Federal regulations regarding diversity that went into effect this Spring will have an effect on your job search when using a job board or other online channel such as corporate websites. The regulations are designed to standardize tracking of diversity in the candidate pool. They currently apply to federal contractors but later this year will kick in to cover all employers with more than 50 employees.
The trick is in the new definition of “applicant.” You must directly express interest in the job while showing that you have ALL of the requirements listed in the job description (using the exact words they use), must not remove yourself from consideration by specifying a particular location (other than the location of the job currently advertised), and must follow the company’s instructions for submitting your resume or application to the letter – whether that be via their website, email, etc. (The day is looming when it may actually be necessary to create a new resume for each application.)
The new rules allow a company to search the job boards for recent qualified applicants, which in many cases means they will not look at your resume if it has not been updated in the past 2 or 3 weeks!
The net result of all of this is that employers will want to limit as much as possible the number of resumes gathered so they can maintain a relatively small, random pool of applicants to help ensure the diversity the regulations require. As often is the case, it is likely that all these regulations will do is make more work for everyone, without actually impacting diversity. But in any case, these new regulations are something executive candidates cannot afford to ignore.