Many job boards allow you to post your resume online (you can’t on Idealist, and I’ll explain why in a second). Initially, this seems like a great way to give your job search a boost; after all, you don’t know about all of the opportunities available and if an employer likes your resume and contacts you, it feels like you’re more likely to get a job offer. However, does placing your resume on a job board actually increase your chances of landing a job?
Over on Ask A Manager, Alison Green explains why it’s not a good idea to put your resume on a job board:
"It can make you look a little stale or like you’re not being choosy. And hiring managers tend to love candidates who are being choosy. If you look like you’ve posted your resume all over the Internet, you risk turning off some employers — and there IS a school of thought among some hiring managers that only desperate or unfocused candidates post their resume on job sites, because if you were great at what you do, you wouldn’t need to. (You can dispute that logic if you want, but the mindset very much exists.)"
Read the rest of her reasons on Ask A Manager.
We also don’t think it’s a good idea to post your resume on a job board for a several other reasons, a big one being that your resume should reflect the job you are applying for. It’s impossible to demonstrate how your skills, experience, and potential will make you a great candidate for a job if you’re using a generic resume. (Not sure if your resume reflects the job you want? Try this test.)
And the reality is that if you put your resume online, you open yourself up to spam and identity theft.
That being said, there are other ways to get an employer’s attention online. For example, many employers use social media to research potential candidates, so it might be helpful to start thinking about your personal brand. If you want to expand your network, be thoughtful about using LinkedIn and Twitter. The difference here is that these still require you to be active in your search.
In the end, if your goal is to catch an employer’s eye, focus on strengthening your network, writing a fantastic cover letter and resume, and doing research to ensure that you’re a great fit for the opportunity and the organization.