Online Application Portal or Black Hole?

Did you ever wonder what happens to your resume once you apply to a job?  You finally find the perfect job posting, you’ve read the job description a hundred times and KNOW you can do the job; it’s the dream job you’ve always wanted.  So, you sit down and write a carefully crafted cover letter outlining your skills and how you would be the perfect fit for the job.  You edit your resume to better showcase your skills as they relate to the position.  Finally, after spell and grammar check, a last-minute once over; you submit your resume through the online application portal.  You did it!  You applied!  You just know as soon as the recruiter reads your resume you’re going to get a phone call.  In fact it’s been 15 minutes since you submitted your resume, you should be getting a call any minute….

So, did your resume really go through the application portal or did it enter the proverbial black hole?  More often than not I find that people applying for jobs are not qualified for the position they are applying for.   On average I would say that two-thirds of applicants for any given position are not a fit.  While they may state a good case in their cover letter as to why they would like the job and think they are a good fit for the position; in reality based upon the experience listed on their resume they have no relevant experience and it is really a “dream job.”   As a both a resume writer and a recruiter, I view hundreds of resumes a day and my biggest “pet peeve” is when someone applies to a job that they are not qualified for.  If I specifically state in my job description that the successful candidate MUST HAVE PLC programming experience or a CPA certification, I will only consider candidates that have that experience listed on their resume. 

So, what can you do to increase your chances of making it through the initial screening and getting your resume in front of the hiring manager? Make sure you play close attention the job description of the position you are applying for and have a “real” handle on what your skills and experience are.  Make sure you edit your resume and create a new cover letter for each position.  Utilize key words found in the job description and work them in to your resume.  If the job description states that a requirement is to have PLC programming and troubleshooting experience, detail that not only in your cover letter, but also in your resume giving specifics as to what types of PLC’s and what your responsibilities were.  If the position requires a CPA certification and an MBA, again, list it.

Lastly, never be afraid to seek out and contact the company for follow-up if you haven’t heard anything about your application after a week.  It is perfectly acceptable to call or email to verify that your application has been received and to ask what the process is for resumes to be reviewed.

Good luck!

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