Here's a simple suggestion that may help your cause. Open the most recent version of your resume, and change the title of it to “first name_last name.doc” and click save.
People use many variations of file names to keep track of their own document. So ‘Paul_Buss.doc’ often becomes ‘paul buss revisedResume2009.doc’. This is good for keeping things in order on your computer, but once submitted to a company for consideration that tag stays with it.
Many companies use systems which parse your resume data and store it using their own naming conventions. Parsing systems also have a list of characters which usually cannot be translated into their data scheme, such as “&%#@)>:” so if your resume file is named ‘pbuss_fin&acct.doc’ you run a high chance it will be kicked from their system.
Over half of today’s recruiters are not using parsing systems, so when they file responses from a job posting and want to find it again, they typically are manually searching for documents in order of the candidate’s name.
Increase the likelihood of not getting lost in the system…name your resume properly.
You’ve probably seen the new trend in job boards with companies like Indeed, Simply Hired and dozens of others who collect jobs from around the world and present them with search tools. Once you click on a job you are taken to the original source site which could be SBJ, the hiring company HR site, a newspaper site, or one of the mega boards. From there you respond accordingly. Their business model is a combination of banner ad revenue and search placement fees much like Google derives from their search engine traffic.
To the job seeker these sites can be helpful in providing a canvassing of the job market for a particular job discipline and location, but beware of old jobs. Often after looking at a posting of interest, you will find that it has been active for well over 30 days and may not be active any longer on the host site. Because of how these sites, search engines, and the web at-large operate, pages can be cached (saved) and searched upon/presented well past the expiration of the original content.
The largest aggregation board of this type today is Indeed who obtains job content direct from company sites and job boards via feeds when an arrangement has been made. When there is not a deal in place, Indeed will ‘spider’ these sites and lift the job content for posting in their database. Copyright laws are bent here because the full job page always resolves back to the source site. We asked Indeed account executive Erin Shaw to comment on the stale job issue,
“When we receive jobs via feed (FTP or XML) it significantly increases the accuracy of the job content which is updated daily. The biggest issue in terms of content is when we are pulling jobs directly off of a site without receiving a feed. This can leave jobs on Indeed that may be expired on another site.”
Many recruiter clients complain of this practice because it drives candidates to jobs that are no longer available, and overloads their staffing resources. It is afterall, a practice which they the advertiser didn’t approve in the first place. Added exposure can be good but remember its to the masses, not a target audience, and if it stays live well past expiration, its a negative.
SBJ has mechanisms in place which eliminate feedback or clicks from expired jobs, even with the cache issue. Our continued point to recruiters is that when posting on boards use the response tools provided, and never post your email response address in the body of the posting. This is a sure way to provide a response channel for candidates who may be seeing your ad months after it has been filled.
Job seekers should be aware of the sheer magnitude of responses a 45-day-old ad has generated and that response at that late stage may be futile. It is a good practice to cross-reference the job on the company web site and other sites. If you can’t find it but saw it on an aggregator, you can bet its old, has been filled, or both.