The Resume Black Hole
I think everybody has experienced the dreaded resume black hole at some point or another. This is when you send out dozens of applications and hear absolutely nothing back. It’s like your resume went to the same vortex that mismatched socks and one hit wonder bands go. This is extremely frustrating, so how can you prevent this from happening?
Large Job Boards Don’t Work Well
The reason large job boards don’t work very well is because you and a thousand other people are all applying for the same job. A large number of those people aren’t even qualified for the job, they just apply anyway using the shotgun approach.
Because we are dealing with such large numbers, the odds of the hiring manager finding your resume in a stack that size is quite small, especially if your resume isn’t top notch.
However, if you search for openings on smaller, local or niche job boards, your resume may only be competing with as few as 50 to 100 applicants. So you could be 10 TIMES more likely to get an interview simply because you are decreasing the applicant pool.
Get on LinkedIn and Get Going
80% of jobs are filled by networking. Let me say that again. Out of all open positions, even the ones you see on large job boards, 80% are filled through networking. What does that mean? It means you need to start meeting people, talking to people you know about the company they work for. Then go to the company websites who employ your friends and look for open positions. Don’t call your friend and beg for a referral. Simply call and conversationally mention that you saw a position at the company he/she works for and ask their opinion on working there. Showing interest and asking questions gets an open dialog going because most people don’t mind at all to talk about their job. Only after some friendly banter should you propose a referral. Just be mindful that they are going to have to put their reputation on the line to do this for you, so be gracious if they hesitate because they may reconsider.
You’re probably asking “so all the jobs posted on big job boards are just a waste of time?”. Not exactly, this is how it often works: You see a job posting on some large job board, you say “hey my friend Dave works for that company”. You apply to the job, but you also call your friend Dave and he’ll give the hiring manager a heads up to look for your resume, and viola! That’s how 80% of jobs are filled by networking. The function of the job board is first and foremost to Advertise the Job. The rest is up to you!
If job hunting is a battle, then your resume is your sword. Don’t go into battle with an old, dull, and rusted resume. Consider having your Resume professionally written to help you stand out from the crowd.