Today practically every company has some sort of ATS (Applicant Tracking System). With unemployment heading north and job candidates sending sometimes 70 to 80 resumes out per week there are a couple of things you need to know.
Sending your resume using many of the largest online job boards like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com might not help you as much as you think with finding a new job!
Today more than ever, companies are trying to grab as many resumes into their database as possible. A problem with this practice is the tsunami of resumes that hiring managers are receiving via their ATS. They are inundated with people who are under qualified or over qualified for position and the ones that are right for the position are many times being overlooked. The research out there shows that there is a very low average (somewhere between 2-5%) of people who use these job boards that actually get placed in a position they find there.
Job Candidates today need an edge when it comes to finding a new Job. One area I strongly support is finding a successful recruiter with a strong client list to work with who can use his connections to help you out. I've provided countless supporting reasons for this throughout my blog. But even using a recruiter might not help many.
The fact is there is also a low percentage of candidates to placements with recruiting as well. Most candidates that meet a recruiter will not end up finding a job through that recruiter. Now... those job candidates that do not get placed by that recruiter will still indeed benefit from spending some time with a during a screening or just through a conversation with that recruiter.
Recruiters can provide very specific and effective recommendations job searching techniques that ultimately can be used by that candidate to help find and get that next job. The reality is that recruiters are seeking out the best of the best for their clients. For good reason too, since companies by and large pay, on average, 25% of a job candidate's first year annual salary to a recruiter for a placement. The last thing a recruiter wants to do is send a candidate to a client that is not of the highest quality in every aspect. After all, that is one of the main purposes that a company uses a recruiter for in the first place.
There is a misconception out there that needs to be cleared up however. Companies DO NOT pay candidates less in salary because they are coming in through a recruiter. Job salaries are set in place by a company regardless if a candidate is placed by internal hiring managers directly or by recruiters.
Now back to ATS... The fact of the matter is that when a job seeker submits their resume via a bridge like Monster.com into a corporation they are actually sending their resume to a database with thousands of other possible candidates. Then, a piece or software (not a human) scans through every word of your resume and determines if you can be a fit. This is bad. I mean, it can be good for a hiring manager in that it reduces the amount of resumes that float to the top considerably, but it is bad because there are very qualified and very talented applicants that may never get noticed.
You simply cannot rely on a piece of software to get you a job. It's like anything else in life... if you want it, you've got to be creative and aggressive in getting it. If it is a job at, let's say GE, then find out who runs the department you are seeking to get into and find a few contact names and email addresses and reach for them. Find them on other social networks like LinkedIn.
You've got to separate yourselves from the pack. You've got to be aggressive. You've got to be creative and finally you've got to stop ignoring reality and be less complacent. A job isn't going to find you!