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Sending resumes into a void? Five ways to prevent your resume going into the black hole

Do you feel when you send your resume it vanishes into a black hole? You never hear anything from the employers and wonder if they actually looked at it. It’s possible that their hiring process takes a long time, as some companies can take a few months to process applications; it’s also possible that your resume has been placed in a “no” pile.

How do you prevent being on the no pile? Here are six possible ways to prevent your resume from disappearing…

1) Review the job postings carefully, not only for the job duties and qualifications but also for instructions on how to submit the resume. Often applicants make simple and careless mistakes like writing the wrong name on the cover letter, applying for the wrong job or not following the directions provided in the job posting.

2) Check to see if your resume is easy to skim and read quickly? In other words, are the fonts easy to read? What about the layout; is there a nice balance with text and white space? Crowding of text can be overwhelming and too much white space comes across as you do not have much experience. Do not include pictures, your immigration status, your age and marital status.

3) Make sure your resume is targeted to the job. Too often I see job seekers using one resume for all jobs they are interested in. A resume for an office assistant is not the same resume for retail sales and of course not the same resume for a warehouse position. Each of these jobs require different skills and targeting your resume means that you put only relevant information that focuses on the job and what the employer needs.

4) Use keywords that are important to the position. This ties-in with point number three on targeting your resumes. A lot of companies now use a computer system to screen your resume by looking for keywords important for the job. If your resume does not include many of the keywords, the computer will consider your application as not targeted. Keywords can be found on the job postings and from research about the job.

5) Follow-up with the employer with a phone call or a visit to introduce yourself. This allows you to discuss your experience and skills that you were not able to put in your resume. As well, this will help move your resume to the front of the pile. Imagine hundreds, possibly thousands of job seekers applying for the same job that you applied. As the piles of new resumes come in, your resume moves towards the back of the filing cabinet. Eventually there are so many resumes that it’s unlikely the employer will ever get to your resume. By contacting the employer and having a meaningful introduction or chat, the employer will look for your resume, grab it and talk to you over the phone or in person. Once they are done, they will place your resume in front of their filing cabinet.

There is no guarantee about what happens to your resume after you submit it. At least you can try and reduce the possibility of it entering a black hole with the above suggestions. Hopefully this will increase your chances to get noticed and move towards being invited for an interview.

Jennifer4About the Author: Jennifer York is the manager of the Job Options BC program in Vancouver, Surrey and Port Coquitlam for ISSofBC. While working as an employment counsellor, she facilitated and coached immigrants, professionals and students in their job search, both in group and individualized sessions. Please click here for information on ISSofBC’s career services.

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