Is Your Resume .com Ready?Resume Guidelines for Government Contractors and Subcontractors
by Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert

Regulations from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) outline how federal contractors recruit and track Internet job applicants.

The regulations are designed to enhance enforcement of laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender. For now, these regulations apply to all government contractors or subcontractors covered under Executive Order 11246. This includes at least 20,000 employers.

According to the OFCCP’s final rule, an Internet applicant must meet four criteria:

    • The individual submits an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies.
    • The contractor considers the individual for employment in a particular position.
    • The individual’s expression of interest indicates the individual possesses the basic qualifications for the position.
    • The individual at no point in the contractor’s selection process — prior to receiving an offer of employment from the contractor — removes himself from further consideration or otherwise indicates that he is no longer interested in the position.

Monster has been monitoring the new guidelines and adapted its products to help federal contractors comply with the regulations. Senior product manager Michael Gray says Monster has launched new tools for employers, such as tracking reports, record-keeping fields, folders containing search criteria and an option to limit the number of search results.

Your experience as a job seeker won’t change, but you need to know how employers will be searching resume databases. Follow these tips to make sure you qualify as an Internet job applicant:

Precisely Follow the Employer’s Application Instructions

Contractors have flexibility in establishing internal policies for defining a candidate’s “expression of interest,” so that might mean all applicants have to submit resumes a certain way, like via Monster or through a company Web site. Applicants can easily be ruled out if they don’t follow application instructions — even if they have excellent credentials.

“Employers will be conducting as many searches as they used to, but they’ll be tracking fewer applicants,” Gray says. “Employers don’t want to keep any more resumes than they have to, because it increases their potential liability.” So make sure you get on the short list by following application procedures precisely.

Demonstrate the Basic Qualifications for the Job

“Employers have to be very strict about hiring people based on objective criteria,” Gray explains. “You can’t just hire them because you like them.”

The qualification could be a college degree or a number of years’ experience. Before submitting your resume, study the job posting’s basic qualifications, and make sure your resume communicates that you meet them. You can lead your resume with a Qualifications Summary so hiring managers immediately see you possess the basic qualifications for the position.

Use Different Resumes for Each Objective

You’ll have a harder time using a one-size-fits-all resume under the new regulations. The solution? You may store up to 10 resumes on Monster, so if you have different job objectives, customize your resume for each target.

Regularly Update Your Monster Resume

One of Monster’s new features is the option to search for candidates based on the date the resume was uploaded in the system. So if it has been some time since you uploaded your resume on Monster, post a new resume, or update your old one.

Follow Tried-and-True Resume Strategies

“Make sure your resume reflects your strengths, experience and skills, and apply to jobs that you’re a good match for,” Gray advises. “The real reason for the new guidelines is for employers to practice fair hiring practices. There is much more burden on the employer rather than on the job seeker.”

This article was written by Kim Isaacs, director of ResumePower.com and author of The Career Change Resume book. Visit ResumePower.com to learn more about resume services to jump-start your career.

Copyright 2011 – Monster Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. You may not copy, reproduce or distribute this article without the prior written permission of Monster Worldwide. This article first appeared on Monster, the leading online global network for careers. To see other career-related articles visit http://content.monster.com.