Careers: Articles - Resume Posting vs. Resume Distribution—Do YOU Know the Difference?

The electronic age has revolutionized the way job seekers and employers meet. The marvels of online automation take the volume of resume traffic to levels unimagined only a few years ago. With services to job seekers expanding continually, it’s important to understand the different options available to increase the exposure of your resume to potential employers and recruiters.

Two such services are Resume Posting and Resume Distribution. Do you know the difference between them? Let me explain:

1. Resume Posting

This is a service where job seekers post their resumes to a job board for paid subscriber employers and recruiters to find. This is a passive approach in that the employer or recruiter must find you within the resume database. They usually find you by calling up resumes via key words. The chances of their finding you depend greatly on your including all the appropriate key words in your resume.

This service is normally free to job seekers, and used only by those employers and recruiters who have paid a substantial fee to access the resumes. Years ago, when Monster and other similar job search boards were fairly new, I was a headhunter (rather than a resume writer as I am now). It cost me thousands of dollars just to look at resumes posted on one job board. So you can imagine what it must cost today! My point is, when you post your resume to an online resume posting service, not every employer or recruiter will find you, only those with the huge recruiting budgets. And that leaves out a good part of your target market.

2. Resume Distribution

This is actually opposite of a posting service. With a resume distribution, the job seeker has access to a select database of well-qualified employers and/or recruiters to email his/her resume to. This service does cost the job seeker a fee, usually anywhere from $45 to several hundred. The advantages of a resume distribution over a posting are:

  • It is a proactive strategy. You don't have to wait to be found.
  • You have more control over who receives your resume.
  • You can control how many employers/recruiters you contact—several hundred or several thousand—all at once.
  • It is very quick and efficient. You submit your resume once and reach your entire targeted audience of employers and/or recruiters.

The quality of the service depends on the quality of the database of employers/recruiters the service maintains. Make sure the distribution service allows you to target the employers who receive your resume. At a minimum, you should be able to query the employer/recruiter database by industry, job function and geographic region. If the service offers no targeting capabilities, your resume may be sent out indiscriminately to employers and recruiters who do not match your employment criteria.

Let me caution you, for optimum resume distribution or posting effectiveness you'll want to make sure your resume is in tip-top shape. If you are not currently getting the response rate from your resume that you'd like, using a resume distribution service will only be marginally helpful, as it will merely be distributing a sub-standard resume to a larger group of people.

Both services, resume posting and resume distribution, are valuable strategies for your job search. Don't be turned off by the fact that one is free and the other you must pay for. The money spent on a good quality resume distribution will repay you over and over again with valuable job leads and introductions to influential recruiters.


Deborah Walker, CCMC
Resume Writer ~ Career Coach
To see resume format samples and read more job-search tips visit


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