Greensboro, NC -- When it comes to job hunting these days, more often than not it involves applying online. You fill out the info and you hit send. Then you sit. And you wonder. Is anyone even getting it? Because it seems to just go into a big black hole.
Well it doesn't get lost in the computer abyss, but you might not like where it ends up. Companies use computer programs to weed through the resumes. If the job description wants a four degree and you only have a high school diploma, your application gets tossed. If the employer wants five years experience, make sure you list dates with your jobs. And if they don't add up to five, you will be tossed. If the description says you need social media skills but you didn't list that under special skills, tossed.
One box that's hard to fill in on the automated form is salary. You hate to get yourself eliminated if you put $40,000 as a requirement and the $39,900 was the threshold - you might have negotiated. Maria Hicks-Few, owner of HRforU, says, "You have to pick a salary you'd be happy doing the job for, regardless if it's $10,000 less than what you might have made if you'd known they might have had a higher salary in mind."
Making it past the automated system is just the first hurdle. The process is still pretty cut and dry, even once a human begins to handle your resume. Hicks-Few says, "I'm looking for the keywords from the job description in the resume. Those are the must haves."
Those resumes go in a pile and then the recruiter scans for the words that fit phrases from the job description such as "the ideal candidate will have ..... "
Lastly, even though the process is automated, you still want to include a cover letter. And you might get a few extra points for finding out the HR person's name and addressing it to them.