GOLETA, Calif. - Job seekers are facing incredible odds of getting noticed these days. Some companies say they receive hundreds of applications for every open position. If you've ever wondered what happens to your resume when you apply to a large company, you might be surprised. If you haven't recently changed the way you apply for jobs, your resume will not get noticed.
Kim Hardy was laid off 11 weeks ago. She worked as an executive assistant at Clipper Wind Power in Carpinteria.
"It's been challenging. Obviously I am a home owner so I need a certain income to maintain my mortgage," said Hardy.
For the first time in almost six years, Hardy is looking for a job, but landing one isn't easy.
Hardy said, "ideally, I would love to have a marketing or event coordinator position. I love planning out events. All the coordination that's involved with that."
Hardy has 15 years of experience as an executive assistant. But, one factor that's making it more difficult to land a job is a change in the way companies screen applicants.
Todd Mitchell is a human resources director for Network Hardware Resale, a computer networking company. The company has offices all over the world.
"If you don't know somebody who can help you get in the door, I think there is a lot of learning that needs to occur," said Mitchell.
Now, companies use resume screening software. The computer programs make sorting through hundreds of resumes faster. But, the change means you will have to spend more time applying.
Mitchell said, "if you are applying for five different jobs, you are going to complete five different resumes based on their job posting."
That may sound like a daunting task, but human resource managers say it's necessary to get your application noticed. When you apply for a job at most mid and large size businesses, your resume is automatically given a score by the computer program. In most cases, your application is never even seen by a human, unless it gets a good score.
Mitchell said the secret to a high scoring application is to create a new resume for every job you apply to. And, make sure to put key words from the job description on your resume.
"It could be something as easy as changing computer experience or computer software experience to I have experience in Windows 7 or I have experience in Microsoft Word as opposed to word processing. If someone is looking for a Microsoft Excel expert, they are going to look for that in a resume. If you say I am good at spreadsheet software, it is just not going to cut it," said Mitchell
Hardy learned about computerized resume screenings at her old job. But, even after applying for dozens of jobs with specific key words in her resume, she is still unemployed.
"I've had literally two phone interviews. That's it," said Hardy.
But, HR managers NewsChannel 3 spoke with say, Hardy is on the right track.