How to Avoid the Resume Black Hole

Resume Have you ever encountered a situation where you post for an open job position online and never hear back from the hiring manager? Do you often feel like your resume has landed in a black hole of applications? Most people do. But Chris Forman, founder & CEO of StartWire, has created a novel approach to tracking where your resume goes once you hit send. Startwire closes the application black hole by providing job seekers with free, automatic status updates on job applications from thousands of employers. AOL Jobs recently interviewed Forman to learn more about StartWire.

Q. How does StartWire work?

A. StartWire works in much the same way as; but rather than organizing your travel itinerary, it organizes your job search. You simply share where you've applied, connect your application account to StartWire, and sit back. Every 12 hours we check the job and your application and share any updates. Is the job still active? Has your application been reviewed? Have you been moved to the next stage or been disqualified?

Additionally, StartWire gives you a red, yellow, or green indicator of your chances of getting a call based on your application date, the age of the job, and industry benchmarks. This quick 'stop light' is a fan favorite.

Q. What was the inspiration for StartWire?

A. My co-founder, Tim McKegney, and I have close to 30 years of combined experience in the recruiting technology space. If you look at any piece of research conducted in the last decade regarding online job search, the No. 1 complaint of people looking for work is the application black hole. Job seekers apply for open jobs and never hear back. Most folks who have looked at this problem thought it was so big and so tough it couldn't be solved. Those are the types of challenges we love to tackle.

Q. What's your favorite feature on the site?

A. The auto updates on applications are a great benefit to job seekers. Even though most of our updates deliver 'bad' news (meaning that the job seeker has not been selected or has been disqualified), the knowledge that we are allowing people to quickly get the news and move on is really important. We have been thanked by so many job seekers for this simple functionality, it's really motivating. One job seeker told us, "I hadn't heard from two companies in four weeks. StartWire gave me an update in 60 seconds. Sadly, I was rejected ... but I'm really happy to know the score." Another user commented, "StartWire's red/yellow/green status indicators are great. They help me manage my expectations."

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I have been an Executive Assistant for over 15 years and my old Company was downsizing and I was displaced. I am sending my resume to all the possible jobs available & usually get no response. I feel my resumes go into that black hole as well.

I would like to begin startwire so that I know if my resume got to the employer and if the job has been filled so I'm not waiting for a reply. This is a great idea!

Thank you and best regards,

March 07 2012 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hi I have been in the dental field for 20 years plus currently looking for a dental hygiene position in the pgh washington pa area. Rose Lamagna
773 Garlow Blvd

773 Garlow Blvd Pittsburg, PA 15239·
(412) 877-4330 · LAMAGNAP@AOL.COM
Rosemarie lamagna
To secure a challenging Dental Hygiene position utilizing my education and experience to become a valuable asset to my employer
DENTAL HYGIENIST/dental hygiene practioner
2006-present Dr. Ronald Speranza DMD Pgh. PA
Dental hygienist
Propylaxis, fluoride, and varnish application ( also with cavitron, cavijet and hand scaling)
Root planing and scaling with sub ging irrigation and perio chip placement
Recall system
Intrao-oral video camera
Digital radiographs, panoramic and ceph
Sharpen instruments in office
Alginate impressions , pour models, trimming and finishing
Adj occlusions smooth and fill temp fillings
Retrieval of previous hx and x-rays
Apply local and topical anesthesia
Stock and sample ordering
Utilize kavodent (cavity detecter)
Currently retrieving practioner liscence
Dental assisting skills (on job from 1989-present)
Dental lab skills (certification at accredidated dental tech school)
1992-Present Dr. James F. Petraglia DMD (412)621-4454
Dental hygienist
. Same as above Dental assistant
2007-present Dr. Peretich (412)271-1602

1992-1993 Dr. Mark Antonucci DMD (412)828-4200
Dental Assistant
.Pack and carve restorations
.Remove sutures
.Lab work
.Making and insertion of
temp crown and bridge
1989-1992 Dr. Israel Kazew. DMD (412)321-2777
DenTAL ASSISTANT (assist chair side , TRAIN
1999-2001 University of Pittsburgh
.Dental Hygiene, (3.81GPA/4.0 scale)
.RDH, June 2001
.Dental technician
Courses: Crown and Bridge, dentures and partials Pittsburgh, Pa. 15239
Dear Sir or Madam:

Please accept this letter and attached resume in strictest confidence as an expressed interest in joining your organization in a capacity which will effectively utilize my dental education and experience.

I feel I am qualified for this position because I have worked in a dental office since 1989and I am able to work quickly, face challenges dominantly, and work professionally in a fast-paced environment. I am always willing to expand my horizons and work prominently in stable and secure surroundings, nevertheless, continue to be punctual and organized.

I am confident that I would make a valuable contribution to your organization and would welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss this with you personally.

To arrange an interview with me, please contact me at the above address and phone number at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your time and courtesy in reviewing this material and for your forthcoming response.


Rose Lamagna


my resime follows.

October 07 2011 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

l am looking for a job as an elderly caregiver[private care] l have many years of experience love elderly a lot my previous l was there for 15years...she e-mail address is l dont want to work for any name is jackie gould.....thank you

August 07 2011 at 12:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We've tried this application for a number of weeks. While it is getting better, it still isn't ready for prime-time. Example, just today, we received notification on 4 job confirmations emails we sent to the Track An Application email address 11 days ago. We also experienced a point where the tracking system said we had applied to some 100+ jobs, all listed on our account, when in fact we had not. It still needs work and not something this HR professional would recommend now. You are better off using an Excel spreadsheet and contacting your LinkedIn resources directly. That would be safer and more reliable.

June 14 2011 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This piece doesn't talk about the StartWire feature I like best: StartWire scans who you know on LinkedIn and Facebook, and shows you jobs where you have contacts. The site also gives you the ability to edit and send a quick note to these friends about a job - which makes it easier to get recommendations and referrals.

May 04 2011 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where I worked it was impossible to avoid the resume black hole. The head of Human Resources was an African American female.

May 04 2011 at 6:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This the neatest thing ever...I've wondered what happened to my resume if they got it or least ill know they got the thing and I just didnt make the cut.

May 04 2011 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't see how this service helps you avoid the black hole. It appear that the only service it provides is to inform the applicant when their resume enters the black hole. The net outcome is the same.

May 04 2011 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chandlee Bryan

If you're interested in learning more about StartWire, attend one of our free webinars:

Webinars for new users are offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This week, we are also presenting this webinar:

Inside the Beast: How Corporate America Really Reviews Candidates and Selects Who to Interview

Based on original research with some of the top HR & recruiting practitioners in corporate America, this ‘inside tour’ gives you the good, bad, and ugly of how recruiting really works in corporate America and how to manage the system to get in the door.
Thursday, May 5 Noon - 1 PM EDT
To Register:

Chandlee Bryan
StartWire Community Manager

May 04 2011 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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