Resume Spamming can Bite You
Mass mailing your resume or posting it on all the Internet job sites you find can be an appealing concept. After all, it’s in a job candidate’s best interest to gain maximum exposure to as many potential employers as possible. And many people have successfully found jobs online. But when it comes to sending your resume via email and posting your resume online, be aware that the information highway can throw you some curves and even become downright treacherous.
One downfall of resume spamming is that many people delete unsolicited emails—just as they are likely to do with unsolicited snail mails—without ever opening them. Hiring managers and recruiters often don’t open unwanted or unrecognized emails that land in their inboxes because of security concerns. They also don’t have time to sort through what they consider junk emails.
Resume spamming is becoming an increasing burden for companies, taxing and straining their technological capabilities. In one survey, an overwhelming 92 percent of the companies polled reported being flooded with “hundreds” of irrelevant responses to job postings. Even if your resume makes it into a company’s database, it could remain there among the hundreds of other resumes without ever being seen.
Your stock also goes down with recruiters when you’re not particular about who sees your resume. If your resume is already in a company’s database (whether it’s because you sent it yourself or the company found it on a job board), the company is not about to pay for information it already has, and a recruiter is less likely to work with you. You might think “Great—I’m in the database—now the company will look at me,” but that’s not always the case. And instead of having someone who knows you and your background thoroughly, and can personally represent you to a potential employer, you are now no different than the hundreds, maybe even thousands, of other job candidates whose resumes sit unseen in a company’s database. See “Important Steps to Keep Your Resume from Getting Lost in a Database.”
The Whiff of Desperation
While it is tempting to post your resume on every job site you fall upon or to send it to hundreds of companies, think about the impression such action creates among companies and recruiters. If a hiring manager goes to one job site and sees your resume, then goes to another job site and comes across your resume again, he or she might wonder if you’re too willing to accept anything that comes along. Your worth decreases. And if a company learns that it is one of possibly hundreds of companies you’ve sent your resume to, does that enhance your value?
Recruiters also have access to Internet job sites, and they are unlikely to work with someone whose resume is posted on every site they see. Again, the job seeker comes across as being somewhat desperate, not to mention that the person might already be in a company’s database.
So be choosy about where you post your resume. Don’t just indiscriminately blast it off to any job board. Select a handful of reputable sites, and also target specific sites that have a good standing with those in your industry (or the industry you wish to get into). Another way to further target companies in your industry is to work with a reputable recruiting firm such as FPC, which specializes in certain industries and can also advise you if you are transitioning from one industry to another.
Companies and recruiters alike want to know that the person they ultimately make an offer to is a one-in-a-million. You may find that being more strategic and selective in who sees your resume actually enhances your worth and value among hiring managers and recruiters.
A more ominous consequence of posting your resume online is the reality of your personal information is “out there” for anyone to see. Consider the information that’s readily available to anyone who gets his or her hands on your resume:
Your phone number (work, home, cell or all)
Your employment history, including the names and employment dates of the companies you worked for
Your education history, including schools, attended
All this information is priceless to people who have less than pure intentions, including those who commit identity fraud.
Remember that once you click “Send” and blast off your resume into cyberspace, it’s out there for public consumption. Whose hands it falls in is anyone’s guess. It could be sold to other businesses, which could explain why many jobseekers have received unsolicited, random emails from unknown companies. It could even end up on your own employer’s desk (it’s happened!).
Job sites maintain no control over your resume once it has been downloaded. Before you know it, your job history and identification could be available for anyone to see. The fine print on many job sites clearly states that the job seeker, not the site, is responsible for shouldering any risks involved with posting a resume online. In other words, this really is a case of “Buyers Beware” with you, the jobseeker, being the buyer.
Fortunately, there are precautions you can take:
Review the options for your resume status: On some job sites, you could search and apply for jobs online, but employers can’t see your resume. You could also block only your contact information (if a company wants to contact you, it typically does so through a confidential email address generated by the job site). Decide which option is most appropriate for you. If you choose to block your contact information, remember to delete it from your resume as well.
Never put your Social Security number or references’ names and numbers on your resume: In light of all the recent headlines about identity theft, the reason for omitting your Social Security number from your resume should be clear; in terms of your references, you are returning the favor to those who agreed to help you (would you want your name and phone number hanging out in cyberspace?) This kind of information should be provided during an interview.
Consider setting up an email account just for your job hunt: Hopefully, you won’t have your work email address on your resume, but it’s also a good idea to protect your personal email account. When setting up an email account specifically for companies to contact you, forgo “cutesy”-sounding names (e.g.,email@example.com). Pick something more suitable to what you’re looking for, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the site’s privacy statement: Although it is not the most stimulating read, it does contain important information. Some sites might promise not to share your information with anyone, while others clearly indicate that it will share—or even sell—your information with “affiliated companies” or “third parties.”
The Final Word: How FPC Can Help By now, it’s obvious that spamming your resume may not be the most effective way to land a job. Instead, consider working with a recruiting firm such as FPC. With over 70 offices around the country and all the longstanding contacts and relationships it has cultivated in its nearly 50 years of existence, FPC is a reputable company that can gain you access to the companies you want to know about you. You are not just a resume that’s languishing in some company’s or job site’s database—an FPC recruiter personally and accurately represents you to potential employers, bringing your resume to life.