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by Jacquelyn Smith | Forbes
Many job seekers spend countless hours writing, polishing and blasting their résumés to dozens of companies. Then they wait, and wait, and never hear a thing.
That’s because human resources people and hiring managers receive heaps of résumés for any given job opening, and they end up missing, skipping or tossing a lot of them. However, it turns out there are things you can do to help ensure your résumé is seen.
“I think résumés end up in the résumé black hole if the person just responds to a posting or ad and does nothing else,” says Anita Attridge, a Five O’Clock Club career and executive coach. “Today companies are receiving hundreds of résumés for each position and, due to the volume, are not acknowledging receipt of them. Most large and medium-size companies are using applicant tracking systems to screen résumés before a person looks at them. Smaller organizations many just review the ones they receive until they find enough qualified candidates and then set the other résumés aside.”
Ruth Robbins, a certified career counselor with the Five O’Clock Club, suggests that using buzz words and key phrases that demonstrate you are a perfect fit for the job will help you get on the employer’s radar—but even with a perfectly tailored résumé, there is no way to know if or when it will be reviewed by the hiring manager.
“The best way to make sure your résumé is seen is by networking into the company,” Attridge says. “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.”
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. Before sending your résumé, have at least one person you trust review it so that it can have a better chance of catching the eyes of the employer.
Keep it simple. Avoid graphics and logos and other things that may “clog” how an applicant tracking system reads your résumé.
Research the company’s hiring process. “Companies like Google and Facebook include specific insights into their interview process,” says Samantha Zupan, a spokesperson for Glassdoor. “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.