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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

June 11, 2014 / Stephanie Anderson

Warning: Avoid the resume black hole with these simple tips

Sending out countless resumes only to sit, wait and ultimately hear nothing is a frustrating process for job seekers. What really happens to all of those finely crafted resumes? The answer: they go to die in the resume black hole.

Today’s hiring managers are inundated with so many resumes and out of necessity many of them are missed, skipped or simply tossed out – sent to the resume black hole. To ensure your resume avoids disappearance and makes it to the top of the pile, past computer filters and in front of a real person, here are a few steps you should take.

1. Polish your resume
Skip the generic jargon and customize your resume for any job you apply for. Slight tweaks help the copy align more with one position over another, which can help you get noticed. Don’t forget to have someone proofread your resume – typos, run-on sentences and poor grammar can make it an instant candidate for the resume black hole.

2. Use keywords
Industry buzzwords and keywords from the job listing should always be incorporated throughout a resume. This will help ensure it passes any computerized filtering and tracking systems. It also helps grab the attention of the hiring manager who is looking for the perfect candidate. Warning: never copy the job posting verbatim – it’s a big red flag. Instead use your own words and phrasing to create the copy.

3. Utilize your network
Your professional network is your best asset when applying for a job. If you know someone at the company, make sure he or she knows you submitted an application and kindly ask for an endorsement. That contact can send an email with your resume to the hiring manager or meet with HR directly – this almost guarantees that your resume will be reviewed more closely.

4. Apply early
Each company accepts resumes differently. Some will filter every resume that is submitted. Others will review until they have enough applicants to start interviewing and then dismiss any that come in later. To avoid losing out, apply as early as possible. Being one of the first applicants for a job opening might mean a better chance at getting noticed.

5. Go directly to the source
Cluttered and confusing job postings can leave you wondering who is really handling your resume. That’s why you should use a job search engine that indexes only the jobs that come directly from company websites, like LinkUp! You can then feel confident that your resume is going directly to the source and that it will skip the scammers and middlemen.

6. Understand the hiring process
Some companies hire very quickly while others have long, tedious hiring processes. When does the posting close? How long will it take before interviews are scheduled? Who will be contacting candidates? Although it is not always possible, having an idea of what to expect can reduce stress.