Don’t Be A Mystery Job Seeker: Complete Your Key Skills

Posted by Bob Wheeler

Imagine you went to a job board or other website and came across the following job posting. What would be your impression?


Mountebank Services

Logistics Manager

Seeking an experienced logistics manager.


I think most people would agree that the job announcement above is short on details and does nothing for the company brand. This is especially true if it’s a company that you’ve never heard of before. If this were one of hundreds of jobs on a website you’d probably scroll right on by to the next one.

Unknown Job SeekerBut just as these Mystery Job Postings fail to produce tangible results for employers, so it is also for Mystery Job Seeker Profiles. Simply posting a resume on a job board isn’t enough. Recruiters need to have a reason to look at your resume. And an incomplete profile is about as effective as an incomplete job posting.

One of the most important tools on ClearedJobs.Net to help job seekers get noticed is the “Key Skills” section of your profile. It’s here that you can list specific skills along with the number of years’ experience for each. Filling out this information is a tremendous help to the recruiter.

The best way to demonstrate the value of this feature is to pull the curtain back a bit. Seeing how the information you enter on your profile is viewed by a recruiter is an eye-opening experience.

Why Key Skills Matter

Recruiters search using keywords and often times these searches turn up hundreds of job seekers. The recruiter’s search results display as a list of job seeker profiles in reverse chronological order based on the last time the job seeker logged in to their account. Their search results are NOT your resume. A recruiter decides if they will view your resume based on the demographic information you include on your profile. That’s why a complete profile is so important.

If a recruiter’s search results return hundreds of job seeker’s profiles, there’s simply no way the recruiter has time to click on and review each job seeker’s resume. Particularly if the recruiter has multiple requisitions to fill and possibly even other HR tasks on their schedule unrelated to recruiting.

So at this point your profile is being compared to the other job seeker profiles on the page competing for the recruiter’s attention. This is not very different than the way job postings compete for the attention of the job seeker. And much like the fictitious announcement above, you want to avoid looking mysterious.

The best way to get the right recruiter to look at your resume is by effectively using the Key Skills section of your profile. Some job seekers make better use of this feature than others so we’ll share screen shots from the recruiter’s perspective for examples of actual job seeker profiles, some good, some not so good. As we explore these think to yourself, “If I were a recruiter, would I be interested in learning more about this person?”

The Good

The job seeker profiles below — as viewed from the recruiter’s perspective — effectively present a solid overview of the individual and a diversity of experience. For example, both profiles below show job seekers with multiple skills and various levels of experience. Note the “View Resume” button where the recruiter clicks to view your resume:

Good Job Seeker Profile Example 1

Good Job Seeker Profile Example 2

If you worry that by listing years of experience that you run the risk of a potential recruiter passing you up, well you’re right. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Remember the goal isn’t to get your resume seen by every recruiter. It’s to get your resume seen by the right recruiter.

Additionally, leaving the years of experience blank (like the job seeker below) may appear like you’re trying to hide some information. Especially when you’re compared to the job seekers in the same search results who’ve entered their years of experience.

Job Seeker Example without years

Asking the recruiter to “see resume” is also not a good idea. Recruiters may view the job seeker below as aloof, lazy, or desperate. Perhaps even a bit of all three. In any event the chances of the job seeker below having their resume viewed or advancing in the process are not helped by their profile:

Job Seeker see resumeThe Mystery Job Seeker

Leaving all the fields unfinished or all together blank is definitely not a good strategy. We’ve mentioned before that recruiters are usually under a significant time crunch to find job seekers and much of that time is spent sorting through large groups in order to produce a group of resumes that will receive further consideration. It’s often said that looking for a job is itself a full time job. The job seeker below doesn’t appear to be taking his or her search very seriously.

Job Seeker profile no informationToo Much of a Good Thing is a Bad Thing

To completely close the loop on this topic we should mention that it is possible to provide too much information. Getting too wordy defeats the purpose of the Key Skills. Resist the urge to use this section as a cover letter. Effective cover letters are focused on a specific position and ClearedJobs.Net allows job seekers to upload a cover letter as part of a job application. Trying to fit a generic cover letter into the Key Skills space will do more harm than good. The profile below is an example of this.

Job Seeker Profile too much information

What It All Means

I’ve often described the hiring process as being like two blindfolded people walking around a giant room hoping to bump into each other. There really are recruiters looking for talent and there really are talented job seekers looking for jobs. The trick is getting then to connect.

Tools such as the Key Skills section are one way we make this connection happen more quickly. However, the success of this tool is entirely dependent on you the job seeker completing this information.

It’s our hope that this information lets you see how your information is seen by recruiters so you’ll be able to more fully utilize the new features of ClearedJobs.Net. Job seekers who take full advantage stand a much greater chance of being found and contacted by the right recruiters.

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, August 10, 2015 11:09 am

One thought on “Don’t Be A Mystery Job Seeker: Complete Your Key Skills”

  1. Thank you for these useful tips, Bob.

    May I ask if I should feel safe posting my resume here.



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