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Why Employers Use Resume Banks

Clara Horvath
CAREERWORKS: Technology for Career Management, Recruiting, Job Search .
Employers who want to attract employees post the job announcement in places where they can get the attention of qualified candidates. Online, this includes company home pages, classified ads, recruiters' listings, job bank postings, professional association home pages, and newsgroups.

When employers successfully get the attention of job seekers, they often need help to deal with the results! Many employers who receive large numbers of resumes--from their webpages or other recruiting efforts--use automation to deal with all the resumes they receive.

These employers input relevant information from the resumes into databases that can be searched and sorted. The capabilities of these databases varies greatly from:

  • sophisticated high-end systems using scanning, optical character recognition, and artificial intelligence,
  • or simple home-built systems that contain limited manually typed-in information.
No matter how complex the system, the goal of all resume and job applicant tracking database systems is to collect and make accessible the information contained in the resumes. This database represents a talent pool for the tasks the employer needs (or may someday need) to accomplish.

Where the old-fashioned paper resume is written for quick visual skimming, the electronic resume is written to be searched. The burden is on the job seeker to furnish a resume that will work well in whatever electronic environment the employer uses.

Databases and search engines make it possible to collect and sort job postings and resumes more and more efficiently. The method you use to post your resume is a clue to the type of operation:

How your resume is added to the bank:What it means to you:
ArrowSome job posting and resume banks use proprietary coding systems and require employers and candidates to fill out a form to summarize experience, work history and qualificationsVendors who use special software promise that because of the very specific types of data they gather and because of the structured way they code it and organize it, they can get better matches between what the employer is looking for and what the candidate has to offer. In effect, they're making the two parties speak the same language.
ArrowSome provide forms to collect the information but also allow submission of free-form text. Resume banks that provide a form that allows the candidate to enter in whatever text they wish, including a cut and paste of their current resume, put them in a database. The sophistication and complexity of keyword searching available will vary from vendor to vendor. There is also no guarantee that the employer and the candidate use the same terminology for the same job or work activity.
ArrowStill other job posting and resume banks simply furnish a forum to submit, store and make available for searching text in the employer's and job seeker's own format.Newsgroups fall into this category. So do the invitations to "email or fax your response" to job announcements on company home pages, professional association bulletin boards, or opportunities mentioned in passing by any of your contacts in the hidden job market.
ArrowIn addition, some services now provide software "agents" that will seek out and report when a job/job seeker meeting the poster's requirements is received. The vendors that provide agents promise that they will notify the employer and/or the candidate when a match comes in. This may be helpful if it results in leads that are worth pursuing. As with all passive job search efforts, it may give false confidence to the job seeker. Job search is a proactive game.