CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


By Shannon Jackson
Special to The Toronto Sun

Q:I hate applying for jobs on the Internet. You send out resume after resume, and never get a call. Now it seems that every company will only accept your resume if you put it on their website. Is there a way to get around this?

A:I can certainly understand your frustration. The Internet has changed the way people look for jobs, and the way companies look for talent. "Getting around" a company's preferred means of communicating with job seekers, however, may not be the best approach. There are a couple of tips and tricks to make your online submission more successful:

Customize your resume to match the job posting. With this evolution of the job search process, your resume becomes even more important, since it is likely the only opportunity you'll have to make a first impression. Online job postings are very detailed, and can provide the opportunity to customize your resume to suit that particular position. The more your resume is written to match the job, the more likely the company's automated filtering system will highlight you as a potential match for the vacancy.
Send your job-related questions to Diane Janes at, or mail to Career Connections, The Toronto Sun, 333 King St. E., 4th Floor, Toronto, Ont., M5A 3X5

Upload a plain text version of your resume. This means removing all the formatting tools (bold, italics, underlining, etc). These formatting devices make your resume look attractive in hard copy, but many automated databases are incapable of reading these symbols, and they render your resume illegible to the recruiter. Keep the formatted version to present at the interview.

Wherever possible, follow up with a phone call. In times of high-tech, a personal touch can still set you apart. Just be sure to be professional and polite in your interaction.

Good luck with your search efforts!

(Shannon Jackson is a hiring expert, with more than seven years experience recruiting for Fortune 500 companies across Canada.)

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