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Evaluating Resume Banks

Clara Horvath
CAREERWORKS: Technology for Career Management, Recruiting, Job Search .

Evaluating Resume Banks

Resume banks offer a potentially easy way to match job and job seeker. When it works, it's a win-win solution!

The employer gets a pool of qualified candidates without too much stress and strain and the job seeker finds a job that is a good match.

But is it going to work for you? Or the kind of employer you are targeting? Both parties have to evaluate the size and quality of the talent pool offered by these matching services.

Even if the service is free, you are investing your time. The resume banks that ask you to fill out their form or furnish you with software to enter your qualifications through a strict coding system promise that they provide better matches than resume banks built from free-form text resumes. Some of these forms take more than half an hour to complete. If you are uploading an already written resume, there's the time and fuss of figuring out how.

As a job seeker, you have to estimate the likelihood that the kind of employers you're trying to reach are actually searching the resume bank that you participate in.

Questions You Might Try to Answer Before You Subscribe:

  • Does This Resume Bank Specialize in my Field?

    Specialized resume banks attract employers who have clearly defined needs requiring specific related qualifications, training and expertise.

  • Does This Resume Bank Have Candidates from Many Different Fields?

    The more general resume banks appeal more to employers who want a broad base of functional experience that can be applied in many industries and companies.

  • How Large a Talent Pool Does this Resume Bank Offer to Employers?

    Who is my competition in this talent pool? The larger and better qualified the talent pool, the greater the chance that employers will bother to search it for resumes on a regular basis.

  • What Kinds of Employers Search this Resume Bank and what's the level of traffic?

    The more, the better.

  • Do Employers have Direct Access to the Resumes in the resume bank and conduct their own searches or does the owner of the resume bank act as an agent and run the search?

    An employer conducting a direct search can modify the search parameters to narrow or broaden the selection of candidates depending on their satisfaction with the search results. If the searching and matching is done by an agent, the level of communication with that agent becomes crucial since the agent interprets the search results, not the employer.

  • Can the Resume Bank Give You Feedback Information about the number of times your resume was looked at and/or selected for review by an employer?

    It would be nice to know if you're competitive.

If the information you want is NOT listed in the Resume Banks website, look for a phone number or an email address you can contact for more information.

Ask others in your profession or industry what kinds of experiences they have had and which services they have used.

BulletYou may want to check newsgroups like,, or to learn of others' experiences or to post a question of your own.


You have to decide your own strategy about the confidentiality of your resume and other personal information that you place in a resume bank. A lot depends on your current employment status and whether you have to keep your job search under cover.

Resumes posted to newsgroups are open to the world. They're available to anyone, not just employers. Candidate contact and personal information may be collected by vendors or service providers who might want to sell something to you in the future.

Resume banks offer varying degrees of confidentiality. Read the description of the security measures offered carefully to decide what strategy to use. Some issue passwords to employers who are authorized to search the database. Some charge extra for confidential service. Use the same amount of discretion in disclosing information to a resume bank as you would to an employment agency, recruiter, or headhunter.

Making the Decision -- Should You or Shouldn't You?

What are the final considerations after you've collected all the information about the various resume banks and job posting places?

Online job search is a new arena for the eternal dance of employers and job seekers. What works and what doesn't isn't really clear to any of the parties involved. Everyone wants to improve on the quality of the matching game, save money and save time.

Not only do you, the job seeker, have to figure out the pros and cons and what to do and what to pay--many employers are asking themselves the same question. You just can't assume, at this stage, that employers know much more about which service to use than you do! Online recruiting and job search is a very dynamic development. Expect it to keep changing and evolving. Include it in your strategy, but weigh your results to figure out how much effort this new tool deserves.

But hiring and job search is still a complex and personal process. You have to somehow make the connection with the person who has the power to hire you, then convince them that you've got what it takes.

Recruiting is really not just a mechanical matching of job tasks to resume skills. Job postings and resume banks are simply tools to help improve the odds of calling the best candidates for interviews.

Above all, don't sit back and assume that your electronic resume is going to all the work of presenting your talents to the world.

It might help. It might not hurt.

But the best bet is to proactively and aggressively pursue making personal connections so you hear about jobs before they get posted.

Search out opportunities and identify hiring managers who need your services. Your resume should go directly to them.