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How to Avoid the Resume Black Hole

Tips and Strategies for Getting Your Resume Noticed

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How to Avoid the Resume Black Hole

Use keywords in your resume to help it get noticed.

Copyright FMP

Did you ever feel like your resume has been lost in a black hole, never to be seen again? One of the things I hear, over and over again, from job seekers is that it feels like their resume is getting sucked into a black hole when they apply for jobs online.

Job seekers take the time to search for jobs, follow the application instructions, and wait - and wait - and wait. They don't hear a word back from companies and their applications seems to be lost in a resume black hole. In some cases, we're talking about hundreds of resumes submitted without a single response from an employer.

What to do to keep your resume out of that black hole and, hopefully, get it reviewed by the hiring manager? These tips will help get your resume, as least, a fighting chance of being considered for a job.

Tips for Avoiding the Resume Black Hole
  • Resume Keywords. Use resume keywords that match the skills listed in the job description, so your application has a shot at making it to the top of the pile.
  • Customized Cover Letters. Take the time to write a custom cover letter that specifies why you are a strong candidate for the job.
  • Job Search Words. Use job search words to find appropriate jobs to apply to. The better a match, the better your chances are.
  • Create a Target List of Companies. Take the time to research companies and create a list of companies you'd like to work for. When you've found companies that are a good match, you'll know that the employer's culture and mission match what you're seeking. And you'll also be able to connect with people at the company who can help you secure an interview and give you a reference.
  • Apply Directly to Companies. Apply direct - bypass the job boards and apply directly where companies are hiring.
  • Find Your Connections. Use SimplyHired to see who you are connected with at a company before you apply.
  • Use LinkedIn. Check LinkedIn for job postings (and check the Groups you belong to, as well) and to find connections at companies.
  • Get Job Search Help. If you're a college student or graduate check with your career services office for a list of alumni contacts at companies you are interested in.
  • Talk To Your Contacts. Let all your connections know you're interested in the job and ask if they can give you insight into the hiring process and possibly a referral to the hiring manager.

Review these sample networking letters to get some ideas on how to phrase the messages you send to contacts.

Do you have advice for keeping your resume out of the black hole? Add your advice to our tips for getting your resume noticed.

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