Get Your Resume Noticed. The Right Way.

At Ladders we have a name for the “sent resume got no response” dilemma. We call it the resume black hole: When a job seeker sends his resume to job listings and recruiters … and never hears back. Ever. It tops the list of frustrations for most job seekers.

Why does this happen? And how can you avoid getting sucked into the resume black hole? Consider what these companies are up against, says New York Times reporter Phyllis Korkki.

“The Internet has made it absurdly easy to apply for jobs. This means that unqualified people are clogging the system with their wing-and-a-prayer applications,” Korkki writes in her article “Where, Oh Where, Has My Application Gone?”

While there’s no way to guarantee a recruiter will get back to you, there are some steps you can take to make sure your resume gets noticed.

Make a Name for Yourself

We’ve heard over and over again how important it is to network, both in person and online. Ladders columnist Louise Fletcher reminds job seekers to work on a web presence as well as “join a few select message boards related to your profession,” for better networking.

Use the Right Words

Maybe it’s not the recruiter that isn’t getting back to you. If your resume doesn’t have the right keywords it may never get past the ATS (applicant tracking system) and onto the recruiter’s desk.

An ATS can be the job seeker’s worst nightmare if your resume is not full of targeted keywords, according to Lisa Vaas, in her article The 24 Step Modern Resume – where she gives a checklist chock full of get-noticed tips.

Stand Out, Not Outrageous

A recent Career Builder survey of recruiters and hiring managers gives job seekers some valuable insight. You want to stand out, but not too far out.

You certainly want recruiters to take notice of your resume. You don’t want them to email it around the office for kicks though. Here are some strange, albeit entertaining resume faux pas.

    • Candidate put God down as a reference (no phone number).
    • Candidate claimed to be a direct descendant of the Vikings.
    • Candidate’s e-mail address had “LovesBeer” in it.
    • Candidate listed “Master of Time and Universe” under his experience.
    • Candidate’s condition for accepting the position was being allowed to bring his pet monkey to the workplace.
    • Candidate pointed out, “I’ll have your job in five years.”