Finding a job is tough work. Finding the right job is even harder.
Tom has been looking for months now. He can document sending hundreds of resumes to openings he found online or through job postings. Nothing. Nada. No response at all. He is very frustrated.
Tom can’t help but think there is something wrong with him. Otherwise he would get some sort of positive response, right?
Actually the real explanation has more to do with the method Tom is using to find his next assignment.
Job ads just don’t work anymore. At least this method does not work very often for the candidate.
Let’s look at the numbers.
What if a company places an ad and receives 100 responses. If the company has an applicant tracking system (ATS), probably one third of the applications will get through the screening process and have all the requirements. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that your resume gets through the ATS.
It is quite probably that someone in the company will review enough of the remaining resumes to find 10 or 15 applications that look promising. There is no guarantee that your application was in the first group to get reviewed. If not, then you are out of the running. If you are in that group, then the hiring manager will look at the applications and trim the list down again. Perhaps only five or six will get a telephone screen.
The odds are not good that your application gets through all those screens to even get seen by someone in authority at the company. In the meantime you are sitting by the phone waiting for that call. When the call never comes (and it probably will not come) you wonder why not. You start filling in all sorts of reasons why not – mostly negative thoughts about ways you and your experience come up lacking. Again you are wasting your time because the reason has nothing at all to do with you. You are a victim of poor job search techniques.
In my opinion and in the opinion of a lot of job search experts, you should not devote too much time to submitting applications. Spend your time networking. Meet people at your target companies. Get referrals. Referrals go to the top of the list above all the anonymous applications that came in over the transom.
Bottom line: Ads are not frauds. Someone will likely get a job offer. But submitting applications is not a successful job search technique. Your odds improve significantly when you network. Make new friends. Build relationships. Use those relationships to get referrals to decision makers.