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Job Magician An Employer's View of Job Boards  

  • You need to differentiate the title of your resume that will appear on a job board or lead an email submission, because that is often the only thing that will be read.
  • The best way to do this is to add a description of your industry (for example, Pharmaceutical Operations Executive) or a specific skill (Linux Program Manager) along with the standard description of your functional area.

If an employer conducts a search on Monster, CareerBuilder, RiteSite, Ladders or other resume database, depending on the parameters entered, the results could bring 200, 700 or over 1000 names.

Imagine reading through a screen that looks like this:

Sales/Marketing Professional
Director/VP Sales & Marketing
Sales VP/Director/Manager
David Ablekopf’s Resume
Furniture Sales / Marketing VP / Director
Problem Solving Executive
Marketing Professional
Results Orientated Marketing Professional
Senior Marketing Executive – Consumer Packaged Goods
Sales/Markting Professional
Director/VP Sales & Marketing
Ingenius Sales VP/Director/Manager
Problem Solving Executive
Marketing Professional
Mark Johnson’s Resume
Dynamic Sales Leader
Senior Marketing Executive
Sales/Marketing Professional
Director/VP Sales & Marketing
Consumer Products Sales VP/Director/Manager
Problem Solving Executive
Marketing Professional
Senior Marketing Executive

Makes you dizzy just to look at, doesn’t it? And what you’re seeing is not an exaggeration (this is actually a short snippet of the results an employer gets from a real job board search). Considering that the employer was looking for the VP/Sales for a furniture importer, his eye was probably drawn to one line – the one that leads off with the keyword Furniture.

If you want to make yourself stand out in a dreary list, differentiate your first line from the others by adding something to your title that provides more specifics about your background. That first line is often all that is going to get read.

All of these people have backgrounds in sales and/or marketing. And that’s all their titles say. Differentiate yourself with something specific about your industry background. Enter VP/Sales - Furniture, or perhaps VP/Sales & Marketing  - Furniture - Consumer Goods if you want to appeal to a broader marketplace.

Adding a technical descriptor (Microelectronic Systems Engineering Director) is another alternative, depending on your field.  Avoid self-praise words such as dynamic or high-achieving and don’t try to mention achievements like increased sales by 67% in 3 years – there isn’t room.

The same goes for an email submission to a recruiter or a job board ad. Differentiate yourself with the subject line. Otherwise, your resume could get lost in a sea of emails.


Ah, but you worry that you’ll exclude yourself from all of the searches that aren’t in your current/past industry if you don’t put something general in the subject line. Don’t worry – you’re not going to get a job outside of your industry from a job board search or random resume submission anyway. Hate to tell you this, but if someone is going to a job board, they’re not going to put a VP/Sales with a background in microelectronic systems into a consumer packaged goods sales management position. They’re going to find too many people with industry backgrounds that are closer to theirs amongst the many candidates available in this economy.

And here’s two side points about job board headings:

  • You may have noticed Mark Johnson’s Resume and David Ablekopf’s Resume in this long list. Yes, there are a fair number of people whose heading is their name. Helpful if your name is Brad Pitt, perhaps, but if your name is not a household word, no one is likely to click on your resume without some idea of what you do.
  • And yes, the spelling errors hurt – and they aren’t rare. Many job hunters are hurrying when they’re entering their info into a job board. They make a poor first impression and are far more likely to be skipped if they misspell marketing or can’t spell oriented.



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