The Resume Black Hole

I read an article a few years ago that detailed how companies were trying to deal with the tremendous volume of Resumes that were flooding their various Applicant Tracking Systems.

The problem according to Jason Warner (who at that time was head of staffing for Online Sales and Operations at Google) is that:

“…it is now so easy to apply for a job that more people apply for many more jobs, which means that recruiting teams at companies across the world now have to review a significantly increased volume of unsuitable resumes, which creates monumental inefficiency in the overall system.”

In other words, when you submit your resume online, chances are it disappears into a Resume Black Hole.

The question therefore is how to get around this logjam of resumes? How does one get oneself noticed in a virtual sea of resumes and avoid getting lost in the Resume Black Hole?

The answer is fairly simple. The truth is – Nothing replaces the effectiveness of good Old-fashioned, Old School networking.

Malcolm Gladwell had written a column in the New Yorker that discussed this very topic.
In the column Malcolm discussed the work of well-known sociologist Mark Granovetter on the topic of networking in order to find a job. Malcolm wrote:

“…the best way to get in the door is through a personal contact. But the majority of those personal connections, Granovetter found, did not involve close friends. They were what he called “weak ties.” …People were getting their jobs not through their friends but through acquaintances.”

Using ‘weak ties’, whether through your own networking channels, or through a 3rd party’s network [i.e. Headhunter] will enable you to bypass the virtual mass of resumes in HR and at least enable you to get your foot in the door.

As the old saying goes, and it definitely bears repeating, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”