Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Resume Through the Eyes of an Online Recruiter

As part of my research about how online resume are processed by large corporations, I interviewed Corinne Weldon, a Regional Recruiter for one of the largest media organizations in the U.S. Corinne uses her organization’s online recruitment system to find applicants for specific job openings she represents. Although most job openings at the organization are filled through the company’s Career webpage, Corinne says the company does turn to large resume boards, such as Monster, for a small percentage of its recruiting needs.

Corinne's organization accepts no paper resumes, and it does no resume scanning of hardcopy resumes. Each applicant is asked to create an online profile, which includes his or her resume. If an applicant emails his resume directly to a manager, the manager will ask the applicant to resubmit his resume via the online system. Occasionally an exception is made and someone at the company will create the candidate profile online for the applicant. Nonetheless, the online system handles all recruitment with a few exceptions. For instance, top level management employees are often hired from within the company, so they may not need to go through the online system.

Recruiters access applicant profiles in two ways: by conducting a keyword search and by reviewing applicants who have specified a particular job they want.

So keywords are important for finding qualified candidates. How many keywords are used to find the right candidate? For jobs that are very specialized, Corinne says, “There’s usually something particular about a job that can be defined by just one or two keywords.” For more general jobs, such as those in accounting, Corinne may use more keywords, but rarely more than 10. That’s because she wants to pull up as many resumes as possible so she can eyeball the resumes herself rather than letting a computer do the screening.

There’s an opportunity in the profile for a cover letter, which Corinne suggests an applicant take advantage of -- it’s one more chance to use keywords and make a connection with the recruiter and hiring manager.

The online recruiting system allows an applicant to enter his resume in Plain Text or as an attachment. Corinne advises job seekers to attach their resumes because an attached MS Word resume will automatically be converted to a PDF before it is seen by a recruiter or hiring manager. This means that all the formatting is perfectly preserved. The company doesn’t worry about viruses being transferred by attachments because they use heavy-duty virus protection.

After submitting his resume, the applicant is asked to fill out a short online form. Corinne said that during her own job search (prior to landing the job she now holds), she applied for jobs, using other online recruiting systems, which asked her questions that required a lot of writing. As a recruiter, she prefers to ask such questions herself after she’s decided to consider the applicant for a job.

I appreciate that Corinne is someone who’s worked with an online recruiting system from both sides - as a job seeker and as a recruiter. I want to thank Corinne for sharing her experiences with The Job Lounge.


Richard Jennings said...

Interesting - I just read in Venture Beat about a site that uses matching technology to match a jo seekers skills with open positions....they do away with the need for resumes completely. Its called realmatch.com but I honestly have not tried it yet.

Susan Ireland said...

I also read about realmatch.com. If you try it out, please let us know what it was like. Or, you can email me directly at joblounge@aol.com.
Thank you!