HR won’t respond to your resumé?

two people shaking handsacross a desk above lighted sign that says "you're hired"If you’ve been out of work for a while, and your job search has resulted in nothing but silent rejections, don’t take it personally. Human resources departments have changed: Gone are the days when employers responded to resumés. Even form letters saying “no thanks” are a thing of the past.

HR departments are busy

A recent poll by the Society for Human Resource Management suggests that the HR people who don’t respond to your resumés aren’t unsympathetic, they’re overwhelmed. In the past few years, HR departments have had plenty of layoffs and downsizings of their own. According to SHRM, since 2007 the average HR department has decreased from 13 to 9.2 employees. That means the average workload for the average HR worker has increased by 30 percent from the days when a written response to a solicited resumé was the norm.

HR workers know what it’s like

HR workers know firsthand what unemployed job-hunters are going through. In a separate survey, SHRM found that of the HR professionals who were out of work in 2009, 85 percent of job losses resulted from layoffs, 47 percent of workers looked for work for six to 12 months, and 27 percent had been looking for more than a year. Among the HR workers who found positions in 2009, 49 percent said they liked their new jobs less than their old ones.  Add pay cuts to the mix, and chances are good that HR personnel are better candidates for payday loans than ever before.

HR departments are ‘black holes’ for resumés

Given such a high level of job dissatisfaction, it’s safe to say that many HR personnel are overworked. With more than 14 million unemployed people looking for jobs, businesses are inundated with applications and resumés. Your submission – however carefully you crafted it and whether or not the company solicited it – is buried in a pile somewhere, and HR personnel are hard-pressed to give it individual consideration. The same thing can be said for interview follow-ups. Job candidates today get as far as the interview stage, feel that things went well, and then never hear from the company again. It’s discouraging — it may even border on inexcusable — but it’s not personal.

Bypass the HR department

When it comes to job-hunting with record-high unemployment rates looming in the distance, there’s nothing wrong with knocking on every door. So do a little research and try the back door. Check web sites or call the company to get names and contact information of the department head and hiring manager for the job you’re interested in. Then, whether or not you send your resumé to the HR department, send it directly to those people.

Your resumé is just a checklist for HR purposes

HR personnel sort through hundreds of applications and compare candidate qualifications to a checklist of job requirements. After about 10 seconds, if all the boxes on the list aren’t checked, your resumé disappears forever. Doubtless, department heads and hiring managers are busy people, too, but they aren’t looking at stacks of resumés every day, and they may see things in your application that an HR person does not. Many times, what company executives really hope to find cannot be expressed in a list of job requirements.

Get your resumé into the right hands

  1. Be patient: Wait a few days after sending your resumé.
  2. Be brave: Pick up the phone and call the people you sent your resumé to.
  3. Be confident: Ask to schedule a meeting.

You need a job, right? Without one, you can’t even get low interest loans. Give your hard-earned qualifications and job experience the recognition they deserve by getting your resumé into the right hands.