If a resume is submitted as part of an online application process but no one ever sees it, does it really exist? You may have asked yourself this question a number of times, and I’m here to confirm your suspicions. If you’ve spent hours crafting your resume and cover letter only to have no response at all to an online application, it’s a complete waste of your time — and sadly, you’re not alone.
Less than 30% of people applying for jobs using online applications ever receive a real response. This is because up to 50% of applications are screened out by the company’s talent-management software. You will probably receive an auto response that acknowledges receipt and then, if you’re lucky, you may receive a notification when the job has been filled.
Before I share with you just how to get your resume seen by an actual person, it warrants mentioning that the biggest complaint of hiring managers is that more than 50% of job applicants are not qualified for the job to which they’ve applied. When you’re guilty of this, the odds of you receiving any type of correspondence are drastically reduced. Pay close attention to the “required” versus “optional” attributes of a job description and be realistic when evaluating your skills.
If you’re certain you’re not only qualified, but also the best person for the job, the simple way to get an actual person to review your resume is to get your resume into the hands of a decision-maker.
I know, I know. I can hear the groans emanating from you as you read this. While this seems obvious (and difficult), I promise you, it’s neither. It can be done, and since so many people fail to even try, you can make yourself stand out by going this extra mile.
Here are the steps you need to take to make this happen:
Locating the Decision-Maker
What to Say When You Make Contact
If you’re thinking this process is too simplistic, why over complicate things? The fact that you’re taking this extra step to reach out to someone will differentiate you from the applicants who simply submit their resumes and hope for the best. Don’t knock it until you try it.
Not sure what to say in a voicemail? Try this:
Hi! My name is ___, and I’m contacting you because I have a strong interest in working for X company and I recently applied online to X position. I was hoping you might take a moment to review my resume because I believe that once you do, you will be as confident as I am that I’m the right person for the job.
An email would be similar:
I am contacting you because I submitted my resume for X position, requisition number XYZ, and I am extremely interested in the position. I believe my skills and experience are a great match for the job and I would like to formally request the opportunity to speak with you to discuss my candidacy.
For your convenience, I have attached a copy of my resume. Please let me know if you have some time this week to speak with me.
Remember, the object of this process is to get someone to look at your resume. Will it guarantee you an interview? No. But it will greatly increase your odds.
Originally written for the Career Attraction blog.