Your next great hire may have a resume already posted on the Internet. It could be in a resume database, on their personal home page, or in a profile. Your task: find it. That may be easier than you think.
Sites such as Monster.com (my former employer) will charge you for resume search, and lots of great candidates who are open to new opportunities can be found there. There are free services, too. Of course, the biggest goldmine of all for resume search is the Web itself, and I'll describe some simple tricks for that. Depending on what type of job you want to fill, online resume search can be very fruitful. A few things to keep in mind:
1. Decide what skills you need and how far you’ll cast the net (just local, or nationwide?).
2. Resume search can be very effective on the big sites, but be certain to look for niche ones too. And don’t forget to use Google.
3. Be patient. It’s better to look at a few more resumes and find the great ones than to craft such a surgically precise resume search that you’ll find no matches.
First, try free resume search
Millions of resumes are openly posted on the Web, and you can use Google to find them. Since resumes most often are the only item on the pages they appear, more often than not they'll include the word 'resume' or 'cv' in their title or URL. That makes them a cinch to isolate using Google.
Join LinkedIn, a networking site for professionals, and use their Advanced Search capability for resume search by industry, location, title and other criteria. LinkedIn is free.
PageBites is an interesting new site for resume search and executive bios, by keyword and location. It's worth a look.
Second, try resume search that's mostly free
Several sites allow you to compile lists of professionals and their companies. Although it's not resume search per se, you can build a list of prospects based on their job title and industry.
OK, start spending some money
Resume databases have flourished with the growth of the Web. So resume search is much easier than it used to be. Plus, it's easy for professionals to post resumes, whether or not they're actively looking for a new opportunity. The result: the major job boards as well as some specialty sites have millions of resumes and collectively add thousands and thousands daily.
There are several specialty sites for resume search in specific industries, such as Dice for technical jobs.
You can purchase complete lists of specialty sites at Weddle's and The Riley Guide. Those directories include both free and paid resume search sites.
- Don't try to get too cute in your resume search by loading it up with lots of search terms. That's much more likely to exclude good candidates than limit your results to perfect matches. The reason: not everyone describes themselves the same way. Try broader searches (e.g. marketing Los Angeles) and skim results to find the candidates that look best to you.
- Use the most common language that people would use to describe their professional background. You may want your new sales rep to be a real go-getter. But don't try a resume search for the term 'go-getter'; odds are most go-getters don't use those words on their resume.
- When your resume search yields a great candidate, treat it like a sales lead. After all, you'll be trying to sell the candidate on your opportunity. So don't just leave a message or write an email that says "call me".
- HR people will tell you there are active job seekers and passive job seekers. Active ones are looking right now; passive ones aren't actively looking, but are open to hearing about new jobs. Most resume databases will show you the most recently posted resumes first, so you can assume most are active job seekers right now. But your resume search should also fetch resumes that were posted months ago. Those people may still be receptive to your opportunity.
- Your most powerful resume database should be of the one already in your file cabinet (or hard drive, as it were). Save all the incoming resumes you get, even if you have no openings at the time. Those candidates have already expressed an interest in working for you, so don't lose them. Don't initiate a search from scratch when you don't have to.