Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What I Learned at SHRM

This week, I was the SHRMinator, running all around McCormick Place in Chicago getting great interviews, which I’ll publish over the coming weeks.

I learned SHRM is a big deal and big money. 15K attendees were there, over 700 vendors, and some massive parties. Vendors were throwing a lot of money around, with prizes giveaways, stuffed animals, food, and of course lots of writing instruments.

While I didn’t win an iPod, I did learn a lot of details about job boards, from interviewing CEOs, VPs, and Directors from 9 of the top 10 job boards. I interviewed CareerBuilder, Monster, HotJobs, Dice, Beyond, SimplyHired, TheLadders, Indeed, Jobing, and Jobfox. The only top job board not in attendance was Jobster.

The most important thing I learned, was something I already knew, but was surprised to hear from the job boards. Nearly every top job board admitted that cover letters are not searchable by the job board databases. So to all you who still try to tailor your experience through the cover letter….you strategy doesn’t work well.

Every job board said the best thing you can do to get your resume seen is to customize it to fit the job description.

What’s interesting is that each approaches the job seeker in a different way. From Careerbuilder that uses its massive size, Beyond produces 15K niche sites, SimplyHired that has great analytics and search filters, Jobing that specializes in local search in 18 markets, Monster has great content and user experience, and Jobfox has a matching survey that’s like the eHarmony of job boards.

Over the next few weeks I’ll give the details when I publish the actual interviews I had with the Execs and managers of these top job boards. I’ll also try to get a meaningful comparison between each, but most aren’t true head to head competitors. For instance Jobing is the best for local search, but they can’t list all jobs within a local marketplace. SimplyHired covers 5K job boards and websites, but they might not have many jobs dealing with your profession or industry. If you’re looking for job content, there are sites that have a great many articles on career search.

There’s no one size fits all in the job board biz.

I’ll also review a great salary tool, will publish an interview with USIS about the prevalence of lying on resumes (and how easily you’ll be caught), a cool way to use printed materials to stand out, and the .jobs domain name and why you may not have heard much about it.

Finally, I learned that the worst job on the planet is owned by the hairy guy who dressed in the pink fairy suit to be a booth babe for PeopleClick. They can’t pay this poor guy enough….

As for an update on my dog Tuanis, she’s still gainfully unemployed, snoozing away. While I learned how I could get her a job, I didn’t learn anything about writing a great doggie resume.

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

1 comment:

Richard Jennings said...

When I searched eharmoney of jobs I get this:

I like Monster's user interface but I prefer Career builder for looking for jobs. I tried jobfox but my matches were just terrible. I think my favorite site is still careerbuilder.