Expect more resume congestion in the post-Covid19 jobs economy.

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Expect more resume congestion in the post-Covid19 jobs economy.

33 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, since mid-March. The total number of unemployed (documented) is over 38 million. That’s over 11% of the population in the US! That number is so huge that there’s a lot of pressure to get businesses to reopen and get people back to work. As the jobs economy, expect more resume congestion in the post-covid19 job market.

A tough market before Covid.

Before the pandemic wrecked the economy, there were 6M Americans out of work. It was a candidate’s market while there were less people out of work than there were Job openings. Despite a healthy economy, there were some unhealthy stats that made it difficult for job seekers to get a job.

Pre-Covid, hiring managers were drowning in resumes, an average of 250 resumes per job. They were turning to ATS’, Applicant Tracking Systems, to help them weed out bad resumes, and rank good ones. It became more and more difficult, no matter how qualified you were, to beat the overzealous ATS, turning resume writing into rocket science.

With 250 resumes, hiring managers spent little time on each resume. How little? 6 seconds. And from those 250 resumes, 2%, or an average of 5 candidates, would make it through to an interview.

Despite a low unemployment rate, the job market was still quite competitive and unforgiving.

After Covid 19, the jobs economy went from bad to worse.

Then Covid hit, bloating the job market with 633% more people in the matter of weeks, and reducing the number of job openings by 20%

That surge will ripple throughout the jobs economy and be felt by hiring managers when hiring resumes especially in the form of job congestion.

  • 250 resumes per job was normal before Covid, expect more than 1600 in the new normal.
  • What was a 1 in 50 chance at just the interview, will become a 1 in 300 chance.
  • An ATS was already a major hurdle for candidates, but with more applications, expect more qualified candidates to be mistakenly filtered out.

The new normal of recruiting

It wasn’t great before, but it’s going to get worse, so expect more resume congestion in the post-covid19 job market.

More employer ghosting

With a surge in resumes, employers will feel less inclined in taking so much time to respond to every candidate. “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”.

More confusing job descriptions

Expect more brand and culture lingo and less industry acceptable terminology in job ads. One reason is less repercussion, that even with a confusing job ad they’ll see plenty of job applications come in. Secondly, it’s cute, and with so many applicants, why not? Unfortunately it will generate a bit of confusion and draw in unqualified applications fuelling the vicious cycle of noise.

More ATS resume churn

A skill will be termed differently in the job ad, either to align with the brand or to create new niche skillsets, so that will widen the gap between resume and job ad matches. Typical ATS failings like a serif font, or formatting will be less forgiving with the increase in scrutiny. Unfortunately, candidates will be less likely to get feedback to improve that churn.

Cold recruiters will get colder

Expect a higher volume in spam email, spam text messages, and robocalling. Recruiters who see candidates as “product” or see themselves as a gatekeeper will attribute their jump in business to their lack of engagement (not the overwhelming surplus of ‘product’).

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Cold recruiters will encourage candidates to become cold as well in spamming resumes and disengaging. Hiring managers are going to hate both cold recruiters and cold applicants. However As the market corrects itself, these recruiters will lose market share to good recruiters who build relationships, not pipelines.

Good recruiters will get better

It’s not all bad news: Good recruiters will flourish during this time building relationships with both candidates and clients through engagement and basic decency.

Stand apart by breaking the rules.

Playing by the rules means reading the job boards, applying for a job through an employers ATS, and crossing your fingers in hopes you hear back. It’s a passive approach, and not really quite the hunt as much as getting fed at a trough. In fact, those rules weren’t designed for candidates to get a job, they were designed for employers to fill a job opening.

If you really want to hunt for that job, it’s time to take the bull by the horns and not just apply, but market yourself and sell yourself like a pro.

Realize your playing field

When you find a job on a job board, thousands of others will also see that same exact job on various job boards and apply. With every other candidate applying, your chances of getting noticed drops. Remember, we predict an average of 1600 applications per job as the economy resumes and companies start hiring again, diminishing your odds of getting noticed exponentially.

Don’t just apply, Pounse.

So try a different approach. Compliment your application with a personalized email to the hiring manager. By pass the ATS, by pass the rules, and introduce yourself and connect on LinkedIn.

  • Do a search for employees of the hiring company on LinkedIn, and use the job ad as clues to who to connect with.
  • The hiring manager may or may not be obvious, but if not, find someone higher in the reporting structure, or someone below.
  • Introduce yourself and show curiousity and interest in the company, ask 2 questions after you make a personal statement about the company:
    • I love how ACME is leading this sector with A, B, C.
    • Who could I talk to about hiring? I’d love to learn more if I can bring my X years of experience in A, B, C. to ACME
    • or… Here’s my career profile, I’d love to share with the right person at ACME if you have suggestions, I’d appreciate it!
  • If you use a free service like Pounse, you’d be able to send them an email from within pounse and track how many times they interact with your profile, giving you a strategic edge when following up.

Whether you bypass the ATS altogether, or compliment your application with a personalized email to the hiring manager or someone on the team, you will more than likely get on their radar. If they’re annoyed by your perseverance, don’t take it personally and don’t react rudely, no matter how rude they respond to you. You’re hunting for a job, just like they’re hunting for a new employee, and this is the game. More resume congestion is coming in this post-covid19 era, so get ready, get creative and get noticed.

Good luck.