AARP Eye Center
Searching for a job can be full of irritations for older applicants. Among the most common is the “résumé black hole” — when you don't hear a response after applying for a job.
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In recent years, low unemployment rates made finding qualified candidates challenging, so employers had to work harder to attract the best and brightest talent. But, even then, they were not always able to connect directly with everyone who applied. Before the massive job losses and recession that began in spring 2020, the job information site Glassdoor reported that each corporate job received an average of 250 résumés. Of those, four to six candidates landed interviews.
Now that many more people are looking for jobs, it may be more difficult to ensure that your résumé gets seen. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your follow-up approach in order to set yourself apart as a candidate. If you think your résumé is being ignored, try these tips.
1. Offer helpful new insights
The most obvious way to follow up your application is to wait a few days or so and then send an email or place a phone call to the human resources department (or whomever you sent your résumé) to check whether it was received, says Montreal-based talent strategist Stefano Faustini. This outreach works best if you can identify the recruiter in charge of filling the position. That may be done through a phone call or by asking someone you possibly know at the company.
But Amanda Augustine, a career expert with TopResume, a New York City-based résumé-writing service, says there are other ways to use follow-ups in order to build relationships that help you stand out as an eager and enthusiastic candidate.
Stay on top of news from the company you're targeting. You can do so by reading the press release section or company blog on its website. In addition, set up a Google alert with the company's name and, depending on the size of the company, the division or department to which you're applying. If there is relevant breaking news on which you can provide helpful comments or congratulations, send an email to the appropriate contact.
Using “that note as more of a tool to communicate additional information — or at least to show that you are up and looking at the news and seeing what's going on in their industry — helps you to stand apart from some of the other applications,” she says.