Black Hole

November 8, 2010

Forewarned is Forearmed

By Edwin Dean

In 2000, according to the Newspaper Association of America (http://www.naa.org/TrendsandNumbers/Advertising-Expenditures.aspx), revenues for newspaper employment classified ads crested at $8.7 billion, and have since declined to $786.8 million in 2009, a major contributing factor in the overall decline of the newspaper industry.  Once upon a time, the search for a job was a fairly straightforward exercise.  One simply picked up a local newspaper, matched to a particular position, and mailed in your resume to a P.O. Box #.  Regardless of whether or not the company wanted to take a closer look, you almost always got some kind of response.

Of course, the newspapers’ loss has corresponded closely with the arrival of the online job boards, which first appeared in the early 1990’s and now have grown to number around 50,000, according to some estimates.  Although both channels are a form of advertising medium, their cost structures are very different, and the broad reach of the internet has been a game changer.

CareerBuilder, for example, currently is offering over one million jobs ($419 per month for a single posting).  They boast of having 36 million potential candidates in their database and of receiving 15,000 new resumes daily.  23 million unique visitors go the site each month.

This sounds like a great business model for the site’s owners, but it presents challenges for both the employer and the hopeful candidate.  Job postings are met with a bombardment of resume submissions to the employer, which they have to scramble to sift through, while more often than not, the candidate gets no response of any kind.  There’s no way to know how many of the jobs get filled or how many of the candidates find a job.

This is what Jessica Dickler refers to as “The Job Application Black Hole” in CNNMoney.com (http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/18/news/economy/resume_void/index.htm)  “But millions of job seekers can’t even get a foot in the door as they apply to countless positions and seldom hear anything in response. . . The ease of free online job sites has boosted the number of candidates applying for each opening.  With hundreds, or even thousands of people competing for the same jobs, most hiring managers are inundated with candidates and many of them simply get lost in the shuffle.”

Tough odds, but next time, I’ll write about ways to improve your chances of success with a well crafted resume.


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