What to Do Next with Your Résumé

There is an old saying that a résumé thrown in a drawer will not work. Now that you have your résumé, what should you do with it?

Apply for Positions

They simply use the résumé to apply for positions they see advertised — on job boards and company websites, in newspapers and trade journals, and through recommendations from friends.

When applying for positions, don’t just send in your résumé and hope for a callback. Instead, maximize your chances of securing an interview by making a personal contact within the company. You can use online networking sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor to identify possible contacts.

How can you research these companies?

Glassdoor is an excellent resource for “insider” company research. You can learn about the company from current and former employees.

Get Your Résumé in the Hands of a Recruiter

Working with a recruiter may be one strategy you consider in your job search. Jobseekers do not pay fees to search firms. Recruiters are paid by the companies who hire them to fill a position. Because search firms don’t work for you (the jobseeker), don’t expect them to be overly responsive when you contact them. If you are a fit for a current or future opening, they may add you to their database of candidates. You will hear back from them if they have a position that fits your qualifications, or to ask you to recommend other people who might be interested in the job. Otherwise, you probably won’t hear from them at all.

There are different types of recruiters, and it’s important to understand the differences.

  • Internal Recruiters / In-House Recruiters / Corporate Recruiters. These individuals work for the employer and are usually a part of the human resources department. They only facilitate placements of candidates within their organization. (They don’t place candidates for positions outside of their employer.)
  • Contingency Recruiter. This recruiter is only paid if the candidate they want to place is hired by the client organization (thus the use of the word “contingent” in the title). They are paid on commission for job placements. If their candidate isn’t hired, they don’t get paid.
  • Retained Recruiter. These individuals are paid by the client company regardless of whether their candidate is hired. These recruiters are most likely to help place candidates in six-figure jobs, and may handle extremely sensitive (confidential) placements, like for large public companies as well as high-profile university or sports organization positions.

When making contact with a recruiter about an advertised opportunity, make sure you meet at least 90% of the requirements listed for the position. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time — and the recruiter’s time — because “the match” is critical.

Résumé distribution services can develop a targeted list of recruiter contacts by industry, geographic area, or keywords and your résumé will be distributed to the recruiters directly.

You can also build your own list. For example, Custom Databanks, Inc. offers a subscription to an online directory of recruiters and venture capital firms. The company has compiled information on more than 15,000 U.S. and Canadian executive search and personnel agencies.

Use Your Résumé to Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile should align with your résumé, although the two should not be exactly the same. The work history listed in your profile should match up with your résumé — this is an easy check for prospective employers to make. However, your profile should complement — not duplicate — your résumé.

The most important pieces of your LinkedIn profile are your profile Headline and your LinkedIn Summary. These two things are the first items a prospective employer will review. While the résumé uses third-person language, your LinkedIn Summary should be a first-person narrative that appeals to a prospective employer’s needs by identifying what makes you a good candidate.

Finally, make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete. Post your photo, add your industry and location, fill out all the sections (including your current job and at least two former positions and your education), identify at least 3 Skills, and make at least 50 connections. LinkedIn profiles that are “complete” receive 40 times more opportunities than incomplete profiles.

Get a Copy to All Your Networking Contacts

There have been several studies that say that up to 60% of jobs are filled through networking. You can ask people for information and advice or ask them if they know of any job openings. If you are conducting an open job search (that is, you’re not trying to keep your job search quiet from your current employer), the more people you tell you’re searching, the more likely you are to find your next opportunity.

Get a Copy to All Your References

In addition to your networking contacts, make sure you also get a copy of your résumé to anyone who you want to be a reference for you in your job search.

Prepare your references to be contacted by your prospective employer. In addition to having your current copy of your résumé, you should contact each of your references and let them know when you are scheduled for an interview (and double-check their contact information to make sure it is up-to-date) — and be sure to call them right after the interview to let them know they may be contacted to check your references.

The Final Step

The last thing you should do with your new résumé is committing to keeping it updated.

And finally, put a note on your calendar for next year at this time to update your résumé.