Googling for Resumes

A few months ago I started getting fairly regular contacts from recruiters. This is weird, because I don’t have an active resume on any job boards.

I was getting about an email a day, but they were for positions in California, Manhattan, Atlanta, etc. so I ignored them. Actually, the first one I got was for a financial services position in Manhattan, and I did work with someone who’s since taken a position down there, so I thought that one might have been from a recommendation from him, but the rest were out of the blue.

Eventually I took a look at my Apache access logs and realized what was going on – Google had picked up the online resume that I keep at Ordinarily this isn’t linked to from anywhere – my home page is intentionally blank – but I give the URL to recruiters when I’m job searching in response to the standard “I got your resume from Monster but the format is jumbled, can I get a Word version of your resume?” question. When I started this blog, I put a link to the resume on the About page, and the blog got crawled by Google so the resume ended up being searchable. Mystery solved.

The bulk of the hits are from Google searches, although a few are from Lycos. There are several searches in the logs that were clearly not resume searches, such as for these search terms:

  • custom tag libraries for database connection
  • data consistency between mysql web page data jboss server
  • accessing oracle database through tunnel jdbc
  • Spring framework export data to Excel
  • broken jdbc thin oracle firewall
  • synchronize excel server client workbooks
  • jmeter sur le serveur Mysql
  • electropherogram interpretation genemapper
  • oracle Genemapper

Here’s some queries that worked only because of simple keyword matches, but are pretty far off the mark:

  • (oracle performance (dba OR or OR data OR base OR administrator))
  • (((MA OR MD) OR (“account manager”) OR (“business to business” OR b2b) OR (“outside sales”) OR (insurance)))
  • ((c OR C++ OR embedded OR wince OR firmware) (os OR “boot loader” OR internals OR api OR multimedia))
  • ((logistics OR SCM OR jde OR “JD Edwards”) (ERP OR CRM OR enterprise OR relationship))
  • “mass spectrometry” scientist MA
  • “power plant” OR construction OR utility OR boilers

But the most interesting queries use Google’s advanced operators , specifically looking for resume, cv, vitae, etc. in the url or title of the page:

  • (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume OR intitle:cv OR intitle:vitae OR inurl:vitae) and “linux” and “apache” and “java” and “mysql” and “new york”
  • (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) (“java developer”) objective education (experience OR history)
  • (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) (Java AJAX Hibernate (sybase OR oracle) (spring OR JMS OR struts))

One recruiter who called told me “there’s nobody good at”. Of course he was exaggerating, but his point is valid – there’s a low signal to noise ratio in the job boards. His theory is that the good developers tend to stay where they are because they’re treated well, and the lesser developers churn a lot more. So he basically admitting that he was poaching for good developers who aren’t necessarily looking for a change, but who might be convinced given the right opportunity.

One Response to “Googling for Resumes”

  1. FrankDV says:

    Like all markets, they change with the shift in demand. The job market went from dead in 01-03, to anemic in 04 to back to life and very healthy in 05 and currently. The job boards do occasionally present good prospects but, as you said, the ratio of noise to signal is pretty bad and an ineffective investment of time (let alone all the competition you are automatically subjected to when you contact these people). What adds to the challenge of finding good talent is that the hiring bar (at least for permanent hiring) continues to resist downward pressures. Your other good insight pointed to what the best recruiters often look for; the best candidates who are not actively looking but are open minded about a good/better opportunity. This is like window shopping for the candidate without any pressure because you just buy if you really, really like it, period.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.