Job seekers: Do you exist to Recruiters?

In mid October 2010,  my friend David Perry called me and shared some of his insight.

“Donato, in the Detroit area,  there are hundreds of Exhaust System Engineers, yet when I do a Google Search, I can only find a handful of them.  ”

David was explaining this while speaking to a group of recruiters.  “This is a problem,  these engineers are not on the radar of recruiters.”

The Back story: A recruiters first step in finding a candidate is his own database.  Next, recruiters leverage the Internet for candidates. Job Boards, Social Media and open web searches are the tools of the trade.  Only after the immediate sources are exhausted do recruiters start the process of “direct recruiting”;  looking for new candidates via referrals and many, many conversations.

Most job seekers don’t understand this.

If you are not in the recruiters database and you are not present on the Internet, to the recruiter, you don’t exist.

David had impeccable timing.  Over the previous year, I had been absorbing all I could in the realm of search engine optimization (SEO).   In my own initiatives, I had earned the top spot in Google many times.   “How can SEO help job seekers”?  I thought.

While on the phone, I did a quick Google search for “Exhaust System Engineer”.  David was right; few of these engineers were available via a search engine query.  Next,  I proposed an hypothesis to David.  He liked it.

On October 19, 2010  I registered  It cost about $8 from

Using, I set up a blog and hosted the domain for an additional $20 for the year.  No technical knowledge is needed.  If you don’t know how to do it, the people at Godaddy are very helpful.  Total cost $28.

Next, I added a few excerpts from articles about exhaust systems.  The single paragraph had links to the original article.  After adding some content to the site, I found some articles about exhaust systems to comment on, leaving my blog address.  (it is important here to leave real comments and show an interest in someone else’s work, otherwise it is seen as comment spam).

As the last step I signed up for Twitter and created the username ExhaustEngineer.  My first Tweet was an announcement of my blog,  The total time spent to do this exercise was about 1 hour.  If you were doing it for the first time, it may take you 2-3 hours to get familiar with WordPress.

On October 21, 2010,  2 days after registering the domain, creating a blog and adding some content,  a the first Google search result for Exhaust System Engineer was

If I was a real Exhaust System Engineer, the next step would be to add my resume and contact information to blog and keep it updated with fresh content.

After 3 years: If you google: Exhaust System Engineer, the site I created almost 3 years ago is still #1.

Remember, if you are not present on the Internet, you don’t exist to most recruiters.  The difference between being found or not is taking action.



When Marketing Lies About Technology

I’m at a talk about marketing at a conference, sitting in the audience, blending into the mix of SEO students and experts. Unlike most conference, I am not speaking, not helping with sales at a booth and not scheduled with back-back meetings.  This is a chance for me to sit and learn.

At the end of a fantastic panel discussion on SEO tools, demand generation and technology, the panel went into the Q&A section of the talk.  One panelist was asked what made her technology better than the next tool.

“We spider the entire Internet, every day. Every site and keyword, everything, so we have more data to work with.”  She said.

Looking around me, I saw eyes wide and heads nodding.  They swallowed it.  What happened next was like an out-of-body experience.

“Buuuuullshit!” I said, just-loud-enough for the group in the small theater to hear.  I just couldn’t help myself.

I was then asked by the moderator to, basically, explain myself.  I proceeded to talk about why “spidering the entire Internet” was not possible.  This is an area that I am a subject matter expert.  I won’t explain it hear, but if Google can’t do it…well, you get the idea…  I then asked if she borrowed Google’s new quantum computer and got a few laughs.   My goal was not to ridicule, but to recover from my sightly louder than expected comment.  Next, I basically said that I was impressed with what their technology did, actually do, but it shouldn’t be misrepresented as “everything on the Internet”.

Her comment was that she was not the “techie person” and that she got over-enthusiastic.  People laughed and that was the end of it.

The point is that Marketing does not need to lie, it would have been just as impressive if she portrayed, accurately, what they actually do and how.  This is a problem in many technology companies.  The process starts very much like a myth or legend.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke

The technologist creates something that looks like magic and Marketing tries to explain it and the legend grows.  Soon, Sales is fabricating any explanation that sounds good and a technology myth is born.

Don’t do this.  Technology, Sales and Marketing need to be on the same page.  If you don’t achieve unified messaging someone else is going to call bullshit and you will lose a sale.