What happens to resumes once they are sent through job boards?

Ever wondered what happens to your resume after you applied for a job?

A job seeker from Boston, the US, decided to run a little experiment to see how does it feel to be at the other end of the “recruitment table”: as a recruiter.

He describes the job seeking experience: “We’re familiar with the art of the job search: day after day, scanning the classifieds, Monster, Indeed, Craigslist, etc. for open positions; forever touching up resumes to appeal to specific job requirements; writing endless cover letters that never seem to sound quite right; applying to dozens, maybe hundreds of jobs per week [...] going days, weeks, months, seasons without a single response.” Does it sound familiar?

resume black hole

Being curious to discover what are actually his chances in the recruitment process, he made an experiment: he invented a fictional job and posted it on a job board to see the results.

I thought of sites where I regularly search for jobs, and settled on Craigslist for this experiment, since positions are uploaded there more frequently than on any other site I usually visit. I thought of the major cities where I’ve been applying to jobs, and settled on New York, since… well, it’s New York; it’s the place to be. I wanted to create a very basic ad: a full-time job with decent starting pay and health benefits included. I wanted to study a broad spectrum of job seekers, so I did not require any specific educational background or related experience for the position. The entirety of the ad was created using what I had seen in my own job searches: the most common job, the most common job duties, the most common pay.”

The results: in 24 hours while the job was online he received 653 applications!

He then went through them and made his own statistics about the applicants:

eric graph11eric graph2

This lead him to the following conclusions: just sending a resume to a recruiter makes you one file in a big stack and recruiters do need time to analyse the applications considering the volume received (considering manual selection).

So does job searching on job boards and submitting of resumes make sense? Is it worth the time spent by job seekers versus the results they get? In most of the cases: no.

Also worth mentioning that most recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) to deal with the huge volume of received applications. How does this impact the job seeker? The resumes don’t have to convince a person at first, but a machine – and this machine is looking for keywords and numbers and less creativity (actually special formatting and images can make the resume ignored). And only if it made it through the machine selection, there are chances the resume ends up in the hands of the recruiter.


72% of resumes are never seen by human eyes. Why? Well, employers large and small now use applicant tracking software to parse the information from your resume and map it into a database called an ATS (applicant tracking system). From this information, the system will assign you a score based on how well you match the job the employer is trying to fill, and then rank and sort all candidates. Naturally, the potential employees with the highest scores move on, while others are left in the dust.” (Mashable)

There are advising articles and tools out there that can help job seekers with optimizing their resumes to pass the Applicant Tracking Systems. Yet again, is it worth the work? In most of the cases: no.

Job seekers continue to use the same inefficient process just because there are not many alternatives.

So what is there to do?

Create an account on splinter.me and soon you will be able to:

receive job proposals where you really have outstanding chances and your profile fits the requirements

> receive statistics with how you can improve your profile to be able to match those jobs where you are just below the line of winning candidates



Say goodbye to manual job searches, worthless applications and  manual resume building!

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