The Online Job Application Black Hole – Part 2

Get ready. The following will help you avoid falling into the online job application black hole in the first place or if you have fallen into the online job application black hole and cannot get up then how to build a ladder and climb up to safety.

Let’s be critical - it can be fun.

Very simply, most of these software systems use a keyword count to rank all the hundreds or thousands of resumes received. Some cutoff point is made, say, the top 30 resume point – getters.

Can you see how easy it is to game the system?

Just regurgitate the job description back to company in your resume, sprinkle a few more keywords generously throughout your resume and then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Your baker’s yeast resume will now rise in rankings thanks to its clever key word leavening agent recipe.

I wish everyone did this. Could you imagine the HR Recruiting chaos that would result??

Maybe it would lead to a better, fairer system.

The resume you submit should already have some keywords that appear in the job description and if not that is pretty good indicator you are not good match for the position and should not waste your time and move on to another opportunity.

The better approach:

Before you complete the very often time consuming and frustrating online application try calling the company and find out who posted the ad.

But DON’T act like a typical job seeker. Be helpful to your contact. Try this:

Some online posts do identify the recruiter at the company. If not, try linked in to find a recruiter at the target company who specializes in your functional expertise. If none of the above is available, then call into the company and ask who posted the job opening. Tell the gatekeeper you want to make sure your application was received. (whether or not you actually applied online)

When you get to the job poster offer this to them:

Hi Mary, this is Scott Green, I was hoping you might be able to help me – this is really a networking call. I am interested in learning what the three most important requirements are for the ___________ position. I feel I appear well suited for the role but if I am not a match I have a very broad network and I am happy to reach out to my professional network and refer a strong candidate to you.

This is a nice take on give to get. It is really a networking call – you should intend to help but you also strive to learn without completing an online application if you are a match. If you are, because of this personal connection, more than likely your application will get pulled and reviewed.

You should then always follow-up after submitting your resume and you now have formed a key relationship with the primary gatekeeper. This gatekeeper wants the job filled and off his or her desk – you may be the solution personally or by help by referral.

Bottom line: Be old fashioned – call first, apply later. Save time, get better results.

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