Are you in control of your job search?

By Harry Urschel
image Do you know where your resume has been presented?
Do you know who presented your resume?
Are you driving, or being taken for a ride?
Often, people think that the more their resume gets shown to a company, the better their chances of being considered. That can be true if done right, but often can backfire if handled poorly.
Unfortunately, many people handle it poorly. What should you, and what should you not do? Here are some points to consider.
Don’t submit more than once when a recruiter is involved! Although there may be times where it may make sense to submit a resume to a company multiple times for a position (more on that later), be careful when you’re using a recruiter.
Typically, a recruiter only collects a fee from their client company if they are able to present a candidate the company isn’t already aware of. Depending on the relationship the recruiter has with the client, there may be exceptions, however, as a rule they want to be sure they are the only one to present you. Sometimes, if a company receives a resume from two recruiters, they may reject you entirely because they don’t want to deal with a potential conflict as to which recruiter ought to receive the fee. Sometimes as well, the same result occurs if both you and a recruiter present your resume. The company doesn’t want to get into a debate as to whether they owe the recruiter a fee or not, so they’d rather simply throw it out.
Be sure when you speak to recruiters, that you specifically ask them not to present your resume to anyone else without your express permission. Unfortunately, there are some recruiters that will take a resume from their database and use it as bait with their clients to fish for potential interest, then call you only after they get a bite. That’s why it’s necessary to proactively ask them in advance to call you first. Then, it is imperative that you keep careful records of where your resume has gone and through whom. Also, if a recruiter calls you with an opportunity at a particular company, be sure to let them know if you’ve already presented your resume there yourself. Don’t double submit, or you may be the loser.
Don’t apply to too many jobs at one company! Over a period time, some companies may have several similar jobs posted that seem to somewhat fit your background. Particularly a very large company may have 10 or more related jobs posted at one time. If you apply to several of them, your resume may become tainted in their perception.
When I speak to internal recruiters or HR people at large companies, they regularly tell me they are turned off by a candidate when they see they applied to 10 or 12 different position over the last 6 months or so. Their perception is that the candidate has no real target as to what they want and simply continues to throw their resume at the wall hoping something will stick. That may or may not be true for any individual candidate, however, that perception that gets created will torpedo their chances of getting a call.
Choose the positions you apply to carefully, and limit the number of times you apply. It’s much more effective to pursue personal contacts within the organization and express your interest in particular positions to someone individually, than to keep clicking the ‘Apply’ button online.
Do present your resume multiple times through your own networking! There are times when getting your resume in front of a hiring manager multiple times can be a great asset.
Someone I know had targeted a particular company where he very much wanted to work. Over a period of weeks, he made a point to call, network, and get informational meetings with as many people as he could within the organization, whether they were related to the type of role he was pursuing or not. With each conversation, his knowledge of the organization grew. Each time, he went out of his way to present himself as professionally as possible. And each time, he worked at building a relationship with the people he met. When an appropriate opportunity did pop up at the company, five different people took his resume to the hiring manager, spoke well of him, and asked that he be considered. Although his resume didn’t seem to be an exact match to the position, the hiring manager did call him in for an interview because of the several referrals. He said “I don’t know if you’re a great fit for the role, but when I get five people encouraging me to talk to you, I certainly want to meet you.” Three weeks later he got the job!
Done well, presenting your resume multiple times can truly pay off.
Take control of your job search wheel! Make sure you know where your resume is going and where it’s been.
Are you in control of your job search?