Applying Online and Not Getting Interviews? Try This…

One of the great frustrations of job seekers is applying online and then never hearing back from employers. Many candidates refer to it as the “black hole” of job applications.

It is critical for job seekers to understand that when you apply online, often a computer known as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is scanning your resume and giving you a PERCENTAGE SCORE or RATING for how closely the words on your resume match the job posting duties and qualifications. If your match is low, your resume may never even be seen by a real person.

Here are a few tips for increasing the odds that your resume makes it through the ATS: online_application

  1. Tailor your resume bullets for each job posting! Make sure ALL skills mentioned in the listing are in your resume if you have them.
  2. Match their language exactly. If they request Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel it is NOT the same as writing Microsoft Office.
  3. Avoid using templates, tables and columns in your resume, an ATS may not read them properly.
  4. Network! Some companies have a place to enter an employee who referred you to the job and will give a priority look at that application. Even better, use this network to email your resume directly to the hiring manager after applying online.
By Heidi J. Perman
Heidi J. Perman Assistant Vice Chancellor, Career & Professional Development