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Applying for a job online means that your application is entered into a database of applications, sometimes called the automated applicant tracking system or the online application repository. But you and I know them as the resume black hole. Think about it—how many online job applications have you submitted without hearing back from the company that you submitted to?
Your online job application is sorted and processed by the automated system. Only the top applications are actually ever delivered to an HR representative or a real person of any kind to look through.
What You Need
What do you need to get your resume on top, and get past the automated filters designed to weed out applicants before HR or anyone else has a chance to spend any time on it?
You will need these three things:
1. To put the exact keywords and phrases in the resume and application.
2. Locate jobs that are matched closely to your skills and abilities.
3. Connect with the right contacts to support your application and follow up with.
Use Exact Keywords and Phrases
Have you ever done a Google search for something that you had in mind, but after typing in the search, you got back a page of search results that had absolutely nothing to do with what you were looking for? Well, the technology that fuels the job application engines use the same type of technology to find the exact words that the hiring managers have programmed into the database. If you don’t have the exact keywords and phrases that the automated system is looking for, your application will fail. It is that simple
What most people don’t understand is that they probably have the experience and training that is needed and that the hiring managers are looking for, but, their application is just getting filtered out in the automated system.
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Find Jobs That Closely Match Your Skills and Abilities
If you are applying for jobs that you are qualified for, then you may have a better chance of getting all of those required words and phrases in your application. If you are applying for jobs that are a real stretch for you, then it is a lot tougher. But, where do you find those perfect jobs that you are looking for? Finding the right jobs requires knowing where to look, and how to get the right help finding job opportunities. It is estimated that the big job boards such as ZipRecruiter, Careerbuilder, and etc. only account for 4 to 8 percent of all hires nationally. What that means is that the majority of the jobs available are not on the big job boards. You need to expand where you are looking for the right jobs. Personal and social networks can help introduce you to jobs that aren’t as easy to find. They help you access the “hidden job market” where the competition is significantly less, and odds are much greater in your favor for getting hired.
Finding just the right job opportunities will cut down the frustration factors immensely and actually improve your chances of interviews and job offers.
The Right Contacts To Follow Up With
Don’t fall into the myth that many people do. They think that because they applied online, it means that they can’t contact the company. It creates the illusion that there can’t be any human interaction until you win the job application lottery and your name is magically chosen from the incredibly big pool of applicants.
Frankly, this attitude will keep most people from making it onto the shortlist at the companies that they are interested in. If you have the right skill set and can articulate that correctly on the application then, you only need a little human interaction to seal the deal.
Don’t take it lightly. Knowing who to contact and how to contact them is a key component to becoming that known entity, and gaining a foot in the door at that perspective place of employment.
For most people, an attempt at contacting someone in the company ends up poorly. They usually end up with the receptionist’s remark, “if they choose your resume, you will get a phone call from the hiring manager.” Finding the right people to contact and contacting them in the right way will make a big difference in the employer’s interest in your online job application.
When you call, ask for the person in charge of the resumes or job applications. This is the first filter that you have to get past. Ask the person in charge of receiving applications if the job you are interested in is still available, then ask them what they really want to see on the application. Tell them that you are applying for the job, and ask them to look for your application. Taking a little time getting to know the person responsible for the applications may win you a real person reviewing your resume, getting you past the first and most intimidating hurdle towards an interview and getting a job.
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