by Cory Jackson, Founder, LevelHire
If you are like most job seekers today you spend hours sending out hundreds of resumes to job posting on the internet with little or no response. Most people have hit the point of great frustration or have stop pursing openings that are posted on the internet. This opens a question of “why am I not getting any response after sending out hundreds of resumes?” When trying to solve any problem it is always important to understand the other side of the equation.
1. Standing out in the Pile
Employers posting open positions are currently receiving more responses than ever before. The average posting on the major jobs boards are receiving between 400 and 800 resumes in the first 72 hours after a job is posted. This means that someone has to screen or sort through this stack to determine who will get the interview and who will go to the “do not contact” pile.
Now put yourself into the place of the first line screener. I get cross-eyed after looking at 20 resumes much less hundreds. So what will catch this person's eyes to get you into the “contact” pile. One key way to get the attention that you deserve is to re-write or tailor your Qualification or Summary at the top of your resume specifically to the position that you are applying for. The less that screener has to read, the more likely you are a favored candidate. Yes, sending the same resume to every posting may be a big reason that you are in that hated “do not contact” pile.
2. Understand The Reader
If you are one of the seekers that believes you hit the send button and your resume slides right into the hiring manager's hands, you would be highly mistaken. With the response that employers are getting, neither the Hiring Manager nor a senior human resource professional has the time to go through the entire stack of resumes. A majority of companies have established a process to screen the possible candidate down to a very small pile to hand off to the person (Hiring Manager) that can “pull the trigger.” Understanding the process, and more importantly, who is in that process is key to increasing your chance to get into the “interview” pile.
This process usually starts with the most junior level human resource person on staff who is handed a Job Description with key words on it (trust me, nobody wants the job of reading all the resumes). Normally, the individual that receives this honor is a 1-2 year human resource generalist who does not have the technical knowledge or experience to understand what the position is or does. They are only left with the information on the screen in front of them for the task of matching resumes and finding the top five to ten matches in the sea of resumes to pass to the senior human resources screener for the initial phone screen.
3. Not Sending a Cover Letter
Many people will zip the resume over without attaching the almighty cover letter. This is a huge mistake made by job seekers today and is one of the top reasons that the first screener can eliminate you from the mountain of resumes. Remember that this person has the daunting task of sorting through the piles and simply deleting anyone that did not send a cover letter to narrow the pile down and save loads of time.
Perception of the employer, or at least the Human Resource department, is a very important key in getting selected to interview. The employers see the cover letters as something that candidates have to produce on the fly when applying for the position. This shows your ability to communicate in written form and your ability to follow directions. The cover letter also allows you to address the job description and “wants” of the employer and how you fit their needs or how you can solve their problem.
Remember that companies hire people to solve a problem. If your cover letter is put together correctly, many times the Screener will not even turn the page to read your resume. They will fast track you to the interview pile, and they may even send you a thank you letter.
Please visit our website at www.levelhire.com for more tips on to help you on your job search.
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