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Résumé Posting at a Cost

by Kathy LaFollett

Copyright © 1998 Kathy LaFollett. All rights reserved.

"Count the cost," my grandma would admonish when I was younger. Now that I'm an adult I find myself passing this tidbit of wisdom on to my clients.

Do you need to pay for a résumé-posting site? Absolutely not!

This answer stands on a fundamental truth in employment. Job seekers should never pay to find a job. That is the employer's responsibility. That is why recruiters exist. A recruiter is paid by the company to locate a valid professional, so a job hunter should never pay a recruiter for his or her service. Simply look at your basic Sunday edition of any newspaper. It is the employer placing the want ads, not the job seeker. This same thought applies to any job/résumé Web site. It is the recruiter or employer placing the job ad, not the job seeker.

The Internet is replete with free and easy access to sites for résumé posting. Bring up any search engine you like and type in "resume." You'll have hundreds of options to choose. Try FeeFree,FutureAccess, orHeart Résumé Bank to jump-start your search.

You'll also find specialized free sites as you progress. For instance,Extracheese is a site for Java programmers, while DesignSphere posts computer graphic professionals and artists. Techuniverse is probably the best IT/IS site I've seen yet.

These are just a few places where an individual can log on, post, edit, and look for helpful information for the job hunt. And all of these sites are free for the job hunter. No charge. Nada. Not only that, but some will even post on newsgroups and other mirrored sites for you. Pretty hard to beat for the cost of, well, nothing.

Your search engine is your best weapon. Utilize HotBot, InfoSeek, Yahoo, Excite or NetFind. Use keywords such as "résumé," "job," "employment," and "posting." You can add your area of expertise to those keywords also. For example, enter "résumé or job or accounting or CPA" and you'll have a veritable smorgasbord of sites.

Many portals such as Excite and Yahoo offer résumé posting in their own category query. If you have your résumé on your personal home page, add your URL to any portal site. Most have a button at the top reading "Add URL." A page will pop up asking you to list keywords for people to use to find you. Get creative, think like a recruiter. How am I (the recruiter) going to find you (the résumé owner)? By using keywords like "résumé," "individual" and "accountant," of course!

After you've filled out all the questions hit the "submit button." It normally takes about three weeks to get into the engine. After that, anyone searching the keywords you listed on the "Add URL" site will pull up your home page and résumé in the results, and it cost you only your time.

Do you need to pay someone else to create a résumé for you? Absolutely not!

With most advanced free sites comes great information on creating and submitting an online résumé. Many sites have a résumé form that you fill out. Some sites simply ask for a cut-and-paste version. It is mandatory that résumé submitters be held to a format. Visit Pam Dixon and get a behind-the-scenes, easy technical read on employment hunting and résumé posting via the Internet. Electronic Recruiting News gives you a recruiter's view on the whole matter and looks down the road on Internet-based recruiting.

"So," you say, "why are there so many 'pay as you show' sites?" They look pretty, promise all sorts of exposure and just generally give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. You lay your head on the pillow at night relaxed, knowing some special elf making $50 a month is transporting your bio right to the desk of a major CIO who will call you tomorrow and offer $100,000 a year salary, a company car, three weeks vacation to start, and a $10,000 signing bonus…then you wake up.

Count the cost. What you paid for is exactly the same as any decent free site. The only difference is the sales force that contacted you and comforted you and generally handed over a package of warm fuzzies. And hey! They'll be contacting you again in 30 or 60 days to see if they can get you a few more warm fuzzies! If you say "yes" at this point, you need more than warm fuzzies--youstill need a job.

Remember, the Internet is a highly commercial medium, more so than television or radio. Those contests you sign up to win are just companies gathering marketing information. Your information will be used, passed on, and filed into a customer database. Pretty much the same goes for the "pay as you show" site.

By now you have probably come to the conclusion that "pay as you show" is a pet peeve of mine. You're absolutely right! I've used the Internet to look for a better position. I've been on both sides of the fence. I've counted the cost for myself.

"How do free sites make money?" you ask. They make money by selling advertising and/or having recruiters and companies pay fees to post job openings and search the résumés they hold. Generally companies can pay anywhere from $500 to $5000 a year for full access to a job/résumé site. Ads run higher. Companies that can afford the cost pay these moneys. How ridiculous is it to ask a person looking for a new or better position to pay for help? How ridiculous is it to ask a college grad, unemployed and drowning in enough college debt to choke a horse, to pay for exposure? That's like being told to put money in the parking meter on Saturday!

I can't say what came first, the free résumé site or "pay as you show" site, although I would surmise it was the free site. Television was free first, before a cable company came along and added bells and whistles for a nominal fee. Of course, there still isn't anything good showing on Friday night.

Major companies count the cost. If you are gunning for a certain company as your next career move, visit their company Web site, where there should be an "opportunities" page. Click on the link and see their current job openings. They, too, will have a place to submit your résumé. Not only will this cost you no more than your time, you will also gain a little knowledge about your dream job. You may find out that company doesn't offer very good benefits, or their vacation package is far too weak for your blood.

Try HomeFair. It's a relocation assistance site that offers salary calculations, cost of living, hometown ratings across the country and generally gives you an excellent means to make a decision regarding jobs and relocation.

It's your money and your career. The Internet is a very valuable tool for knowledge, and knowledge is power. You can find any answer you need on the Net for free.

"If you want a job done right, do it yourself," Grandma would say.

"If you want the right job, don't pay someone else to do it for you," is what I say.


Kathy LaFollett is a business partner and co-founder of one of Central Illinois' premier contingency and retained executive placement firms, as well as a technical and generalist recruiter with 12 years' experience in marketing and sales.


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