How Do I Get Noticed in a Huge Pack of Resumes?

Hi Ronnie Ann!

I’ve previously posted on various other interview posts on here, but now I’m stuck in another aspect of job searching.

After taking a few weeks off from applying to companies, I started sending my resumes in about two weeks to positions around the area that really interest me. My only problem is that one of them happens to be with a huge global corporation, which is good and bad. The good being they’re an amazing company to work for and I’d love to get a chance to even interview with them. The bad thing being because they’re so large, I feel it’s hard to stand out in the huge pack of resumes they must be receiving for position.

I submitted my resume through their website and like many if not all major corporations, there’s no contact information. There’s also no way of knowing if they’re no longer considering you or if the position has been closed or filled.

I was just wondering what you would advise someone to do in this situation to stand out without being irritating but still being proactive?




Hi Shelly!

Good to hear from you again.

Funny you should ask this question. I’m currently helping a department within a very large organization find the perfect needle out of a big haystack of resumes.

You are right to think about how you can stand out. It’s not easy. Especially if they make you squeeze all of your information into THEIR form, taking away the power of a great resume. Of course, a good cover letter still helps.

But often in a big company the resume is just put in a database, so remember to make sure you include the keywords they will search on. You’ll find the best keywords in their ad, but also think of others and embed them within the text of your resume. (This holds true for all resumes nowadays, by the way.)

For example, if the ad is for an Office Manager and they list certain software like Microsoft Office, make sure to state that specifically in your resume along with the components like MS Word, Access, PowerPoint, and Excel so if they search on ANY of those, your resume will pop out.

Or if they’re looking for a PeopleSoft computer systems expert, don’t just use the phrase “enterprise systems”. Make sure you mention PeopleSoft a few times, including the specific modules, versions, and your specialized technical abilities. And highlight the skills they want clearly both in the resume and cover letter! Again, look at the ad and include key phrases they used.

But, above all, if there is any way you can find the name of someone in the company and specifically in the department you’re applying to so you can contact them directly, this is the way to go. Even if you have no contact information, use the internet. Search for stories about the company. Look for e-mail addresses using (or whatever format they use). Look for corporate literature such as their annual report for clues. Look for charity events their executives attended. Put on your investigative reporting hat!

Of course, you might not find anything (they do try to protect their people from being hounded by the outside world), but sometimes you hit it lucky. And don’t forget alumni and other associations or groups where you might find someone willing to help.

Give it your best shot. Your ability to come up with a creative solution is what will help you stand out in a job search or in the job itself.

Good luck. Go git ‘em tiger!

Ronnie Ann


For help on resumes and cover letters:

Resume Help

If you’re curious, this post comes from a comment on:

Job Search: The Line Between Charming and Annoying


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


  1. Yeah, I agree with Ronnie Ann—try to find a contact at this company. Are you on LinkedIn? This proves helpful to many people. Make that “six degrees of separation” thing work for you.

    Also—-if you really want to work for a specific company it can take several “tries” before you make it past the firewall. Meaning, even if you don’t get this job, don’t give up.

  2. Hi Ronnie Ann,
    I took your advice that day and contacted a HR Rep’s email I found for their Canada HR department. She actually forwarded it to the HR Rep in Virginia that very day and I got a call the NEXT DAY. I almost fell over I was so happy haha
    The HR Rep really liked my resume and wanted to squeeze me in for an interview but only had an interview slot open at 8am the next day. I am literally speechless to how fast this happened. I went for my interview today (just 48 very short hours) after I posted on here. I truly can not believe it. I think the interview went really well, even though I always think the interview went well, but I have a really good feeling about this one!

    I just wanted to thank you so so much for your advice. It has helped so much thus far, I absolutely love this blog! Now I’m back in the waiting game as they have to interview the other candidates and will be making a decision in 7-10 days, but I’m happy to be back in the waiting game this time.

    Crossing my fingers for good news!

    Thanks again Ronnie Ann.

  3. Working Girl: Thanks for the additional suggestions! You and your excellent advice are always a welcome treat. 😉

    Shelly: Thank you SOOO much for sharing this with us. So proud of you! Hope you noticed I featured this comment in a post:

    Find a Name, Get the Interview, and Get That JOB!

    Fingers, legs and eyes crossed for you! Good luck! Oh how I hope to hear good news from you soon, Shelly.

    Ronnie Ann

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