How To Avoid The Resume Black Hole
Human resources people and hiring managers receive heaps of résumés for any given job opening, they miss, skip or toss a lot of them. Luckily, there are things you can do to avoid this. Career experts and a spokesperson for Glassdoor.com, a jobs and career community where people share information and opinions about their workplaces, weigh in.
Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at the jobs site CareerBuilder.com, Ruth Robbins, a certified career counselor with the Five O'Clock Club, and Samantha Zupan, a spokesperson for Glassdoor.com agree that using buzz words and key phrases are imperative. “Use some of the same words and phrases that appear in the job posting in your résumé,” Haefner says. “The computer will then recognize them and move your résumé toward the top of the pile because you will be a match. But don’t just cut and paste the job posting into your résumé or cover letter. If the computer doesn’t catch it, the hiring manager definitely will, and it could hurt your chances of moving forward with an interview.”
Network and use your connections
“The best way to make sure your résumé is seen is by networking into the company,” says Anita Attridge, a Five O'Clock Club career and executive coach. “Let your networking contact know that you have applied for a position, and ask that person if he or she would send your résumé to the H.R. department with an endorsement of you as a candidate. Another way is to try to determine who the hiring manager is and send a résumé directly to that person, with a letter asking for an informational interview.”
Keep it simple
Avoid graphics and logos and other things that may “clog” how an applicant tracking system reads your résumé, Zupan suggests.
Take an entreprenurial approach
Mary Elizabeth Bradford, an executive résumé writer and author of the bestselling eBook series The Career Artisan, says: "From what I have seen, what works best in any market is for the job seeker to take a pure, entrepreneurial approach to their job search process,” she says. “I think it would be futile to call H.R. and leave repeated voice messages. A better way is to contact a key decision maker through hard mail and follow up with a phone call. Go around H.R. That’s provocative, right? Well, it works.”
Have someone proofread your résumé
Sometimes it can be something as small as a typo that may turn off an employer and land you in the black hole, Zupan says. “Before sending your résumé, have at least one person you trust review it so that it can has a better chance of catching the eyes of the employer.”
Research the company's hiring process
“Companies like Google and Facebook include specific insights into their interview process,” Zupan says. “For example, on the Google careers page, they let you know that one of their recruiters is the first to review your résumé and that they look first at your qualifications and experience.” Thorough research can help you properly prepare to avoid the résumé black hole.
By Jacquelyn Smith