Tag Archives: Recruiters

How do You Deal with the Black Hole

How do You Deal with the Black Hole

WHY don’t they answer me??

In this context, black hole is not a scientific term but, rather, the annoying situation when people apply for posted job openings and never hear back. It’s very frustrating because applying for jobs is a time-consuming effort—too often with no results. But why is that state of affairs so prevalent? The answer is simple: because 72% of job applications are never seen by the human eye. Applicants need to understand that unlike in the past, most companies today—except for smaller ones—are using a software application called applicant tracking system, or ATS. This software acts similarly to the spam filter on your e-mail whereby the majority of spams never reach your in-box, and therefore, you’re not even aware of them.

How does an ATS work?

The ATS scans résumés, culls relevant data, and plugs the data into predetermined columns by categories in its database. For example, the contact information at the top of the résumé gets plugged into the database so that the recruiter can sort it and search; the applicant’s education goes into a slot in the ATS assigned for education; and so forth. If such information does not get picked up properly from the résumé, the entire content might get omitted or placed in a different part of the ATS’s database.

Typically, résumés contain section headers or job titles different from those the ATS is expecting. Assume a section title on a résumé says, for instance, “Further Training and Skills.” The wording may confuse the ATS, and, again, result in omission of the entire section or attachment of the section to another area where it does not belong and where it makes no sense. The human brain can deal with such variations and exceptions, but the computer cannot. Another example might be the existence of periods in the separation of the elements of a 10-digit phone number instead of what the ATS is expecting, which could be that the area code is given in parentheses, after which a word space follows, and then separation of the next three digits from the last four by a hyphen. There are of course many other such examples whereby the ATS is unable to properly code the information.

How is the recruiter using the information the ATS presents?

The recruiter can sort the information provided by the ATS by status—for example, interviewed, hired, offered, in review or rating at his discretion; geographic location; or information for future sorting. The recruiter can group applicants by skills or status or other criteria established as relevant to the candidate search.


  • Use conventional terminology when choosing section header wording. Check other résumés to see what’s common. This is not an area to apply your creativity to.
  • Use synonyms—for example, HR or human resources—because you never know what query the recruiter is using.
  • Best if you apply for only one position at a company. If you apply for more than one position, the second application might get ignored unless the recruiter is manually indicating that this is the second position you’re applying for.
  • Use Jobscan or TagCrowd software, with which you can compare the words used in the job description to better match the words in your résumé.

A final word

The logic of a job seeker is to apply for as many positions online as applicable. And that makes sense. I am reminded of the famous bank robber Willie Sutton, who was asked why he robbed banks. His humorous—and logical—answer was, “Because that’s where the money is.” Indeed, recruiters have jobs to fill, but it is known too that the chance of a job seeker’s landing a position through a recruiter is around 5 percent. Most people—60 to 80%—get their jobs by networking. So, how will you spend your time in finding a job?

The Biggest Change in Hiring

The Biggest Change in Hiring

Be nice to recruiters

Unpredictability and uncertainty in the business world shorten employment tenure. There are several reasons for this: The fast-paced and ever-changing evolution of technology is generating competitive pressures. Consumer tastes are changing and demanding new products and services. And world events are destabilizers; revolutions, wars, floods, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis, and reactor meltdowns are examples.

Employers find themselves needing to react via quick adaptation. Company organizational charts the way we used to know them are shifting to meet foreseeable demands for staffing needs. Thus, the result is a contingent and temporary labor force. Statistics show that people change jobs on an average of every three years—some of them staying with the same employer but in new roles and some joining a different employer.

Recruiters will have an increased role in matching job seekers with jobs.

About half of all new openings at large employers are nowadays filled by internal mobility but still under the control of a recruiter. The rest of the openings are filled by new hires—also via a recruiter. The hiring manager makes the final decision about whom to hire, but recruiters can block job seekers based on their own discretion.

It is evident that job seekers’ interactions with recruiters will increase. In many cases, recruiters are not viewed favorably by job seekers. They are considered the necessary [d]evils. Most job seekers don’t understand the pressures on the typical recruiter. Each recruiter works simultaneously on filling 15 to 20 job openings. Recruiting is a human resources task but functionally reports to and is evaluated by hiring managers. Recruiters rely on applicant-tracking-system technology but have to make final decisions based on interviewing every reasonable candidate. Recruiters don’t know the details of the job more than the extent of the information supplied in the job description. And recruiters are very much under time pressure to produce results for hiring managers and meet hiring managers’ urgent needs.

How to increase your chances of being selected as a good candidate by recruiters

Follow the instructions precisely in terms of how recruiters want you to submit your credentials. Demonstrate that you have a keen interest in the position you’re applying for. Be honest and genuine. Come prepared when interacting with them. Don’t cause them embarrassment. They need to present you to the hiring manager. Ensure that you are a match with the job description. Use TagCrowd to make sure your résumé includes most of the keywords that recruiters are likely to use as queries based on the job description. And last, use Jobscan.co (note: the filename ends with .co and not .com) to match your résumé to the job description.

In the current job market, the competition is fierce, and to maintain a high level of competitiveness, one has to know what to do and how to adapt to employers’ needs. All of that learning and carrying out are laborious and time-consuming. But don’t give up! A job is waiting for you. Go get it!