Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on September 04
Editor’s note: You have the skills and the experience required. You’ve sent out resumes, worked your contacts, and placed dreaded cold-calls to HR departments. So why isn’t your dream job calling back?
In today’s cutthroat job market, you need to make yourself stand out from the pack. In this new review series, BusinessWeek.com staff writer Doug MacMillan will try out the latest tools designed to help you do just that. Check in every three weeks for a thorough test-run of a different job hunting tool, from high-tech applications – like job search engines and resume builders – to books and blogs written by top career gurus.
If you know of a great job hunting tool Doug should check out, let him know. First up: a clever online resume builder called Emurse.
The Good: Simple, intuitive resume creation; free resume hosting with short domain names; high search engine visibility; traffic monitoring
The Bad: Non-essential features like job listings
The Bottom Line: The easiest way to get your up-to-date work history on the first page of a Google search
Consider yourself an avid jobseeker? By now, many different versions of your resume are probably scattered all across the web – on job boards like Monster and Yahoo! Hotjobs, on professional networks like LinkedIn, and in the obsessively-tweaked Microsoft Word document on your hard drive. It can be tough to decide where to send each new potential employer for the most up-to-date account of your work history and accomplishments.
Your resume fleet needs a home. Recruiters suggest creating a website that sums up your career objectives, displays your most current resume, and links to your various profiles around the Web. But registering your own domain is not cheap, writing and updating your own web page is not easy, and getting it to show up on a relevant Google search is a mysterious science most corporate sites spend years, and millions of dollars, trying to master.
There’s an easier way. Emurse (an anagram for “resume”) was created by entrepreneur Alex Rudloff in 2006. In minutes, jobseekers can plug the content of their resume into the Emurse template, choose from several different design styles, and get published on a custom domain name that’s short and sweet (as in, douglasmacmillan.emurse.com). The result is a professional-looking resume accompanied by icons which allow visitors to download it in seven different formats: DOC, PDF, RTF, ODT, HTML, TXT and RSS.
That’s not even the best part, says freelance web developer Alex Hillman, who first posted his resume on Emurse two years ago, hoping to increase his visibility to contract employers in the Philadelphia area. At first, it took a couple weeks for search engines like Google to index his resume, at alexhillman.emurse.com. But after he began sending a few recruiters to the page and linking to it from his blog, his Emurse page became a star result on search engines. “At one point, if you Googled ‘web developer Philadelphia,’ I was on the first page,” says Hillman. He continues to update the page on a regular basis, and says he gets cold calls from three to four potential employers a week.
To help achieve this powerful “Google juice,” CEO Rudloff says he and his team reached out to recruiters who use Google, MSN, and other search engines to find talent, in order to learn what types of searches they routinely perform.
Once you’ve optimized your Emurse resume with magnetic keywords and gotten the word out on your blog, your work is done – right? Not quite. Going a step beyond personal profiles on Monster or LinkedIn , Emurse allows you to closely monitor traffic to your resume. Upon logging in to Emurse.com, you get a weekly outlook of how many times your resume was viewed each day, and how many times it was downloaded. If you just sent a job application and you’re anxiously awaiting visitors, you can even tell Emurse to e-mail you each time your resume is viewed.
All the features I have mentioned are free. But if you want to go a step further, you can pay an annual subscription of $25, which unlocks more resume designs (ten, instead of three).
In its effort to make the site more of a one-stop destination for job hunters, Emurse also features aggregated job listings from search engine Indeed. But as it is, there’s really no reason to use that tool as opposed to perusing Monster, or scanning your local classifieds. And a newer feature, called Network, is redundant for anyone who already keeps a job-search contact list in Microsoft Outlook or on LinkedIn.
Next up in the Job Hunter’s Toolbox, on Thursday, September 25th: an online daily planner for the career-obsessed.