If you are in job search mode and applying to jobs you find online, you may be frustrated that the majority of your applications go into the mysterious black hole. You never hear back from the employer and for some reason you accept this thinking you just are just not a match. While this may be the true in many cases (applying to jobs that you definitely don’t have the qualifications), many jobseekers are getting eliminated because their resume is NOT the smoking gun.
Employers are human and they want to hire you if you have the qualifications for their job opening. What is interfering with this simple notion is the way you submit and display your skills via technology. Each company is very different in their application submission requirements and technology but they all have one thing in common; they want to be able to “sort” and “rank” applications by those with the most job skill matches. (Some companies do what is called bulk recruiting in which they review 25 resumes at a time and try to hire from that group. In other words, if you are the best candidate but resume number 99, you will never be considered.)
Employers eliminate your resume for the following three reasons:
1. Your resume does not “clearly” match the job description and it is being eliminated because recruiters and human resource departments don’t have time to decipher if you can do the job.
This is by far the number one reason you never hear back from a potential employer. TIP: The resumes you submit today must tell the potential employer what you do in the headline or objective. If you are a property claims manger, your objective should be property claims manager at the very top of the resume. The summary of qualifications should give real examples why you are a good property claims manger. This is not the place to share your good communication skills and the fact you’re a team player.
2. Your resume NEVER makes it past technology. Ouch. Applicant tracking systems are the computers that decipher your resume automatically and rank you according to the filters a company has set up. If you are in accounting and they can’t find the word “JD Edwards” (which is an accounting system many companies use), you may be eliminated. TIP: Take a look at the nuts and bolts of the job description and make sure the majority of keywords in the job description are also in your resume.
3. Too many resumes. A lot of people are looking for jobs; even people currently working. When a good job gets posted for the world to see a company may get over 100 resumes in a matter of a couple days. This is a lot of work for human resource departments so they quickly come up with the top ten candidates. Your resume may never even get looked at because the company feels they have plenty of talent. TIP: To get your resume in the “pile of 10”, try to find the hiring manager or human resource professional on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. Send them a message that just says you have applied to their job and would be very interested in working for the company. Believe it or not, most job seekers don’t take time to do this research so it will make you stand out from the crowd. The only caveat is that you really better be qualified for the job you are applying to!