Author Topic: Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?  (Read 3419 times)

DebtFreeBy25

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Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?
« on: March 26, 2016, 07:42:27 AM »
A month ago, I created a sumry. Sumry is a LinkedIn alternative that tells the more human story of your career and accomplishments. I do prefer its layout to LinkedIn and believe that's it's an asset when applying to more tech-oriented or creative positions.  I set it up and replaced the LinkedIn link on my resume with my sumry link.

Well I definitely goofed in not doing my research first. While it's free to create a sumry, creating a sumry begins a one month free trial. This is not clearly stated. If I knew that there was a monthly charge associated with this, I wouldn't have bothered setting one up.

Now the dilemma, I've applied to dozens of jobs and contract gigs including the sumry link on my resume or profile. My link has definitely gotten views, but I don't know whether it's actually influential.  I only got a 48ish hour notice before my sumry was deactivated. Sumry costs $7/month, but I may be able use a nominal coupon code (15% off at best). My sumry is currently deactivated.

There are three options here:

1. Don't pay for Sumry. Reinsert my LinkedIn link on my resumes and applications moving forward.
Pros: Costs $0.
Cons: Many applications have already gone out with my sumry link. LinkedIn doesn't serve me well because it restates the same info from my resume and doesn't give any narrative about my history. A narrative is important for my specific situation because I've made several transitions. My background and experience can be framed much more positively on sumry than on LinkedIn or a resume.

2. Pay for one month of Sumry. Transition all new applications and resumes back to the LinkedIn link.
Pros: Will provide an active link for all of those applications that are already out there.
Cons: Will cost $7ish dollars. Canceling may be a hassle. I'll still have to transition back to LinkedIn which doesn't represent me well.

3. Pay for Sumry until I accept a full-time position.
Pros: Sumry represents me better than LinkedIn or a resume.
Cons:  The costs may add up to $21 or more. I'm currently freelancing and may not return to a full-time position. If so, I would need to decide when to deprioritize  the traditional job search and cancel Sumry.

What say you Mustachians? Cost isn't really a major issue, but I hate spending money, particularly on monthly subscriptions, unless I can justify the expense.

Note: That I still keep my LinkedIn account active and updated whether I reference it on applications or not. I have nearly 500 connections and don't feel like I can totally walk away from the platform even if it doesn't provide me much utility.


MDM

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Re: Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2016, 10:39:50 AM »
No idea whether prospective employers would check your Sumry link.  If so, then getting a "link not found", "page deactivated", etc., would probably give a poor first impression, and lead the employer to move on to other resumes.

Might pay the $21 if it could be the difference between getting an interview or not.

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2016, 08:17:00 AM »
You're in a tough spot. Definitely not cool that they don't clearly advertise fees.

Are you really interested in any of the jobs you're applying for or are you just poking around? If you're really interested in some that you've applied for, then leave it up for a month. Just poking around? Leave it inactive.

I've done a bit of hiring in the past. Personally, the last thing I would do in the resume stage is pull up an external website. I would consider doing this after a phone interview, but prior to that, there are just way too many applicants to sort through. If you score a phone interview, you could easily provide a quick explanation. If it were me doing the interviewing, I would understand.

Since you're freelancing, have you ever thought of setting up a website with an "about" section? I'd find that a little more interesting than a paid service.


DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2016, 10:10:14 PM »
You're in a tough spot. Definitely not cool that they don't clearly advertise fees.

Are you really interested in any of the jobs you're applying for or are you just poking around? If you're really interested in some that you've applied for, then leave it up for a month. Just poking around? Leave it inactive.

I've done a bit of hiring in the past. Personally, the last thing I would do in the resume stage is pull up an external website. I would consider doing this after a phone interview, but prior to that, there are just way too many applicants to sort through. If you score a phone interview, you could easily provide a quick explanation. If it were me doing the interviewing, I would understand.

Since you're freelancing, have you ever thought of setting up a website with an "about" section? I'd find that a little more interesting than a paid service.

Thanks for the response. Honestly I haven't applied for any "dream jobs" in the last couple of weeks. I haven't paid for Sumry yet, and I don't know that I will.

A recruiter actually mentioned the broken sumry link today, so I don't think it's a real deterrent. When I was hiring I probably would have clicked a link if I was interested in the candidate, but an inactive link wouldn't have had much of an impact on whether I contacted that candidate. (Then again with the types of applicants I was screening, I would have been impressed that an applicant was tech-savvy enough to have a professional profile.)

I have considered creating my own web page, but I can't really justify the hosting fees right now. My freelancing thus far has consisted entirely of contract work that has been posted like a traditional job. I have diverse experience and apply for many different types of work (project management, business/systems analysis, technical writing, marketing, academic editing/tutoring and very occasionally public affairs/politics or sales), so unless I find myself concentrating in a specific area, a personal website may do more harm than good. The vast majority of my work is proprietary to the employer or client so I don't have many samples available to showcase.


Axecleaver

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Re: Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2016, 05:25:15 AM »
I look at LinkedIn before I call someone in to a face to face interview. If they know some of the same people I do, I might call them to ask their opinion. This happens more often than you might think. If you posted a link to someplace I'd never heard of, and it didn't work, that might reflect negatively on you, but I'd probably ignore it. In your spot I'd probably pay for an extra month, proactively contact the companies that you sent it to during that time, and evaluate whether you had a shot with them. Track those jobs and when the last one drops off the possibles list, cancel it.

With that said - many people use LinkedIn to post a career narrative. But keep in mind that you don't want to put your whole life story up there. Think of it as an elevator pitch - 20-30 seconds.

Nickels Dimes Quarters

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Re: Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2016, 05:41:28 AM »
I'd delete it and not pay for it.

Focus on a great cover letter and resume. Read the Ask A Manager site if you need direction.

Good luck!!

NDQ

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2016, 08:47:18 AM »
I look at LinkedIn before I call someone in to a face to face interview. If they know some of the same people I do, I might call them to ask their opinion. This happens more often than you might think. If you posted a link to someplace I'd never heard of, and it didn't work, that might reflect negatively on you, but I'd probably ignore it. In your spot I'd probably pay for an extra month, proactively contact the companies that you sent it to during that time, and evaluate whether you had a shot with them. Track those jobs and when the last one drops off the possibles list, cancel it.

With that said - many people use LinkedIn to post a career narrative. But keep in mind that you don't want to put your whole life story up there. Think of it as an elevator pitch - 20-30 seconds.

Hi, Axecleaver! I know you have extensive experience in technology, so I'm hoping to get your input on a related topic. Are third party recruiters, specifically those recruiting for technology positions, a waste of a candidate's time?

Many of the postings I'm seeing, including nearly all of the contract positions, are listed through a third party recruiting firm. I've spoken with several of these external recruiters from several different firms multiple times a week for the past 6+ weeks. Thus far, these external recruiters have produced precisely zero results for me. Every interview I've had, I've gotten through a direct application to the employer.

I have a friend/former colleague who's reporting the same experience despite our different backgrounds. We have the same most recent full-time employer and job title, but that's the extent of our similarities. He has very specific experience; I have very diverse experience. He's only worked for two different employers and two clients through one of those employers (in nearly 20 years); I've worked for several different employers and several clients in a variety of industries. Neither of us has had any success with external recruiters.

Is this a common experience? Should I stop wasting my time with recruiting firms? 

neo von retorch

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Re: Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2016, 09:23:50 AM »
I'm a web application developer in the Microsoft world. I got several jobs and interviews directly, and several through third party recruiting. I've had about the same overall luck ratio (roughly 50/50) on actually liking the job once I got in there, and slightly better results turning a meeting/interview into a job with direct contact. I'd say that third party recruiting is a little harder to sift through, but that doesn't mean it can't connect you with a good employer. For example, some recruiters don't listen. I'll say "I value management style and culture, and I can learn whatever language" and they'll come back a day later and say "this strict state position looks like a good fit, because they use SQL." But other times the recruiter will be like "I'm excited for you to meet this team - they love the work they're doing and have fun doing it together!" And what do you know? It's true!

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2016, 10:11:19 AM »
I'm a web application developer in the Microsoft world. I got several jobs and interviews directly, and several through third party recruiting. I've had about the same overall luck ratio (roughly 50/50) on actually liking the job once I got in there, and slightly better results turning a meeting/interview into a job with direct contact. I'd say that third party recruiting is a little harder to sift through, but that doesn't mean it can't connect you with a good employer. For example, some recruiters don't listen. I'll say "I value management style and culture, and I can learn whatever language" and they'll come back a day later and say "this strict state position looks like a good fit, because they use SQL." But other times the recruiter will be like "I'm excited for you to meet this team - they love the work they're doing and have fun doing it together!" And what do you know? It's true!

My friend and I are more project manager/business lead types, not developers or engineers. I wonder if that has anything to do with it. In my experience, even the recruiters that seem very excited and interested in my background don't produce any interviews. The vast majority say that they're going to submit my info to a specific posting, but I never hear back after that. I've talked to large firms and small firms, national and regional, well-known and unknown, and the outcome has been the same.

Axecleaver

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Re: Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2016, 12:18:49 PM »
Quote
Are third party recruiters, specifically those recruiting for technology positions, a waste of a candidate's time?
Absolutely not, a good recruiter is worth his weight in gold. You just need to find the right recruiter. The vast majority of recruiters are playing the immediate payoff numbers game - they post any old candidate to the reqs they get, and hope they get lucky. Employers (like me) hate these guys and we don't work with them.

When I was working in Fortune 500, I also hated my internal HR dept because they didn't get rewarded for finding me qualified people. Internal recruiting sucks because they never make the effort to understand the hiring manager's problems, and they aren't on commission so they could care less whether they fill my req. That's where recruiting relationships are important - the hiring manager likes them because they refer qualified people. The candidates like them because they find them good jobs.

You're looking for a recruiter who has an exclusive listing with an employer, not these commodity body shops. One way to find them is to actively network in your field and talk to peers. Here's a secondary method on how to find them.

1. Identify a company you want to work for.
2. Find jobs you want on the internal recruiting website.
3. Identify unique phrases in the job posting, then google those exact phrases. Unique abbreviations work well. Take whole sentences out of the posting and google that in quotes.
4. This should give you a list of recruiters who are working these job roles. Look at the dates of the postings to see when they got them - if you see an internal posting a month or three after the internal req was posted, that's a good candidate. Lots of companies post internally and then branch out to recruiters when they don't get any candidates.
4a. If you find the posting and it leads back to one recruiter, that's your guy. If it leads back to 20 different companies, that's not your guy.
5. Call the recruiter and explain what you're looking for. They will likely have lots of other gigs available in other companies.

A good recruiter is honest with you. A way to test this is, once you have a gig identified, to ask them what their margin is if they place you in the role. About half the recruiters I've spoken to will not tell you, and this is where I end the relationship. The honest ones will be happy to tell you what their margin is. A fair margin is around 20% for an hourly gig, or 10% of your first year's salary for immediate placement.

Other features of good recruiters:
* They value the relationship with you and play the long game. Good recruiters call you once a month to see how you're doing, and when you're ready to move again (and generate new commissions for them).
* They provide valuable feedback on end client rate targets and their commissions

I've got a recruiting company I've worked with for 15 years who gets the majority of my business. They've also gotten me gigs when I was looking for work. They've always been honest with me and helped me find tough jobs (part time or telecommute work for example).

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Resume Alternative Site: Should I pay to keep it active?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2016, 02:59:06 PM »
You're looking for a recruiter who has an exclusive listing with an employer, not these commodity body shops. One way to find them is to actively network in your field and talk to peers. Here's a secondary method on how to find them.

1. Identify a company you want to work for.
2. Find jobs you want on the internal recruiting website.
3. Identify unique phrases in the job posting, then google those exact phrases. Unique abbreviations work well. Take whole sentences out of the posting and google that in quotes.
4. This should give you a list of recruiters who are working these job roles. Look at the dates of the postings to see when they got them - if you see an internal posting a month or three after the internal req was posted, that's a good candidate. Lots of companies post internally and then branch out to recruiters when they don't get any candidates.
4a. If you find the posting and it leads back to one recruiter, that's your guy. If it leads back to 20 different companies, that's not your guy.
5. Call the recruiter and explain what you're looking for. They will likely have lots of other gigs available in other companies.

A good recruiter is honest with you. A way to test this is, once you have a gig identified, to ask them what their margin is if they place you in the role. About half the recruiters I've spoken to will not tell you, and this is where I end the relationship. The honest ones will be happy to tell you what their margin is. A fair margin is around 20% for an hourly gig, or 10% of your first year's salary for immediate placement.

Other features of good recruiters:
* They value the relationship with you and play the long game. Good recruiters call you once a month to see how you're doing, and when you're ready to move again (and generate new commissions for them).
* They provide valuable feedback on end client rate targets and their commissions

This is excellent advice. Thank you! Many of the recruiters I talk to do seem to be playing the numbers game. Those that say that they're interested in building a relationship don't follow up. I'm going to do some research and see which firms have stronger relationships with the clients.