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Home Blog Home   Tips for Getting Your Resume Noticed Online

Tips for Getting Your Resume Noticed Online

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:00:00 AM

Let’s face it. The days of being using creativity to get someone to look at your resume have passed. Items such as font, layout, white space, envelope color, paper texture and the first few paragraphs of a cover letter determined whether your resume got noticed by a hiring manager.

With the advent of one-click Internet applications, resume submission services and online career hubs for every industry, specialty and geography (such as Monster, HotJobs and hireCentral), applying to your perfect job is easy. But maybe it’s too easy. Even if your qualifications are a perfect match to a job opening, getting your resume noticed online isn’t easier – it may actually be harder. And you can end up being one of many in a large resume database wondering if your resume has ended up in a black hole.

There are certain things you can do however to ensure your qualifications are the first to be reviewed.

Keywords, keywords, keywords

Keep in mind that when you submit your resume to a career hub or an employer’s website, your resume is added to a database along with the thousands of individuals already there. Special fonts are removed, layout is standardized, and all that’s left to separate you from the competition is the content. So make sure your resume includes key words or phrases that a recruiter or an employer might search for.

For example, if you’ve completed a GMP certification, make sure you’ve put that exact phrase in your resume, and make sure it’s visible. If you have experience with specific manufacturing equipment that could help you get a job (or at least attract attention to your resume), make sure to include it.

You may ask, “How do I get all of this in while keeping it to one page?” Understand that I’m not encouraging you to write the Iliad, but requirements of limiting your resume to one page have become less critical in recent years – especially for highly specialized fields such as pharmaceutical manufacturing. Most recruiters search resume databases using industry-specific phrases. Because of this, including these phrases prominently on your resume is more important than keeping it short.

However, I do encourage you to ensure the most important qualifications are at or near the top of your resume. Many career hubs allow you to create a short bio separate from where you paste your resume. Make sure to include the most important items in this bio.

Set Realistic Expectations and Go Industry Specific

Posting your resume online should be only one component of your overall job search strategy. Understand there are thousands of people applying for job openings -- some of them qualified like you and others not as much. But while applying to a job has become as easy as copy, paste and submit, it’s also created more work for the employer to sort through these applications.

Depending on how specific the skills and requirements are for your industry, you may want to focus your efforts on industry-specific websites (such as or professional/trade organizations for your industry. In recent years, large employers and search firms have limited their reliance on large general sites such as Monster, CareerBuilder or HotJobs because of the number of unqualified applicants they receive.

This is a generalization of course, but you should also note that third-party agencies (such as executive recruiters, headhunters, etc.) tend to not post their clients’ job openings on career hubs. Instead, they often search resume databases for individuals who meet their qualifications and then contact them. Employers, on the other hand, tend to react to applications submitted to them and are reluctant to spend the time to search these databases.

Both of these dynamics tell us that use of online avenues should include a combination of (a) reacting to job openings you’ve seen on employer’s websites and career hubs, and (b) submitting your resume to a career hub’s database in the hopes of being contacted later.

Have an Email account just for your job search

This is important for a number of reasons: (1) Because your email address may be available to unscrupulous individuals, it ensures your primary email account doesn’t receive ads for Viagra, eBay or requests to update your bank account’s password; (2) It doesn’t look good to a prospective employer when you use your current employer’s email account for a job search. Do I have to explain why? (3) It allows you to manage your applications, contacts and important job search information in one place, without the distraction of work or your personal life.

Oh, and be professional. Limit the creative email names such as or These are fine for, but I doubt it’ll help you land your perfect job.

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