Posted by: careerworks | May 8, 2012

Getting Past Those Electronic Eyes

When you fill out those online job applications, your information enters a database of applications or automated applicant tracking system. (Sometimes called the resume black hole). How many times have you heard of people filling out dozens of online applications without even getting one response back!

Automated systems sort and process the applications. If your application isn’t processed and brought to the top of the list of applications, it simply won’t be reviewed by human beings.

What do you need to get to the top of the automated list, and get past the filters designed to weed out applicants before HR or anyone else needs to spend any time on it?

You’ll need three things:

1.     Exact keywords and phrases

2.     Find jobs that closely match your skills and abilities

3.     Learn to follow up

Exact Keywords and Phrases

If you don’t have the exact keywords and phrases that the automated system is looking for, your application will fail. It is that simple. Let’s say you’re looking for something using a Google search. In the Google search box, you’ll type in a search term and Google will deliver a list of possible results that relate to the term that you typed in. Although the algorithms are different, the automated applicant tracking systems work the same way.

The irony here is that many people will have the experience and pre-requisites expected, but will not be in the list of top qualified candidates because the automated systems just won’t find their application.

Find Jobs That Closely Match Your Skills and Abilities

Automated systems are looking for specific keywords and phrases; it is easiest to match those keywords when you are applying for jobs that you really do qualify for. But, where do you find those perfect jobs? Finding the right jobs requires knowing where to look, and how to get the right help finding the job opportunities. It is estimated that the big job boards such as Monster, CareerBuilder, and etc. only account for 4 to 8 percent of all hires nationally. What that means is that the majority of the jobs available are not on the big job boards instead, you’ll find them through your network.

Finding just the right job opportunities will cut down the frustration factors and actually improve your chances of interviews and job offers.

Learn to Follow Up

Most people think that online job application means that you can’t contact the company, and that there won’t be any human interaction until you win the job application lottery and your name is chosen. Frankly, this attitude keeps most people from making the short list at the companies that they’re interested in. If you have the first two things mentioned above, then you need to let a real person know it.

Companies often hire people who are a known entity. They are friends of someone in the company, or have worked with someone in the past. This is where the saying comes from, “who you know matters more than what you know.”

No place is that more evident than when it comes to getting hired. As it turns out, knowing who to contact and how to contact them is a key component to becoming that known entity, and gaining a leg up on your competition. Finding the right people to contact and making that connection will make a big difference in the employer’s interest in your online job application.

If you are finally ready for a better online job application experience, then learn the secrets that actually get people hired, that help them get past the automated filters to get interviews and job offers.

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