Want to know how your resume and qualifications stack up to the competition?  Well, in the old days, there weren’t many options for making this happen.  In fact, perhaps the only reliable (if ethically-challenged) approach available was one that was introduced to me by my brother-in-law, who ran a “blind ad” in the local newspaper directing any interested accounting candidates to submit their materials to an anonymous PO Box which, as it turned out, was his own.  Turns out this trick worked like a champ, and after receiving 20-30 resumes from the people with whom he was directly competing with for opportunities, he figured out exactly what he was doing wrong and how to tweak his materials for increased effect.   Needless to say, his interview rate skyrocketed after this point!

In the modern day, luckily, we don’t have to be quite this devious to access the resumes of other candidates who might in a very similar field or occupation to our own.  All you have to do is visit www.google.com and use the little-known syntax parameter “filetype” to scour the Web for certain types of documents that are likely to be resumes.  Below, we’ve put together three search strings that will find resumes for marketing, finance, and human resource professionals, respectively — and by simply swapping out the obvious keyword parameters, you should be able to create a search that will pull up resumes in your target field, as well!

(filetype:doc OR filetype:pdf) AND intitle:resume AND (“director of marketing” OR “marketing manager”)
(filetype:doc OR filetype:pdf) AND intitle:”resume” AND (“director of finance” OR “chief financial”)
(filetype:doc OR filetype:pdf) AND intitle:”resume” AND (“HR generalist” OR “director of human”)

It might take a little fine-tuning to get the exact results you want, but the samples above should get you headed in the right direction — and keep in mind that the “OR” and “AND” connecting words must be typed in all capital letters for these searches to work properly…