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Avoiding The Resume Black Hole

Legend tells of something called the "resume black hole." It is said that this is where seemingly qualified applications go to die after they have been submitted.

The truth is actually a little less complicated -- and interesting -- than that.

Many organizations have what is called an applicant tracking system (ATS). This technology scans incoming resumes and cover letters for specific keywords and other criteria, and discards the ones that don't meet them. This is the reason why some job seekers feel their applications go into a black hole when they apply for jobs.

Thankfully, there are ways to avoid this situation. By following these five techniques, you can make sure your application has the best chance of avoiding the dreaded resume black hole:

  • Don't apply to jobs for which you are not qualified;
  • Don't apply to the same job over and over again;
  • Use the body of your e-mail to address any obvious disqualifiers in your resume -- make it hard for screeners to ignore you;
  • Include keywords that appear in the job description in your resume; and,
  • Include the most relevant experience at the top of your resume.
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