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San Antonio, TX

Advanced knowledge of programming language(s), software development tools and environment(s) and systems analysis and functional design

Staffing Myth: Your Resume Goes into a Black Hole (Part II)

April 30, 2013
Staffing Myth:  Your Resume Goes into a Black Hole (Part II)

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.


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About the author

Shane DavisShane Davis is a senior recruiting professional, specializing in identifying and placing technology candidates in the Tampa Bay area. Shane holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Bentley University and is currently obtaining his Master of Science in Entrepreneurship & Applied Technologies at USF. Connect with Shane on LinkedIn

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Comments (18) -

Charles Mack

Charles Mack United States
4/30/2013 12:46:53 PM #

This article was  very helpful.


Charles United States
5/1/2013 2:36:22 AM #

In the first 24 hours of a job posting, the posting entity can generally plan on receiving 500 - 800 resumes from all across the globe.  It ill take another week to get an additional 500 - 1000 resumes.  A recruiter at best is going to have time to reach out to maybe two dozen.  The rest get filed, tossed, or scanned into a resume database - and THAT'S the black hole.


Deepak United States
5/2/2013 10:37:31 AM #

This article makes much sense to anyone in the IT staffing industry. Working as a recruiter and manager, I have to grapple with the "resume black hole" nearly with every submission. Vendor management systems are making traditional staffing more into a commodity driven industry, where speed and timing matter more than anything.

Carl Listrom

Carl Listrom United States
5/22/2013 11:50:18 AM #

I did not think you were interested in me or my resume any longer. SInce I am past retirement age and have not worked for almost 3 years, I did not think you could place me. My resume has not changed. If you want another copy, I will email it to you. Let me know.


Howard United States
5/22/2013 11:57:50 AM #

It is ironic that Kforce is publishing this article. From my experience, I have a better chance of getting hit by a truck than I have being contacted by a Kforce recruiter (and thats when I apply for a position that is a "good fit").

Common courtesy is a thing of the past.


Howard United States
5/22/2013 2:37:30 PM #

Where did my earlier comment disappear to, the imaginary black hole?

Douglas Kraemer

Douglas Kraemer United States
5/22/2013 2:51:13 PM #

Bigger isn't necessarily better.  I only deal with firms where I can speak with someone.  I have a few recruiters I work directly with for projects and they are pretty reliable.  Huge companies that only have web interfaces may get all the attention, but not all the jobs.  Don't disregard the small guys.  I've had my best luck with them.


Joe United States
5/22/2013 3:29:01 PM #

The sad truth is that the job application process is much like a lottery.  Recruiters do no want to spend the time to get quality candidates.  It is much easier to "carefully consider" a candidate by scanning their resume for 7 seconds then deciding on one.

I do not know if this will get posted or not but here goes.  Most recruiters work only for the company that is paying them.  They truly do not care which job seeker gets the work.  When the job seeker pays the recruiter or job agent, then that person works for the job seeker.  It really is that simple.  The business model is not for the job seeker.


Howard United States
5/22/2013 3:59:52 PM #

As previously stated, it is ironic that Kforce is posting this article. Just recently, I applied for a Kforce position for which I was "a great fit". No response. Through Linked In I contacted 3 Kforce connections; No response.

The black hole is alive and well in Kforce. No courtesy, no callbacks, no nothing. I have a better chance of being hit by a truck than hearing back from these guys.


Roberta E. Foye

Roberta E. Foye United States
5/22/2013 7:20:45 PM #

I have been seeking employment in the Receptionist/Administrative field in Salem, NH that was posted on-line from KForce.  I spoke with a recruiter last week and told me to forward my resume (which I did) and he would put it into the respective Recruiters hands.

To date May 22, 2013, I have not heard back from anyone at KForce, with whom I registered with last year (Nicole Cutler).  I was told she is no longer at KForce.  Who would have taken her position?   I really hope to hear from a Recruiter, as I am available to start work as soon as possible.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Roberta Foye -



mark United States
5/22/2013 7:24:33 PM #

I agree with Howard. KFORCE and MONSTER are all the same. Manpowers
Calls me to do skilled trades work to catch up on a companies back log and
Then I am left out in the cold. They pay peanuts for my hard earned
Skills too! KFORCE just clogs up my email. They don't walk the talk!


Lucy United States
5/22/2013 7:40:30 PM #

I met with a recruiter in my area about a year ago. NOT K-Force. Several of my references were on vacation at the time and then I had an unexpected interview that I was waiting to hear the results from. I contacted him by email about 2 1/2 weeks later with my refernce info and asked if he had anything. No response. I emailed again. Again no resonse. Seven months later I heard from him. Just checking in to see what my job status was. I had returned to my temp job but it was about to end. I told him I had gotten the impression he really wasn't interested in working with me b/c he hadn't responded to my emails. He said sometimes the email filters at his company did strange things.Several weeks ago, I emailed him about a posting I had seen. He said he wasn't working with that company and couldn't work with me on them b/c I had interviewed with them. So I emailed him back and asked about another company in the area. No response. Guess his "filters" were turned on again. It's the RUDE treatment that gets to you after a while.


Kathy United States
5/22/2013 8:07:44 PM #

I have to agree with Howard. I've been registered with KForce for over 10 yrs. The first 2 years I checked in weekly. Then I started using the quick apply, now I just apply using my monster account because I know I won't hear from them.


kmazing United States
5/22/2013 11:25:12 PM #

Howard's comment resonated with me. Several months ago I applied to what I thought was a job posting for which I had more than 90% matching qualifications. Regrettably, I gave my email address as a contact. I received no response regarding the alleged job posting; however, I now receive daily spam from KForce. Sorry I didn't understand the MLM nature of the job posting.


kmazing United States
5/22/2013 11:28:33 PM #

blessings and integrity to the moderators

joe applies and applies

joe applies and applies United States
5/23/2013 12:38:08 AM #

Please note: they don't even read the comments here disparaging this article.  Do you really think they read RESUMES?

Of course not.  They stuff 'em through a program which picks out the resume with the most keywords that match the job posting.  You're wasting your time with KForce and its ilk.


IThinkNot United States
5/23/2013 2:14:07 PM #

So to match the resume Black hole there is a Comment Black hole? But seriously, I have applied to a number of positions I was a good match for with KForce, in about 12 months of trying (not only here, that would be useless) I have never gotten anyone from KForce to contact me even once. They want people to believe that they are really listening maybe they should....I don't know, contact the person with at least a "We think you're useless, never contact us again" message.


Unemployed United States
5/23/2013 5:47:04 PM #

Be A Match

That's a joke. Many job descriptions are standard boilerplate and match thousands of candidate resumes.

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