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Yes, it has happened to even the best of us, you visit the job-boards and respond to over 100 job posts that you feel are well matched to your experience and qualifications; yet the only responses you ever get are the automated emails acknowledging that your application has been received and is being reviewed. You visit the job-board 6 months later (or more), and the same jobs are still being advertised. What does this all mean? In today’s article, you will uncover what may be happening to your applications.
1. The jobs you are applying to may not exist. Hard to believe, but true. So why would employers and recruiters advertise non-existent positions? There are many reasons for this. One is that for 3rd party recruiters, the candidate is the product they sell. Recruiters are therefore constantly building up their database of candidates by attracting them to submit their resumes and other contact information. They do this by posting jobs, whether or not they have a job-order to fill. This way when they do receive an order from an employer, they have a pool of candidates to work with towards filling the employers open position. From the employer’s perspective, recruiters cannot sell them candidates that they have already recruited. Therefore, some employers will attempt to recruit candidates that they may need in the future, and hold their information in a database, this way they too will have a strong database to pull from when the need arises. There are other reasons why recruiters and employers advertise non-existent jobs but this is one of the strongest reasons.
2. It may be that your resume is being screened out by micro-selectors. Micro-selectors are software and processes used by employers to pre-select relevant resumes typically based upon keywords. Unfortunately, micro-selectors don’t only screen out those resumes that may be irrelevant; they also screen out resumes of quality candidates which were written poorly. It is not difficult to find keywords that the employer’s screening is based upon. One tip would be to look at the job description. Make sure that such keywords are properly distributed throughout your resume.
3. It could also be the obvious, you may be applying to jobs that the employer feels do not match your skills: Inexperienced, over-qualified, under-qualified, or lacking in particular credentials; employers seemingly have no problems tagging certain resumes with labels, which may not be accurate, but once tagged, such resumes are given no further consideration. Make sure your resume accurately represents what you can offer the position, no more (or you may be tagged over-qualified) and no less (or you may be tagged unqualified). If for some reason you cannot exclude or include certain aspects of your credentials in your resume, though irrelevant to the posting, explain this in your cover letter.
4. Cookie-cutter recruiting methods. I personally believe this factor to be the number one killer of all good selection processes. There are managers who cannot see beyond pre-set definitions of the term “quality application” as determined in some pre-recruiting meeting. Such managers strictly stick to certain terms that as a group they feel will define your application as “complete”. Take for instance an employer who decides to exclude the application of a candidate, whose resume shows that they have all the credentials required of the position from those selected for an interview, because they did not meet the mandatory condition of including a cover-letter with their application. Such managers have a “group-think” way of justifying their actions with statements such as, the candidate is not thorough, or detailed, or may be lazy and does not follow instructions, and therefore will not fit into the organizations culture and blah blah blah…. While addressing such employers is a topic better-fitted for my recruiting blog; candidates should simply be aware that missing required information may cause their applications to be disqualified.
Do the following to increase the options of receiving responses to your applications: (1) Avoid applying to jobs that sound too vague. Jobs that omit details such as income, city, and company name are most likely fake jobs. (2) Approach employers and recruiters directly, you can even do this as a follow-up to your application. Doing so forces the recruiter or employer to actually pull up your information and look at it. While a job may not be available immediately, you elevate your chances of being considered once a position opens up. (3) Maximize the use of key-words and industry specific phrases on your resume. Still be aware that although your resume has to be written to get past electronic screeners, you have to write for the human at the end of the screening process. Therefore, make sure your resume has a good flow, if you need professional help, get it. (4) Ensure that you include all required information in your application. If you can’t do so, still go ahead and put in your application – hopefully, the individual who is overseeing the selection process is no “cookie-cutter” manager.