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The Top 100 Recruiters as Defined by our research for the 1999 Electronic Recruiting Index


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    Posting Keywords

    November 12, 1999

    A summary of keywords has replaced the older statement of objectives at the top of your resume when you email your resume to Hiring Managers or Recruiters. Typically this 'first screen' information is what will be searched for by HR software applications.

    Some experts claim you need at least 10-12 keywords in the opening paragraph (or sentence!) to survive the first screening by automated computer software programs presently on the market. And the older rule that your resume should be no longer than two pages has changed as well.

    Since printed pages are larger than what shows up on a computer screen, you should make sure that all critical 'first scan' information will be seen on the first screen that appears on either a hiring manager's or recruiter's computer. They won't scroll down to see the 'rest of the story' if the first screen doesn't capture their attention.

    Other tips:

  • Don't pay to post a resume. There are a number of free sites eager for your business
  • Find the appropriate person for your emailed resume, and follow the company application process. Otherwise you'll be showing you are either ignorant of the company or flippant about their policies, both of which mean death to your resume.
  • Don't send your resume as an attachment. Include your 'short version' in the body of the email.
  • Don't email it from work.
  • Use megasearch Job sites.

    Megasearch sites use spiders (automated programs) to go out and find Jobpostings that match your keyword skills, and send you the email addresses. That way you control where your resume ends up. The originator of this concept is, and they're worth a visit to try this feature. Other Job Boards are beginning to offer the same service.

    -Mark Poppen

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    To Post or Not to Post

    November 11, 1999

    When you need a Job it seems obvious that you want as many Employers as possible to know about your availability. Posting your resume to multiple Job Boards, then, is one surefire way to accomplish this.

    If you're unemployed, or just don't care who knows you're looking for a Job, there's nothing wrong with this strategy. However, what if you're like the vast majority of Jobhunters, and you are currently working somewhere, and you don't want your Boss to know you're looking for another Job?

    Roughly 85% of Jobhunters come under this last heading, and they need to be more careful when posting their resumes. Posted resumes have a potentially nasty habit of lingering around, being copied from one database to another without your knowledge, and turning up where you least expect them. If you're looking for a Job in the same field, your current Employer computer is a likely final resting place for that resume you posted a while back.

    Jobhoppers are better off sending tailored email resumes to their target companies, addressed to the person in charge of hiring. You can get through the first screening successfully if you load your resume with the right keywords. Read your target company's Job postings (or another company's posting for a similar Job, if your target company has no listings) to decipher what those keywords might be.

    Use Job Boards that offer confidentiality for your resume, and don't share it with other sites. This helps you maintain some degree of control over your resume, avoiding that embarrassing moment when your Boss walks in the room and shows you a copy of your 'new Job wanted' ad that he found online. Several Job Boards also allow you to restrict access to your online resume, while others offer Job agents that will search for Job Postings that match your keyword skills and email you contact information for those Companies.

    If a Job Board can't promise to protect access to who gets to see your resume, giving you the ultimate decision on viewability, then you shouldn't trust them with any information about you and your career.

    -Mark Poppen

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    Using Usenet

    November 11, 1999

    Usenet newsgroups were part of the Internet before very many people ever heard of the Internet. Functioning like online bulletin boards, they allowed people with similar interests to hook up electronically and share thoughts and comments about work, hobbies, or whatever. Originally used primarily by military personnel, University scholars, and students, the concept spread exponentially in less than a decade. Currently there are over thirty thousand Usenet Newsgroups throughout the world.

    And it is one likely place to start building up your network of Industry contacts.

    Try Liszt's Usenet Newsgroups for listings of topics that someone in your field might logically be interested in and post notes to. Their search engine allows you to narrow down the discussion 'threads' that interest you, and after reading some of the posted messages and replies you'll get the hang of it. There are tips available on how to best use newsgroups at news.announce.newusers, so go there first to avoid ticking longtime users off.

    Newsgroups are typically identified in a three-word format, with each word separated by a period. For example, is a common method for listing jobs in business fields. Try or alt.job.offered for example. No one really censors this information, so you'll find the usual random quality of information that is the hallmark of the Net.

    Postings are identified by their subject line, so make sure you put something in that readily identifies who you are and what you're looking for. One of the groups you're hoping to interest is Recruiters, so consider what might grab their attention. Single words or phrases in the subject line that describe your skills sometimes work, and occasionally you can get by with descriptive promotional phrases like "Ambitious, Dedicated, Professional, etc.".

    Usenet is a good source for regional Job listings and contacts. While the Internet is global in reach, its primary use for Jobhunters (other than researching target companies) is in networking with Employees who are already working in the fields you want to break into. Go to "" and poke around a little. Some newsgroups have peculiar names you might not recognize at first - Bay Area Jobs are located on, and other cities have abbreviations you might not consider at first. New York is nyc , Pittsburgh is pgh, and Philadelphia is phl.

    If you post your resume onto a Usenet Newsgroup, remember that it is fair game for a Job board to copy it to fill out their database. That means that months (or years!) from now, that resume may still be floating out there with out of date information. At some point that could become awkward with your new boss.

    -Mark Poppen

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    Future Shock II

    October 10, 1999

    Yesterday's column covered some of the fallout from the shift to the Information Age. Following Alvin Toffler's pioneering works Future Shock and The third Wave, modern day theorists paint a dismal picture for the next generation of Jobhunters.

    Of all the dramatic changes, the most important one to Jobseekers is that the basic unit of work is shifting from Job to Task. Jobs are becoming more project oriented, and may only last as long as the project lasts. Skills needed for particular projects will be sought out, and compensated for at a higher rate than in the past. Unemployment rates will be low for a long, long time because workers will be out of work for shorter periods, and their transition time from one project to the next won't count as 'unemployment'.

    Sounds like a worker's paradise, huh?

    Not really. Lengthy Job tenure with one company is already a thing of the past, and it looks like lasting longer than just one project with the same company will require continually learning new skills. You'll need to shift into "Permanent Jobhunter" mode. While the official Unemployment rate will sink, the total amount of time that people are out of work will steadily increase.

    While being a 'Free Agent' sounds like big money, the time out of work with no paycheck added to the stress of constantly worrying about finding your next gig will soon be recognized as a poor tradeoff for workers. Portability of vacation days, sick days, health (and other) benefits will become more problematic then they are already. As usual, opportunity will be increased at a cost to security.

    For those workers able to adapt, learn new skills, and market themselves effectively, the world is their oyster. For the rest of us, we'll have to make do with the shell.

    -Mark Poppen

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    Future Shock

    November 08, 1999

    Almost three decades ago Alvin Toffler wrote Future Shock, an analysis of the transition he saw occurring between the end of the Industrial Age and the newborn Information Age. Described more fully twenty years later in The Third Wave, Toffler's conclusions describe some of the important changes taking place today in the labor market.

    Toffler notes that "In the first wave, wealth was land, and it was exclusive; if I grew rice on my acres, you could not. In the second wave, wealth diversified into three factors of production: land, labor, and capital. As with the rice paddy of the agrarian regime, each of these was discrete, allowing for only one use at a time. In the third wave bits, (the atomic equivalents in the cyberworld), upon which all digital information is based, are endlessly interchangeable and reusable. When you download a file, the file you downloaded is still there."

    Furthermore, "Economics has been lovingly defined as "the science of the allocation of scarce resources." From the standpoint of the third wave, in which the primary resource is knowledge, that second-wave definition rings hollow. In the first place, economics has never been much of a science. More to the point, our supply of knowledge is anything but scarce."

    There are profound implications here for today's Jobhunters.

    Productivity gains by workers no longer imply wage increases. Knowledge is what you have to sell, and (with a few high tech exceptions) it's no longer a scarce commodity. Countries like China and India are producing a wealth of skilled knowledge workers the likes of which the world has never seen. You will need to get better at what you do just to keep pace with your fellow Employees in your own country.

    And now, more than ever before, you will be in competition with workers from all over the world. If the work you perform can be sent to a low wage area easily, your Job will be sent there as well. Why should an Employer pay you ten times what another Employee asks for the same work? The talent auction at has already evidenced this phenomenon, with engineers from India underbidding engineers from the Industrialized nations.

    It's no wonder workers with highly sought after skills are demanding stock options, signing bonuses, and all the perks the market will bear. They see the writing on the wall, and it's not in English.

    -Mark Poppen

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