Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: job boards

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to job boards.

If You Don’t Upload a Resume, Nobody’s Going to Call You

The title of this post seems like an obvious statement, but we’re shocked at the amount of candidates who apply for jobs without uploading a resume for recruiters to evaluate. Or, they do upload a resume but it lacks the detail required to determine if a candidate is qualified for a job.

Why You Must Submit a Quality Resume to Recruiters If You Want a Job

If You Don't Upload a Resume, Nobody's Going to Call YouThe days of having one copy of a brief, generic resume and submitting it to every company are long gone (assuming they were ever here). In the last 20 years, online job boards have changed the entire game of job searching and resume writing. Yet some people, aside from embracing online tools, are still playing the game like it’s the ’90s.

As job boards continue to focus on candidate experience and make the application process easy for you, keep in mind, they’re making it easier for every job seeker. When it’s easier, more people apply. When more people apply, recruiters are receiving more applications. When recruiters have more options, they ignore bad resumes, and they especially ignore the candidates who don’t submit one at all. Just because you wrote a compelling cover letter, a recruiter is not going to call you for more information. It all must be available to them right away. Anything less gives a perception of laziness, apathy, and just not caring.

This, of course, is assuming a recruiter even finds you. Automated applicant tracking solutions, complete with artificial intelligence, are increasingly more affordable and accessible to companies of all sizes. Even the smallest staffing agencies and employers are taking advantage of these screening tools, ensuring that busy recruiters and hiring managers only review resumes that a computer deemed valuable. When your resume does not include enough details and explanations about your experience, it will fail to pass a preliminary screening and sit in a database never to be seen again.

Furthermore, low-detailed resumes are often the reason you keep getting phone calls from recruiters for jobs that do not match your skillset. If you barely put in details explaining what you do, when your name does appear in a recruiter’s search, it will be for job opportunities irrelevant to your actual experience and job role.

A link to a public profile is also a great compliment to an uploaded resume, particularly when a resume is dated as it allows a recruiter to find more recent experience. However, as a stand-alone, the information detailed in the link will not be uploaded to a database and the chances of getting found for a particular position are significantly decreased.

We Understand, Badly Uploaded Resumes Are Not Always Your Fault

Yes, there are a few lazy IT professionals out there who are submitting useless resumes, and most independent contractors do put hours of work into their resume. So why do recruiters still complain about too many bad resumes being submitted?

In some circumstances, an applicant wants to apply to a job when it is posted, but because they’re on a phone, tablet or the wrong computer, the right resume was not available. In other cases, an error occurred that you were not aware of. Some resume formats are not readable by automated resume screeners and other times, though much less frequently, technology does what it does best and a glitch prevents your resume from being submitted properly.

How Can You Guarantee Your Detailed Resume is Submitted and Reviewed by a Recruiter?

First, double-check to ensure it is actually as detailed as you need it to be. The old rule of keeping a resume under two-pages is less significant today. Computers can read hundreds of pages in seconds, so if you need to add a few to ensure your experience is clearly explained, go ahead and do it.

Next, keep your resume in a simple format. That means Microsoft Word (even PDFs can cause headaches) and skip out on the fancy fixings. Tables, text boxes, images and locking can all prevent an automated resume screener from interpreting your content.

Finally, be patient at the fact technology has its downfalls. Return to your online profile to double-check that your resume was uploaded how you want it to be. If a recruiter does contact you for a copy of your resume, accept that there may have been an error, and politely email them the version you uploaded, including any updates they request.

Your resume is your number one selling tool as an independent contractor, and that cannot be understated. Automated resume screeners, artificial intelligence and other technologies (including their errors) are reality and that cannot be ignored either. Embracing these facts are a crucial first step in successful job applications.

Applying to Jobs from Your Mobile Device

Applying to Jobs from Your Mobile Device

Mobile technology and smart phones are widely used for nearly all purposes. Thanks to the Internet of Things, cell phones are no longer just about calling people, playing games and checking email, but individuals can control their entire lives through their phones. Still, though, according to data collected by Eagle, job searching and applying to jobs tends to be primarily managed on a computer.

There are some obvious reasons why independent contractors choose to stick to their desktop when applying for new IT jobs rather than browsing on their phone. First, many professionals are simply more comfortable on their computer and dislike navigating the browser on a small screen and trying to click through on websites that aren’t completely mobile optimized. Even for those who are savvy on their phone, mobile job searches are difficult to organize and create challenges when uploading resumes — especially if it’s a resume you want to customize.

Taking advantage of your mobile device during your job search can have some clear advantages as well. For instance, you can:

  • Apply to jobs immediately as they’re posted, raising your chances of being evaluated;
  • Privately search for jobs while you’re at work; or,
  • Use “wasted” time more efficiently (ex. sitting on the bus, in a waiting room, or during an awkward evening with people you don’t really like).

To get started, it’s best to be organized and have a plan on how you can best search for jobs using your phone. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Know your favourite places. Starting with a Google search is a great way to do anything, but can alsolead you on a wild goose chase. Instead, download some top job search apps and know your favourite websites to visit right away.
  • Create profiles at home. Once you know your favourites, take a few minutes while at home to create a profile on those websites. This is where you’ll want your computer because it will take extra typing and file uploading. Once it’s done, applying on your phone is much easier.
  • Make jobs come to your phone. Instead of hunting the jobs, have them delivered to you by signing up for job alerts wherever possible. This can usually be set-up once you’ve created your profile.
  • Read your emails. Recruiters and past colleagues may be sending you job opportunities. If they’re contacting you, it means there’s a good chance you can get the job, so read them and reply promptly.
  • Save the jobs you like. If you have a profile with that job board, then mark it as a favourite. Otherwise, email yourself a link to the job or bookmark it. This way, if anything happens (you get a phone call and accidentally close the browser) it will be easy to find the opportunity again.
  • Keep a copy of your resume in the cloud. Google Drive and Dropbox, for example, are great places to store different versions of your resume. You can access them from your phone so can easily attach them when applying to jobs.
  • Pick up the phone. We sometimes forget that cell phones can be used to call people! If there’s a job you want and are unable to complete the application on your mobile device, get the contact information for the recruiter and call them. You will show interest which will buy you time and put you at the front of the line until you can formally apply.
  • Know when a computer is necessary. Of course, a cell phone can’t always be the solution. Sometimes it’s best to save the information and wait until you’re home so you can properly customize a resume and avoid putting in a badly formatted, misspelled submission.

Do you have a preference or strategy when searching or applying for jobs? Do you use your cell phone in the process? We’d love to learn more about what works (and doesn’t work) for you. Please share your feedback in the comments below.

Managing Your Job Search Footprint

Managing Your Job Search FootprintIf you’re like many job seekers, you don’t stick to just one source when hunting for new contract opportunities. Instead, you start with a few of your favourites, contact some people in your network directly, and follow a few links to different sites. In the end, you’ve done a great job at submitting your name across the industry. What about all of those profiles you just created? Are you remembering to return to each one of them and make sure they’re still relevant? Here are a few simple tips to consider when managing your job search footprint.

Keep a Diary

The first step is to track every website and source you’re using to apply. It can be a notebook, a Word document, or a more sophisticated spreadsheet to track notes on the company, the roles to which you applied, the date you applied, and any other notes around the position. You can then use your diary to schedule when to follow-up with certain people. For future planning, you’ll know which sites to start at when searching for a new contract. You may even choose to update your notes based on results of each source so you can determine which are most valuable in your job search.


Take advantage of your web browser’s bookmarks and keep them well organized. This way, even when your diary isn’t available, you can still easily visit your favourite sites whenever you have a moment. Google Chrome makes this especially simple because it saves your bookmarks with your Google profile. Regardless of which computer or mobile device you’re using, as long as you’re logged into Google, you can access your favourite places.

Password Managers

Believe it or not, “123456” and “password” are still used far too often.  Don’t be fooled thinking that a hacker can’t do much harm inside your job board profile. They may be able to get a small piece of information that will help them answer security questions or crack a password on your other sites. Instead of easy-to-remember passwords, consider creating something more complex.

There are dozens of great password manager apps available and many will allow you to securely sync data between your cell phone and desktop. You can use them to secure not just job search profiles, but your entire life. It may cost a few bucks, but the investment is very well it. To start, have a look at MSecure, LastPass or SplashID.

Update It or Close It

Our final piece of advice for managing your job search footprint is to literally manage it! Too often at Eagle, we see profiles that get created and then forgotten. The result is a stale resume with out-of-date skills. A large majority of the places that accept your application are going to keep your resume on file to review it for future opportunities. Make a habit of regularly revisiting all of the sites where you have a profile and ensure it’s up-to-date. If you decide the site wasn’t for you, close your profile. This provides security benefits, as well as ensures you don’t get phone calls from people you aren’t interested in hearing from.

In the end, managing your job search footprint all comes down to being organized. There are unlimited tools available across the Internet to help you organize yourself and effectively manage your job search footprint, so the question is, which ones will you take advantage of? Do you have any favourites you’d like to share? Leave them below!

Diversify Your Job Search

Diversify Your Job SearchDo you search for contracts or let them find you? According to a Quick Poll conducted last September, 86% of independent contractors actively search for jobs rather than wait for opportunities to find them. The survey also revealed, however, that none of the respondents diversify their job search to include the full spectrum of sources.

Last November, we shared an article called The Secret to Making a Recruiter Find You that provided a few options on where you could search for jobs and create an online profile, such as job boards, job aggregators and social media. There are also other great options such as niche job boards related to your skill set and the company or agency website with which you’d prefer to work. While most job seekers seem to be using at least one of these sources, few, if any, are using them all. Here’s why we believe it’s important you diversify to as many places as possible.

Every time you apply to a job through any job board or job aggregator, you create a profile. Unless you specifically ask that your profile not be shared with others, it will be available in a database for recruiters to see. Great! But, every recruiter and company has their preferred database. You may not know it, but a license for a recruiter to access any database comes at a cost, and usually a high one at that. As a result, most recruiters are limited to a select number of databases. If you’re applying to jobs and creating profiles on only one site, and it’s not a recruiter’s list, they may never find you.

But surely they’ll find me on LinkedIn! Yes, if your profile is filled with the right key words, you should be easy to find and may come up on a Google search, but even LinkedIn has its limitations for recruiters. LinkedIn intentionally puts fewer features with the basic search functionality, in hopes that recruiters will pay the extra money for their Premium profile or their LinkedIn Recruiter service. These too come at higher costs which may not be justifiable to a recruiter and their organization. Although you can almost guarantee they’re trying to find you on LinkedIn, it may not be as easy as you’d hope.

No matter where you decide to put your resume, remember that if you want to be found, you have to meet the recruiter half way. It’s surprising how many contractors who want to learn about opportunities make it difficult for the recruiter to obtain their contact information. If you’re serious about wanting to hear about new gigs, include at least your email address and preferably a cell phone number, not just in your resume, but also your profile summaries and any fields that request them. On LinkedIn, review your settings and ensure you have selected to display your contact information. A recruiter would prefer to call or email you directly, rather than use the inMail service.  This also comes in handy because some services will provide your resume along with your name, but strip your contact details to tease the recruiter with your skills, and then charge for your information. Having those details readily available on your LinkedIn profile lets them search you out on the social network to get in touch with you much more easily.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, always keep your profiles fresh with your preferred agencies. Most recruiters will start immediately with their company database before even going out to external sources. When they already have your most up-to-date experience and know how to get a hold of you right away, you jump to the top of the list. You can simplify this process by providing all of them with one link to a cloud resume or personal website. Update it once and then everybody has your most recent data.

So how diverse is your job search? If you’d like more diversity in the people calling you and the opportunities coming your way, set yourself a goal to create just a few more profiles this month. You may be surprised at the results!

The Secret to Making a Recruiter Find You

The Secret to Making a Recruiter Find YouA couple weeks ago we shared some data from a recent survey taken by Eagle’s recruiters that revealed the best ways a contractor can get in touch with them for the first time. We also touched on the strategy of getting your name out there so that if you’re unable to reach a recruiter, you can increase the chances that they will find you. Let’s go a bit deeper into that subject.

In the same survey referenced above, recruiters shared their thoughts on their favourite places to look for great talent.  Not surprisingly, Eagle’s database is the first place recruiters start a search (and this is often the same at other agencies). We always encourage our contractors to start at our online job board because it not only provides immediate access to current jobs, but it gives contractors the opportunity to upload their latest resumes and maintain their profile. This guarantees you’re one of the first considered for new contract opportunities, even if you never apply!

Of course, recruiters diversify where they search, and it’s only logical that you do the same in where you promote yourself. So where should you go? While all recruiters who responded to the survey had a range in preferences, one thing remained consistent — they all search online! (not too surprising!)

There are many techniques you can use to increase your online presence, from building a personal website to participating more in user forums.  But the top places recruiters suggest you start building your profile is on social media platforms and with major job boards.

Social Media

Primarily LinkedIn. In fact, every recruiter uses LinkedIn at some point or another, but few use any other social networks. (Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are used by some recruiters, but Pinterest and Instagram are not that popular, so it isn’t worth pinning your resume any time soon.) If you’re not on LinkedIn already, do it now. This post will get you started. If you’re already set up, make sure it’s up-to-date and looks professional. We also surveyed our recruiters on what they feel makes a great LinkedIn profile, and will share that in the coming weeks.

Major Job Boards and Aggregators

You may not know it, but major job boards such as Monster, Workopolis, CareerBuilder and Indeed build databases of skilled professionals. When you apply to jobs through these websites, you can choose to be included in their database and maintain a profile. This means recruiters from hundreds of companies gain access to your experience and will start contacting you for opportunities. The downside to these large databases is that you may get overwhelmed with contracts that don’t match your interests.

Regardless of where you build your online profile, the most important thing to remember is to keep it up-to-date. Always have your most recent skills and experience with current contact information and as much detail as possible. Recruiters search out your profile in the same way you search out opportunities – using key words. Plant the right words throughout your resume and profile, and you’ll find the time you have to spend searching new opportunities will start decreasing.

Where else do you go to create your online profile? What about offline? Share your strategies to get a recruiter’s attention with our readers in the comments below!