4 Keys to an Effective Job Board Resume

Posted by Bob Wheeler

Think like a recruiterIt’s the job seeker’s golden rule: If you want to be found, think like a recruiter.

Nowhere is this more true than with job boards such as ClearedJobs.Net.

Unfortunately many candidates don’t understand how job boards work, or how recruiters use them. This leads to many a qualified candidate going unseen by recruiters and hiring managers. Follow the golden rule, however and you’ll have a leg up on the competition.

Many job seekers are surprised to learn that job boards are more than just a collection of job postings. Recruiters are also paying to have access to the database of job seeker resumes. There are actually many organizations that don’t post jobs at all, they simply search the database for potential candidates. That means that if your resume hasn’t been uploaded it will never be found by these potential employers.

With the literally hundreds of thousands of resumes in our database getting noticed can feel like it’s an uphill battle. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to increase the chances of your resume being found by the right recruiter. Here’s what you should know and do.

First, understand that resumes uploaded to a job board should follow many, but not all, of the same rules you’ve probably heard about traditional resumes. You still want to ensure that it accurately captures your accomplishments and isn’t just a list of responsibilities and adjectives. Statements that list actions, results and quantifying data are always helpful.

The biggest difference is that a job board resume needs to maintain general focus. Although you can – and should – customize your resume when applying to a specific job on ClearedJobs.Net, it would be wrong to assume that the resume you put together for one company will attract the attention of other recruiters. The initial resume you upload becomes the default searchable version, so it’s best to create the general resume first and then create versions specific to a job posting later.

Creating a job board resume designed to be found by those searching through the database is an entirely separate process. Whereas the first situation had a job description to provide you with a specific list of what the company was looking for, the second scenario is general, vague and leaves many cleared job seekers unsure how to proceed.

It’s admittedly tough to create a resume that functions well in a search environment and is also readable and effective once found. Tough to do, but not impossible. Here are four tips to guide you:

1. Break down your words, phrases and acronyms.  While one recruiter might search for “Project Manager” another may search for the acronym “PMP”.  Same goes for “Database Architect” and “DBA”.  It would be a safer bet for candidates to use both the acronym and the phrase in their resume.

2. If there’s more than one way to describe your field – use them all.  For example the term “system engineer” and “systems engineer” are both acceptable in the industry, but two different recruiters might search using two different phrases. For the same reason, if you did both software development as well as software engineering you should include both of these key phases as opposed to trying to lump them all into one category or the other. Remember that the level of industry knowledge, to include lingo, can vary from recruiter to recruiter. Cover all your bases for the general resume to increase the likelihood that you’re speaking the same dialect as the recruiter.

3. List the all the tools of your trade. Terms like project manager, systems engineer or electrician will usually return a large number of resumes, even when sorted by clearance level. When a search comes back with over 500 resumes, recruiters will narrow the field by searching for candidates with previous experience specific to the requirements of the job they are looking to fill. They do this by adding more and more key words. Listing all the tools and platforms you have experience on helps ensure your general resume gets noticed. Putting these towards the top of the document in a summary of qualifications section is ideal. Search systems will highlight the key words as they appear in the resume.  It’s much better for the recruiter to see these words right up front instead of having to scroll all the way down to find them.

4. Update and refresh. By default most job boards (including ClearedJobs.Net) will list all the resumes that meet a recruiter’s search criteria in chronological order based upon the date the user last logged in to their account. This means a resume posted three months ago could be buried, especially when a recruiter runs a broad search. Many recruiters also set alerts to inform them when a resume is added or updated that meets certain criteria. Updating or refreshing you resume could get it emailed directly to any recruiters who may have set up such an agent in the time since you originally uploaded your information.

Ultimately it’s good to remember that resumes don’t get jobs, they get interviews.  But it’s equally important to note that resumes that don’t get seen don’t get anything at all. Putting together a strong resume (or two) and posting it on ClearedJobs.Net is one of the most effective ways for security cleared job seekers to get seen by those actively looking for their particular skills.

Bob WheelerBob Wheeler is a ClearedJobs.Net Account Manager, a Navy veteran, a former recruiter and a certified veteran transition coach. You may reach Bob at [email protected].


This entry was posted on Monday, January 05, 2015 8:37 am

2 thoughts on “4 Keys to an Effective Job Board Resume”

  1. Yvette,

    On our home page you will see a blue button that says “post resume”. Once you click on that button you will be prompted to create a profile. During that process you can upload one (or more) resumes.

    The resume that you set as the “default” will be the one that is in the searchable database. The ability to upload other resumes is a good feature when applying to specific position through our website.

    Good luck!


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