Early-Career Engineers: Avoiding the Resume Black Hole

job hunt job search resumes strategy Jul 20, 2021
Mel Butcher, Mel Butcher's Underdog Engineers Blog

You have worked so hard to earn your engineering degree. And now you're ready for your first full-time gig. You want to put your skills to use and land with a company you can feel proud to work for.

But so far, you've gotten a lot of automated responses to applications. The proverbial, "thanks, but no thanks" when employers have moved ahead with other candidates.

What is going wrong?

This, my friends, is the black hole of applying for jobs.

When a job-seeker is reliant solely on online job applications, applying to company after company where they don't have any connectivity... it can be as effective as sending your resume to a literal black hole to be consumed by a singularity.

If you've been following the blog, you'll know that there are a lot of things I've shared that engineers are not taught in school. And here's another one of those things that you must understand as a job seeker:

Not all job postings are real openings.

There are many reasons why this could be the case for any particular job. Here are a couple such reasons.

  1. If a company is anticipating a large amount of work in the "pipeline" for an office or region, they might open up several job requisitions to begin collecting resumes for anticipated work. It's anticipated - it's not work that's in the door or that they have won yet. Their competitors might even be doing the same... in anticipation of winning the same work the two (or more) companies are competing for. The thing is, only one company will win the work. So all those potential candidates that applied on the losing company(s) website - they won't get so much as an interview.
  2. Consider that a hiring manager may have identified a candidate for a role, either internally at their company or externally from their network, but due to the employer's rules for fair practice, the company will still go through the motions of posting the job opening on their website and collecting resumes. They may even go through multiple interviews before giving the role to the (pre) selected candidate.

The point is today's tip:

You should not



...rely solely on online job applications for your job hunt.

Instead, you must network - i.e. build relationships with humans in your target industry.

Learn more about networking in this post and learn about networking on LinkedIn on this video.

In an upcoming post, I'll be sharing a hierarchy of how job-seekers should spend time on the job hunt. In the meantime, I am cheering you on - you can do this!


Check out other tips on the blog and let me know if you have questions I can answer in future tip posts. 

Doors close for the beta launch of the Underdog Engineers course on September 24, 2021. Use coupon code BETA for the best discount that will ever be offered. After the beta course, prices go to premium. 

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