Getting Found on Monster [Part I]
I hate to wreck your high opinion of me, but I spent last night trolling Monster for candidates. Yep. Clearly, not all of my candidates come from Monster, but some do. The trick is finding them.
Monster gets a bad rap, as do the other major job boards. As I mentioned in a previous post, there are 44 million resumes on Monster, and 17 million on CareerBuilder. And there's much less overlap than you'd think. They are great resources, and I don't care how much you have heard about Google's disintermediation of job boards. Not gonna happen.
Due to the volume of resumes on the major job boards, everyone assumes that the candidates are crap. Not true at all. Yes, Monster is a very densely packed universe, so it's much harder for the stars to shine. But the stars are there if you know how to look. And candidates: You can get found a lot more easily if you know how to post your resume on Monster.
That's the point of this post. At left is a screen grab of a daily email I receive from Monster. All of the major boards offer this feature. Pretty simple, actually. I set up a search "bot" for each position I'm trying to fill, and each day Monster automatically emails to me the latest candidates who match my search's criteria. So, if I have five searches going on, I get five Monster emails a day [plus any that come in from the other job boards].
But it's never as easy as it looks. In fact, it's freaking tedious to look at hundreds of resumes. Although I've never read Malcolm Gladwell's book, Blink, I've heard him on C-Span chatting about how quickly we humans make big decisions in the blink of an eye. And let me tell you: I can scan a resume in a big fat ugly hurry. I feel like a triage nurse in a hospital emergency room -- deciding in an instant who gets treated and who doesn't. And it all starts with the headline.
The Horrible Truth about Recruiters
If your Monster resume headline stinks, I won't open your resume. No recruiter will. Nothing personal against you. It's just that we can't open it. You haven't given us a reason to, and there's a resume right below yours that might look more relevant. Look at the following headlines from my Monster email above [my observations are in red]
- Technical Director/Sales Engineer - Too vague. Director of of technical what?
- Direct Marketing/Sales - Too broad. Marketing taxonomies included B2B, B2C, domestic and international -- just for starters.
- Vice President Supply Chain - What industry? It makes a difference.
- Senior level Business Developer w/MBA - See my comments about the sales director.
- Director Engineering - Too vague. What platforms? Java? .Net? Linux?
- Director, Product Management - Huh?
- Director IT, Result oriented, leadership, team leader, data management - I dunno. At minimum, the guy repeats himself. Aren't "Leadership" and "Team Leader" the same thing?
- Architectural Engineer Graduate with Mechanical Engineering Experience - Are you fresh out of school? Can't tell.
- Application Development Manager - Too vague. What platforms? Java? .Net? Linux? Again, I'm in a hurry.
- CHARLENE A. THARP-Human Resources/Beneifts/Payroll/Safety - No need to put your name. Misspelled "benefits." Next!
My advice to candidates: Change your headline to tell us what we need to know: Function / Company / Industry / Salary / Relocation preference.
Like this: Email Marketing / Land's End / Multichannel Retail / $85K / Will Relo
If you can add your SIC code next to your industry, so much the better. It won't matter to most recruiters, but it will matter to some. At a minimum, you should use OSHA's SIC code lookup to identify your industry, even if you don't refer to the numeric code. My point is, the more specific you can be, the better your headline will pull.
Don't believe me? Suppose we were standing 100 feet apart on a crowded subway platform and you wanted to get my attention. You wouldn't simply yell "Hey, you!" You'd be as specific as possible, yelling something like "Hey, tall white guy with one eyebrow!" Or better yet: "Hey, HARRY JOINER!!"
The Law of Specificity applies here. Imagine what that headline would look like in a recruiter's daily Monster email. Trust me, your open rates will skyrocket. Do not worry about pigeonholing yourself as "just an email marketer." Your career objectives won't matter at all if no one sees your resume.
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