Navigating Online Resume Submissions: One Resume for 10 Jobs or 10 Resumes for 10 Jobs?
Applying for a position online may seem like an easy way to get your resume to the hiring manager. In reality, however, it’s a road lined with pitfalls. There are two major things you must think about. First, is the applicant tracking system and how it works. Second, how a company uses the system. Here are some things to think about:
1. All applicant tracking systems work basically the same. They use a ‘parser’ to read the information in your resume to make it as simple as possible.
2. The parser will read your information vs. the information it has been given by the company. In most cases, keywords pulled from the job description will be used. Unfortunately you don’t know the keywords or the parameters they have been given. What this means is that your resume submission must use the exact terminology or you risk the parser not forwarding your resume.
3. Yes, you read that correctly. Just because you submitted your resume and received notification that it was accepted, it doesn’t mean it will reach the hiring manager or HR. Unfortunately, totally unqualified candidates answer job ads so the applicant tracking system helps to sort resumes.
4. It is important that you customize your resume to each job description.
5. You must also read the disclaimers/information on the web site. You need to know how long a company keeps your resume, can you update it and can you apply for different positions or does one resume submission cover other jobs as they become available.
6. This is important because one general resume for a media relations position may not fit the qualifications for a corporate communications position etc.
7. Some companies post a new position and look at the resumes they receive for that position. They don’t go through the database to search for other candidates.
8. You need to know how long it will be on file so you know when to resubmit.
9. If you have submitted a resume online, a recruiter cannot resubmit it.
Before hitting that ‘submit’ button, try to find someone in the company who can help get your resume to the right person. It might take longer but it might get your resume read and get you some feedback.