As a recruiting professional in constant contact with top candidates daily, I often hear the words “I stopped sending my resume to online job postings because my resume goes into a black hole and I never hear back.” While it may appear as though a black hole lies just beyond the “submit resume” button, your resume does go somewhere and you can combat the gravitational pull of this mythical black hole.
There is certainly fierce competition for in-demand jobs, but there are several factors that can increase the likelihood of getting a call back from a recruiter or employer. The tips below can help you improve your job search and apply process, and with any luck, result in a call to learn more about the opportunity.
1. Be a match
It’s important to really examine each job you’re applying to and only apply for jobs that meet your actual qualifications and experience. Looking at the job description, you should at minimum meet 90 percent of the required skills and at least 50 percent of the preferred skills. A recruiter typically calls the candidates back who have the highest probability of pleasing their client’s demands first.
2. Be local or willing to relocate
Matching a job posting’s skills and requirements is one way to stand out in a sea of candidates, but it’s also important for recruiters to find those who can easily commute to the client’s location and are available to interview in person without a major inconvenience. If you apply to a job outside of the state you live in, include a brief cover sentence at the top of your resume indicating why you are interested in relocating.
3. Timing is everything
Many times a recruiter has a short window to find the right match for a particular position, so it's important to always keep your recruiter informed about your employment status, as well as keep your resume and contact information up to date. Once a job is posted, and candidates begin applying, sometimes it may be too late to get the attention of the hiring manager or recruiter! To combat this, you can sign up to receive immediate notifications through Kforce job alerts every time a new job is posted that matches your skill sets. If you’ve worked with a recruiter before, directly touch base with them on your interest on a particular job posting.
4. Tailor your resume using keywords
To help you get the attention of a recruiter, use keywords in your resume and remember to specifically highlight the required and preferred skills you possess for the specific job you’re applying to. Don’t just overload you resume with keywords though, it’s key to be honest when representing your expertise with a particular skill or technology.
Also, don’t assume your resume obviously states your level of expertise. Be specific with each instance of your use of the skill or technology, and list it towards the beginning of each job responsibility.
In addition to the tips above, remember that the top candidates typically get the first call back from a recruiter or employer. If you consistently do not hear back, ask a friend or family member to review your resume to ensure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Consider following the staffing firm or company you want to work with on social media and connect with recruiters that may be able to point you in the right direction. Your resume may not go into a black hole, but you want to ensure it gets into the hands of a potential recruiter or employer by using the advice above.