Avoiding the Resume Black Hole

By, 02/11/2014

Let’s say there are multiple companies you want to apply to. You update your resume with relevant details for each company and craft personalized cover letters to show the recruiter you’re not just blasting out a generic application. Surely they’ll be impressed by your research! But two weeks later, after checking your email on an hourly basis, you haven’t received even a confirmation email. What gives?

Well, dear job applicant, you may have entered the Resume Black Hole. While the Internet has made it faster and easier to find and apply to jobs, it’s a two-way street: Your competition has also increased exponentially. Recruiting departments’ email inboxes are stuffed with resumes, and it’s very easy to get lost in the shuffle.

How do you steer clear of the resume black hole? Use your personal and professional networks. A current employee can bypass the regular application channels altogether and put your resume directly in front of a recruiter, giving you a much better chance to get a response. And don’t forget the power of personal touch—following up and even calling the company directly (if you haven’t heard back in a while) can get you an answer, with the added benefit of showing off your initiative.