Share this article:
Bookmark and Share

Persistence Pays

A reader wrote last week wanting to know why she hadn't received any responses to her numerous resume postings. "I'm on all the major Job Boards!" she asked, "And I haven't seen a single response. What's going on?"

The answer is fairly simple, and also somewhat depressing. Your posted resume is not alone out there. And there are millions of online resumes chasing after a much smaller number of jobs and employers who have them. A few examples: One site with 85,000 resumes posted on it saw only 850 employers, another with 40,000 resumes only had 400 employers visit it. Two other sites had similarly dismal stats: 60,000 resumes for 1300 employers, and 30,000 resumes for just 15 employers.

Hiring managers love the potential represented by searchable resume databases, they'll be able to screen you out of the job you need with lightening speed. Richard Bolles (What Color Is Your Parachute) estimates that one job offer is given and accepted for every 1500 resumes circulating, whether in paper or electronic form. Those are pretty tough odds. Bolles figures that over half of all job hunters that use resumes (email or snail-mail) as their primary method to acquire a new job not only fail in their mission, but get so discouraged that they give up the search within the first two months.

I should know, because that's exactly what I did ten years ago. Five hundred mailed resumes led to just three interviews, one call back, and no job. I had contacts in the industry, but was totally unfamiliar with networking. At the time, I thought it was rude to use my contacts to aggressively pursue landing a job. Read my lips: If you want a job, you're going to have to tell people what you want! This includes all your friends, acquaintances, their friends & acquaintances, etc.

If your key contacts don't have any openings at their companies, get a reference to their network! They know someone who has the power to hire you, they just haven't thought of it before because they don't need a Job right now. We tend to project our feelings, judgements, and worldview onto those around us. What's happening in your life may be paramount to you, but generally everyone else will forget your 'job crisis' the moment you walk out of the room.

Keep reminding them until they turn you on to the Next Contact.

-1st Steps in the Hunt