You found your dream job at one of your dream companies. You edited your resume to fit it 'just right', yest still maintained your brand. You made sure all your entries on the form were spelled right, and the grammar was perfect. You clicked send.
And... nothing. Not one word back.
This is a frustrating experience for anyone, and usually we assign blame to the recruiters for their inability to see how perfect you are.
But, what if the recruiters couldn't see your resume? Or, they reached out to you, but you didn't see the email response?
Here are some technical tips to address the subtle, yet all too real reasons that your on-line job application seems to go into a black hole:
- Your resume attachment is in the wrong format. This is an all-to-common problem. Simply put, some Applicant Tracking Systems don't 'see' documents that aren't in Microsoft Word 2003 format (Yes, if you're using Word 2007, it saves files to the Word 2007 format, so change that). Many candidates prefer other formats for one reason or another, yet in this decision they are making it very difficult for the recruiters to know they exist.
- For those on-line submission processes that DON'T allow resume attachments, paste your resume in from an ASCII-formatted document. This is actually quite easy to do. Open your current resume in whatever software you use, select all the text, select Copy, then open up a text editor, such as Notepad, and then Paste the text into that document. Check all the formatting, text, etc., to make sure it is EXACTLY how you want it. Once you've completed that, select all the text in this document, select Copy one more time, and then move to the submission form where they want the resume to be posted into the web page. Select Paste. Review the text in this form, and then proceed with your submission process.
- Check your Spam Filter file daily during your job search. These days it's just too common to have a given email address or domain get on the wrong list. If Seth Godin's email can get messed up this way, you can bet that anyone else, including your favorite recruiter or hiring manager can, too!
In sum, there are many reasons why you might not hear back from the 'perfect' company after you've applied for the 'perfect' role. And, there are things you can do to make the process work better for you!