How to get your resume out of the cyberspace hole known as "Resume Purgatory"

Published on June 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm

You’ve gone to the painstaking, detail-oriented, labor-intensive task of completing an electronic profile on an Internet job board or corporate website and you after many tries, you’ve finally successfully downloaded your resume. Whew! You sit back and wait  to hear from employers.

A week, two weeks, and still no replies.  Nada!

Yes, completing an on-line profile is a critical step in the application process. But be aware, pressing the “apply” button merely allows internal recruiters and hiring managers to download your application at their discretion.  Nothing more.

All that work – your detailed application, well-crafted cover letter, and flawless resume mysteriously travel to a place in cyberspace I call “Resume Purgatory.” And, those precious documents remain there, floating in limbo until someone has a reason to hunt them down.

So how do you get a hiring manager or internal recruiter to pull your application out of Resume Purgatory?  Get a hard copy hand-delivered. Here’s a strategy that will greatly improve your odds.

Every day, apply for 3-5 position openings.

Once you’ve pressed the apply button or downloaded your resume for a specific position, the real work begins.  Contact your friends, acquaintances, and family, even your distant cousins and your barber. Ask each person if he/she happens to know someone who works at that company.  If he says no, ask him if he happens to know someone, who knows someone who works at that company.  When you get the name of a real person, contact him/her and ask him to personally hand your resume to the hiring manager or HR.  Graciously thank  this sweet angel from heaven and assure him that you will remember his kindness and by paying the the favor back or forward.

This post was written by Lisa Jacobson

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  • Anna says:

    Lisa I was excited to stumble upon your blog. I am in career services in higher education and always looking for different sources of information and advice, especially social media friendly channels for students. Excited to see what you have to share!


  • Career Candy says:

    Thank you Anna.

    A lot of my clients are Gen Y’s and X’s. They perceive careers differently from generations past. I listen carefully to their hopes and concerns. Many things have changed but certainly not the spirit of reciprocity. More than anything else, other people matter. Getting a start in the workplace has a lot to do with how comfortable we are with asking for help and then being willing to pay it back or forward.

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