By Mary Marino
For job seekers, the process of finding and landing your dream career can be quite nerve-racking. Pair that with the fact that many job hunters don't really know what happens once they hit "send" and you've got a pretty confused group of people.
It's a question we may not think about a lot: what happens when you send out a resume? And what's the job seekers role in all this? Here is some insight.
Applicant Tracking Systems
In the past, applicants just had to send out paper resumes and would likely hear back within a few days or maybe even a week. Now, we have a more congested job market which means employers and human resources professionals need to figure out a way to weed out okay candidates from great candidates.
Enter Applicant Tracking Systems (or ATS). This piece of technology can scan your resume or application and actually select which candidates would make the best fit. This is dependent on many things, but more often than not, if you have certain keywords listed in your application, you'll probably move on to the next stage. These keywords can be anything from having the actual job title in your resume, to keywords that match the job description. When submitting your application, be sure to optimize position specific words or phrases in order to make your resume stand out.
Your brand is evaluated
According to a New York Times article, "75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to do online research of candidates. And 70 percent of recruiters in the United States report that they have rejected candidates because of information online." This means that after you send out your resume, your brand is probably going to be evaluated by recruiters, particularly the one you hold online.
Knowing this information beforehand can serve to your advantage. Instead of posting what you did on Friday night, why not blog about current industry affairs? Or, rather than uploading questionable photographs with friends, you could use Facebook or Twitter to interact with employers. So, when your online brand is evaluated (because it will be), an employer will be able to paint a more positive picture of you, instead of having to question your experience based on a negative reputation.
You'll be contacted...or not
Once you've gone past the ATS and a social media background check, you're probably going to be contacted by the employer. Or not. This part of the process you can make an effort to control when in the job search. How? By following-up.
Never forget that employers and human resource professionals are bombarded with resumes, either through an ATS or through more traditional methods. How are you going to stand out? By sending them an e-mail or giving them a quick phone call, you ensure that your voice is heard. Take this thought one step further and solidify your presence by mentioning your contact in a tweet or posting on the company page. That way, you can know that you've done all you can to get noticed.
Next: 4 Creative Resume Ideas
Mary Marino is the founder of EmploymentPipeline.com, a job search resource that inspires job seekers to become their own recruiter. EmploymentPipeline.com has launched its "Occupation Pipeline" widget, a unique tool which enables users to perform broader career searches by sourcing occupations and employers, rather than job titles. Connect with Mary and EmploymentPipeline.com on Twitter and Facebook.