What happens to your Resume after you press ‘Submit’?

to do list

All of us have been stuck in a place where we have scratched our heads looking for the right way to apply for a job

Whether it works out for you or not, applying for a job can be daunting, especially if you wonder what happens to your resume after you press submit.

You could have spent hours making the perfect resume but might still feel lost in the blackhole of job applications.

So, if you relate to Mr. Cluelesso and his job-hunt to-do list, don't worry; we are here to help you.

Typically, one corporate job vacancy can attract 250 resumes. The company will interview 4–6 candidates for the position, and only one will get the job. So, what is the reality behind the 245 resumes that did not reach the hiring manager?

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Stage 1: Applicant Tracking System

"If you miss the mark, your resume may never be read. Even worse, you might be removed from the applicant pool by a computer before a human even knows you exist." - career coach Heather Yurovsky.

Once your resume is submitted on the job portal, some organizations use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to filter out resumes with irrelevant keywords.

For your CV to stand out, it is essential to have keywords and skills from the job description, such as project management or SQL. You can also try using an industry-standard title; for instance, instead of "Marketing Guru', mention 'Marketing Manager/Analyst' based on your years of experience.


Stage 2: Recruiter Judgement

If your resume survives the eye of the ATS, it lands in the hands of the recruiter. At this stage, your resume is hand-picked, and the recruiter will connect with you for an HR screening.

They aim to scrub the relevant experience, understand your achievements, and gauge if you are a good cultural fit for the organization.

"Recruiters review hundreds of resumes each day, and what really helps you stand out is to quantify your achievement. Anyone can say they are innovative, but not everyone can say they designed and delivered a new online sales booking system that increased sales by 15% in the first six months," says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays, Australia.

Stage 3: Interview rounds with the business

At this stage, the recruiter creates a shortlist of candidates and recommends them to the business or hiring managers. Your resume must initially convince the employer of the skills you bring to the table and your value creation process. You can highlight this in your resume by providing details of your achievements and results. So, use words from the job description and align your work experiences and skills accordingly.

The organization could invite you for a video/face-to-face interview to discuss the opportunity further. An interview can give you the space to expand upon your work process and skills and ask critical questions. If the employer believes you are a good fit for the role, the job is yours (unless another round of interviews or a domain test is the mandate).

Recruitment partners such as Wolves Solutions can often help you prepare for the interview, guide you on the best opportunity available, and simplify the interview process.

What if you do not get a call?

Now let’s consider that you receive a "thank you for your interest" communication. Unfortunately, in that case, the company might have decided that you are not a good fit for the job. There could be multiple reasons, including skill-set mismatch, cultural dissonance, logistical issues such as relocation or rotational shift, or even poor communication skills.

But fret not; companies maintain a massive database of all resumes, and as new roles open, the process starts again.

Barney from How I met your mother

So, how can your resume stand out?

Not only is it essential to create a good resume, but it is more important to recognize a bad one. Season 4-Episode 14-How I Met Your Mother is an excellent example of what NOT to do while creating a resume for your dream job. Barney Stinson's "awesome video resume" is

  • Full of meaningless buzzwords
  • In an inappropriate format
  • Listing non- sensical achievements that have nothing to do with his current career.

Barney, we adore you, but this is a sure-shot way of getting rejected in Stage 1. A good resume should have the following qualities:

  • Precise and easy to read: You can begin by using a resume builder online or a pre-made outline to compile the essential data and structure it. Avoid using photographs or trademarks and stick to conventional typefaces when designing your resume. You should decide how you want the whole outline to look before entering a single word. On average, an employer scans a resume for around 30 seconds. If a resume is under two pages, it can make it easy for the employer to focus on relevant details.
  • Tailor-made for the role: You must emphasize the relevant work experience that satisfies the position's requirements. It may take more time to modify your resume per organization and function. Still, the extra effort can really pay off. You should also ensure your resume is ATS-friendly. For instance, if a position calls for "project management" skills and you have the experience, use the keyword "project management" specifically.
  • Put the spotlight on work experiences: Make sure the core of your CV is the work experience section and complies with the role's demands. The hiring or recruiting manager should not only understand your day-to-day tasks in the current role but also why you, more so than others, add value to their company. To draw attention to the positions that hiring managers are looking for, you may divide your work experience into "Relevant Experience" and "Additional Experience."
  • Proofread and refine: Your resume should be error-free- nothing is more evident to a reader than a glaring typo. Ensure that your contact details, spellings, and grammar are accurate and consistent. If your resume is lengthy, make some cuts. It can be worthwhile to email it to a friend or coworker to get fresh input on whether your resume is portraying you in the best possible way.

With this resume review checklist, your resume can stand out amongst many as you duck and dodge common mistakes. So, begin your job hunt with confidence and watch as your resume transformation gets the job done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I make multiple versions of my resume?
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It would help if you created a resume for every position or/and organization. Each resume should be tailored to the role and relevant keywords. It may take more time to modify your resume per organization and function, but the extra effort pays off.

Can I make my resume more than one page?
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Yes, a resume can exceed more than one page if you have extensive experience for the open position. If you are a fresher or have less than 3-4 years of experience, you should try to create a concise one-page resume clearly detailing your experience.

What is an ATS, and how do I make my resume ATS-friendly?
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ATS stands for application tracking system and stores all the resumes uploaded to a job portal. It can scan and filter resumes relevant to the job opening through a keyword-based algorithm. You can ensure your resume includes specific keywords and standard formatting and avoid headers/footers and excessive graphics.

How can I get more help with my resume?
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You can reach out to recruitment partners such as Wolves Solutions for more support on well structured resumes. Such organizations ensure that you are equipped to make the best of every opportunity and can help you land the perfect job offer.

Why was my resume rejected?
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Many things can look bad on a resume, such as unprofessional fonts, buzzwords, irrelevant skills or experience, and glaring typos. If you can ensure your resume is error-free and tailor-made for each role you apply to, your chances of selection can double.