Is Resume Distribution a Scam?

by : Perry Maisin

There are at least six resume distribution services that have captured the market and millions of people have used them to send targeted resume 'blasts' to recruiters and employers. People like these services because they are relatively cheap and fast - it makes us feel good to know we sent our resume to thousands of targets in 24 hours.

But, what did we accomplish?

That depends on three factors:

1. Target Market

Blasting resumes to a specific category of recruiters will increase your chances of making a contact and getting a response from the recruiter. But, this won't be effective if your skill set is not in demand now. Recruiters are salespeople who live in the moment. They only focus on the job order at hand, and if your resume does not speak to them in the exact terms they are looking for it will be ignored.

Everyone has heard of the hidden job market - the fact that the majority of open jobs are never advertised. Some resume distribution services blast resumes to HR departments in companies that do direct hiring. HR managers may be a bit more responsive than recruiters, although they are inundated with resumes as well and don't have time to sift through the piles of resumes they receive. Again, timing is crucial. If the HR manager or their asistant is sensitized to your skill set at that moment, you may receive a response.

2. Demographics

Resume distribution services can submit your resume to any city, state, or any combination of three states simultaneously. Supply and demand dictates whether that area of the country has a relatively greater need for your skill set than another region. Obviously, if you are able to pick up and move anywhere on a moments notice for a new job, you have an advantage.

3. Keywords and Format

The resume you send to a distribution service must have targeted keywords. Remember, this is a mass mailing and their is no time to focus on individual wants and needs. You must select three main keywords that describe your skill set and lead with those. Create the same resume in a MS Word, .txt and .HTML format to maximize the amount of recruiters the resume is distributed to.

3. How Clean is that List?

All resume distribution services say that their list of recruiters and HR managers is an opt-in list. That means that all of the recruiting companies and businesses that are on their list 'subscribe' to their service. This does not mean that the same person who subscribed is the person who will receive your resume via email. So, because the undeliverable rate on most lists is about 20%, you are having your resume sent to a good number of strangers. For example, if your resume is sent to 1,000 recruiters about 200 of them are strangers to the service. If you avail yourself of a resume distribution service try to determine if the service cleans their list on a quarterly basis.

Resume distribution can be effective if the timing is right. In order to get a hit, the recruiter must be looking to fill a job that you qualify for when they receive your resume. If they receive it too early or too late in the process, you miss the boat.