesn’t mean getting the job; it means finding a job to apply for. (Source: http://julliengordon.com/50-job-search-statistics-successful-job-seekers-need-know)
Another downside to posting your resume is that it can become dated. If recruiters see your resume day after day, week after week, they start not seeing it at all. It’s like a house that is up for sale for too long. People start assuming there is something wrong with it.
You must also carefully guard your personal information when posting your resume. Job boards will require you to register. Be sure not to divulge your birth date or Social Security Number in an online application unless you are applying for a federal job. Remove your home address and home phone number from your resume before posting it. The heading of your resume should contain only your name, cell number, and disposable e-mail address such as one from Gmail. Make sure your email address is professional, such as LastNameFirstName@gmail.com.
Considering the negatives, don’t think of resume posting as your job search strategy. Rather, think of it as a small part of your strategy.
The upside to posting your resume
If you add your resume to the millions already online, it becomes available for employers to search by using criteria known as keywords. Make sure your resume includes the proper keywords for the position you want to apply for. Find the keywords in the requirements listed in the job posting of the position you desire.
Upload your resume
Usually, the job board will offer a “resume builder.” Upload a PDF of your resume if possible. A PDF is a picture of your resume rather than an editable version. That is desirable so that the builder doesn’t change the appearance of your resume automatically. One client who uploaded a Microsoft Word resume found, to his horror, that the bullets in front of each line had been turned into skull and crossbones.
If you must copy and paste the version of your resume, be sure to review and revise your information as you enter it. Pay close attention to the formatting to make sure lines
end where they are supposed to, the bold type is still bold, tabs are placed correctly, and no odd characters have been added.
Don’t volunteer information such as age, gender, or nationality, or answer“bonus”questions that can hurt your chances. Instead, study the questions and formulate answers to them in case they are asked in an interview.
Do your homework on Salary.com before answering questions about your target salary. It’s OK to include a number; just make sure it fits your target level.
Some job boards will request a cover letter. Others will have a place titled Additional Information or something similar where you can upload it. Again, upload a PDF if given the choice.
Save and print
Save your entry occasionally in case you time out or there is a server interruption. When you complete your entry or upload, preview it to make sure it looks professional, is readable, and represents you well. Print it, create a PDF, or copy and paste the online copy into a text editor and save it.
Now, you can view a job posting and click on Apply. Your resume will be available to the company’s recruiter.
Since online resume posting yields such a small return on your time investment, be sure not to spend more than 10% of your job search posting your resume.