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The Cons… and Pros of Posting Your Resume Online

Chances are that if you are looking for a job, this question has crossed your mind. Depending on your current situation, posting your resume can either help you find your next position, or it can be detrimental to your search. If you are currently employed and are confidentially looking for a new position, you need to be extra careful. Many professionals believe that posting your resume has more cons than pros. Let’s start there.

Cons of Posting Your Resume

Confidentiality is Out the Window

Even if you post your resume in “confidential” mode, recruiters and employers can still figure out who you are with today’s technology. This also means that your current employer can figure out who you are, so you need to be mindful.

Recruiter Wildfire

The recruiting industry is just like all others, as there are both good recruiters and not-so-good recruiters. A lot of those “chaser” recruiters will take your resume off of a job site and fire it off to a number of different companies. Their hope is that they get lucky, land a client, and ultimately have a quick payday. This is bad news for you for several reasons. First, it tarnishes your image, since your resume is sent to so many places. Second, that recruiter now has the right to your candidacy. This means that the only way a company can hire you is if they want to pay a fee to that recruiter. If that organization doesn’t want to pay a fee, then you are out of luck!

You Can’t Customize Your Resume for the Opportunity

If you are selective and only apply to certain postings, you will be able to tweak your resume to certain opportunities. This means that you can list certain experience or use specific buzzwords that may increase your chances of landing an interview.  There may be a finite skill required for a posting that you have, but don’t list on your resume.  Posting a general resume online may make you look like a generalist, as opposed to a specialist, and it may limit your responses.

Your Resume Can Get Buried or Expire

The majority of the current job sites list resumes by their upload date. This means that if a large number of candidates with a similar background also upload their resumes, you will move down the list pretty quickly.

Makes You Look Stale or Desperate

Many recruiters believe that when a candidate posts their resume online, there is a reason. They feel that they may have not had much luck in their search, and they are in desperation mode.  Posting your resume immediately reclassifies you as an “active job seeker” vs. a “passive candidate”.

Your Audience is Limited to Employers Using the Site Where Your Resume is Posted

In today’s world, there are so many different sites out there that it is tough to decide where you may have the best luck. If you only post your resume on one site, you will only receive traffic from the companies that subscribe to that specific site. For example, used to be the top job site, and was the recommended place to post your resume. Since it had the most users, you would ultimately receive the most traffic. Today, recruiters use other sites much more than, so if you post your resume there, you may not have as good of a response as you might receive from other sites.

Looking for Specific Keywords/Phrases

When employers are searching resumes, they use specific keywords to identify potential candidates. Even if you are qualified for their opening, depending on how they search, there is a chance that you may not come up in their results.


This is the one guaranteed thing that you will receive from posting your resume! Not only will you receive a ton of email spam, but you will also receive random calls. A lot of companies that look to fill commission-only sales or insurance jobs will call, regardless of your experience, and promise you the world. Be careful.


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Pros of Posting Your Resume

Provides Opportunities Quickly

This is probably the greatest pro of posting your resume online. The second that your resume is live, you will have instant traffic. As mentioned above, you may receive calls for positions that can be sketchy, so be sure to do your research and weigh each opportunity.

Industry Specific Boards

Another positive to posting your resume online is that there are many industry specific job sites out there. If you are in an industry like IT, Healthcare, Accounting, etc., you may be able to upload your resume to a site that focuses on that area. This may yield higher results, since these sites are geared to your specific industry.

Timing is Everything

Some recruiters may have that perfect job that isn’t posted publicly. You may post your resume, they may see it, and you land that perfect job!

Other Thoughts

If you are out of work and/or dying to find a job, it doesn’t hurt to post your resume. I would suggest using this as another tool in your search toolkit. The key to finding a new job is to be proactive and use various methods to search.

Be sure to cruise the job boards continually, and apply for the positions that fit what you are looking for. Remember to tweak your resume with specific skills you have to fit the opportunity. List the specific experiences that you have, and use the buzzwords they are looking for.

Create/update your LinkedIn profile, and continue to network. If you need assistance getting your profile up and running be sure to check out our 7 Tips to LinkedIn Profile Perfection.

Finally, there is no harm in uploading your resume to a site and keeping it private. By doing this, it will help expedite the online application process. Some sites allow a “one click” application, which is a nice feature. This allows you to act quickly when new positions are posted, and it will get you in the mix before your competition!


Dan Metz is the Director of Executive Search and Employee Development at the Resilience Group, LLC, and Co-Founder and Contributing Author for Need a New Gig.  Follow his blog for more great tips like this!