Keeping Your Resume Out Of The Online 'Black Hole'
The online "black hole" -- in job searching, it's the equivalent to where that missing sock goes in the dryer. While there is no magic formula for getting your resume noticed online, there are some tricks of the trade to make sure it's not automatically sent to the "just not that into you" folder. So before you hit the submit button, ask yourself... Are there any red flags in my online submission that will turn off individuals reviewing it? Is my profile engaging and interesting or does it scream desperate and lazy?
As a job seeker in a difficult economy, your online presence needs to be polished, professional and represent what you bring to the table. Since employers aren't able to see your charming smile or experience your bubbly personality, your profile needs to set the right tone so they'll want to get to know you better.
So here are some red flags that employers won't overlook and tips to keep your resume from being the sock in the online "black hole" drawer.
Applying For Every Position Posted
Unless you're vying to be an extra in a new adaptation of "Desperado," remove this tactic from your job search strategy. Employers understand the concept of casting a wider net and your desire to get your foot in the door. But applying for every open position sends a message of desperation, indecisiveness, and suggests that "Hooked On Phonics" might not have worked for you. There's nothing wrong with applying to multiple positions. Just make sure you're purposeful and deliberate in your approach as well as qualified for the roles you're applying to.
Applying Often And Fondly To The Same Position
Hitting submit five times a day is not a life preserver for the consideration pool. Application bombardment, at best, will have you treading water and on the nerves of employers. And while they may not always get you an interview, online applicant tracking systems (ATS) are reliable in getting your resume where it needs to go. Most will send you an automated confirmation email (make sure to check your spam filter since they sometimes end up there). So instead of getting trigger happy with the submit button, wait a few days, then follow up with a brief phone call to check the receipt of your resume. This is a more professional approach and demonstrates patience as one of your many employable virtues.
Attaching Your Resume As A PDF.
While you may think PDFs make you appear tech savvy and innovative, it may make your resume invisible. The software in many applicant tracking systems isn't able to read PDFs. So if you apply using this format, the information in your resume literally comes up blank. Word documents are always applicant tracking system (ATS) friendly.
Therefore, keep Word.doc and your resume synonymous with one another and you'll rest easy knowing that your resume won't become Mr. Cellophane in the online world.
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Yolanda M. Owens is a college recruiting specialist and award-winning author of How to Score a Date with Your Potential Employer, an employment guide for young professionals that parallels job searching with dating from the lens of a corporate recruiter. She has placed and educated thousands of graduates (college and post-graduate) seeking to start their careers at top-tier corporations for over a decade. To learn more about Yolanda and her employer “dating” tips, visit her website at www.yolandamowens.com.