A lot can happen in 30 years, particularly when it comes to technology in the recruiting industry. In the late 1980’s, there WAS no technology. There WAS no such thing as a digital marketing career. State of the art was 3X5 index cards in plastic boxes. That was pretty much my “Salesforce” of the day when it came to CRM. On the candidate side, I greeted the mail carrier like a Santa Claus that kept on giving. For in his bag were the resumes I so anxiously anticipated. I’d pile the resumes in my desk top in-basket, I’d grab a large cup of the strongest coffee I could pour, and then settle in reading resume after resume after resume until my eyes turned purple. If I was looking for candidates with specific skills, there was no software to filter that out. The only filter was my eyeglasses, and how much patience I had that particular day.
Today, I still marvel at the ability of a candidate to send me his or her resume instantly as we’re speaking on the phone.
Not one to let technology pass me by (I actually worked as a computer programmer right out of college), I have custom designed new software that takes resume parsing among online marketers to what I believe is a much better level. Every day, it seems, I hear someone complain about the dreaded resume “black hole”. You submit a resume on a company’s career page or through a job posting, and it goes straight to the ether. Worse, the company posts more jobs, you look like a glove fit for one of them, and you still never hear a word. The problem with these applicant databases is that when it comes to filtering resumes, search algorithms are only as good as the keywords and phrases that are loaded into the software. As I’ve written about many times over the years, success in these highly specialized fields is defined by much more than just a list of “must haves,” which is typically what corporate recruiters go by. My approach was to flip that model on its head and start with the candidates. After all, everything you’d ever need to know about successful job performance in this space is described right there on their resumes. As someone who has been placing database and data science experts for nearly three decades, I have learned a great deal about the value of data!
By analyzing a sample of around 13,000 resumes in my existing candidate database, I identified some 1,250 key words and phrases that describe every conceivable job in a digital commerce position, as well as multichannel marketing and ecommerce careers. And we’re talking about much more than just duties and responsibilities. Selected key descriptors include things like “transformational”, “data-savvy”, “breaks down silos”, “influence maker”, “highly collaborative,” “intellectual curiosity”, “testing and experimentation”, and hundreds of other digital commerce-specific attributes that are shared among high achievers in this space. Incoming resumes can now be compared back against this more digital commerce-specific algorithm, increasing the chances that a potentially qualified candidate will make the first cut, instead of twisting in the wind. And at the end of the day, better matches make better hires.
Help me help you boost your digital marketing career. Make sure your resume contains the major keywords and phrases that describe what you did and how you did it, and then send it to email@example.com to get it into my database and onto our radar, parsed by success factors that really matter in this space. What is most important is that I have your most current resume on file to review against my current searches (the market is HOT now!) as well as for future engagements. I’ve programmed the software to parse only the attachment, so no other text or email is needed.
I can’t promise that I’ll find you that dream job, nor can I promise that you’ll hear from me (if I don’t have an opportunity that matches up with your profile I won’t waste your time). But I CAN promise that at minimum, your background and experience will at least get the attention it deserves, both now and in the future, to help advance your digital marketing career.
Jerry Bernhart, Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, is one of the nation’s preeminent and veteran digital marketing and ecommerce recruiters, and has been called the “voice” of best practices in the recruitment and hiring of ecommerce and digital marketing professionals. Jerry is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Careers in Ecommerce and Digital Marketing,” on Amazon, and participates in many leading digital marketing and ecommerce conferences. Jerry has been recruiting and placing marketing professionals for more than 29 years.