Are You Building Resume Black Hole By Calling Job Applications Over Email?

Every day we see posts on LinkedIn where recruiters or hiring managers are inviting job applications. “We are hiring a product manager. Please send you resumes to career @ somecompanyname”. It is either the HR or the employees of the company trying to spread the word. If you visit a company career page, many times you would find a similar email id where the company asks candidates to send resumes to that email. However, when candidates email their resumes, they mostly don’t get any acknowledgment or they never get to hear about their job application. It is like their resume is lost forever in a black hole also referred to as resume black hole.

What Is Resume Black Hole?

The term resume black hole came into use during the recession period of 2008. 2008 was a recession time. A lot many people were applying for jobs but they would never hear back from the companies. Although the circumstances were different back in 2008, the experience of a resume black hole continues even today.

 resume black hole

How The Resume Black Hole Is Built?

The biggest reason a resume black hole gets built is a missing online recruitment process. Companies post their jobs on different platforms and invite applications over email. When companies receive many resumes over email, eventually they lose their way of tracking those emails. 

Consider you have 5 job openings in your company and you have invited resumes over email. When you post jobs, you may request applicants to choose an email’s subject line based on the job title or job code. However, many candidates would still email resumes with irrelevant subject lines. If you are lucky, the body in the email should help you identify the job position they are applying for. Also, sometimes candidates apply for more than one jobs or they may just send you resumes for general consideration. With this kind of candidate sourcing, you are bound to struggle with applicant tracking.

If you are managing applicant tracking using emails then there are certain disadvantages beside you are secretly building resume black hole.

You Are Wasting Productive Time

It is needless to say that you lose precious time tracking candidates using emails. It is not just applications that you need to track but also the trail of emails with respect to those resumes. Every resume is passed on to multiple people involved in the hiring process creating multiple copies. Then the feedback is shared over emails.

If the candidate is reappearing for the hiring process then the recruiter or hiring manager has to scan thousands of old emails to find the previous history.

This is never ending. For every small hiring task, you need to access emails and spend hours. For example, if you are searching for a resume with few skills then it is not possible to search them using emails. If you have downloaded those resumes then you may have to traverse multiple folders and lose productive time. The point is, email is not a candidate tracking system. It may look simpler to invite resumes over email but it gets convoluted as you progress.

Your Employer Branding Gets A Hit

When a candidate applies for the job and doesn’t hear from you, your employer brand gets a hit. It is poor on the company’s front when it doesn’t communicate back.  This leads to poor candidate experience. Eventually, if the word spreads around, candidates may show less interest in applying for jobs at your company. If you are a startup or a small-medium business then the impact of this could be bigger.

Leak In The Candidate Sourcing Lead To Poor Quality of Hire

How is using email for hiring practices leads to poor quality of hire? It is simple. As the volume of receiving resumes in emails go up, it gets more tedious to review resumes, tracking applicants. Hence, recruiters or hiring managers would start screening the resumes as they receive. If they find relevant candidates they would schedule them for an interview. In most cases, the hiring team doesn’t bother looking at other resumes they may have received. Another reason for resume black hole!

The sequence could change. It could be in the order most recently received or as received but many resumes are ignored without a review. We can call it a leak in the candidate sourcing process. This could also mean you throw away some of the top resumes. You may have just tossed out an opportunity to hire the best talent.

How To Avoid Building Resume Black Hole

More than 25% of candidates never hear from companies. If you want to avoid losing resumes forever, start investing in recruitment technology. Here are some of the ways you can avoid building a resume black hole.

Take Your Hiring Process Online

Invest in online recruitment software that can take your hiring process online. Meaning, when candidates apply for the jobs, the resumes are stored in a structured manner, all communication is in one place. You should be able to track candidates through the hiring process. Interview feedback is stored forever. Your recruiting software should notify you when the new resume is received and many other features that a normal applicant tracking system (ATS) provides.

This will avoid any chaos that a manual hiring process brings in. 

Stop Using Email For Inviting Resumes

If you are using hiring software then avoid using email for candidate sourcing. Many companies invest in hiring software but continue to ask for resumes over email. If you have invested in hiring software why give candidates an option to send resumes over email? This just makes the sourcing process more cumbersome. If you really want to invite resumes over email then make sure your hiring software integrates with your email to automatically import resumes from emails. Otherwise, resume black hole will continue to grow.

Leverage Modern Recruitment Technology

You may invest in recruitment technology, but make sure it is modern enough to engage recruiters. It should make recruiters’ life super easy. If your recruitment technology fails to ease the life of recruiter they would go back to their original method, inviting resumes over emails. It is human to go back to old things if the new experience is not engaging enough.


Resume black hole is not just an experience for candidates but also for recruiters. It is not easy to source candidates. But when you do, you do not want to lose them just because you can not get a grip on applicant tracking. Resume black hole has serious impacts in the long run such as negative employer branding, poor candidate experience, poor quality of hire. Taking your hiring process online is the only solution!

Picture of Amit Gawande

Amit Gawande

Amit Gawande is a Co-Founder of CVViZ, an AI recruiting software. He has more than 15 years of experience in software development and leading large teams. He has built products using NLP and machine learning. He has recruited engineers, programmers, marketing and sales people for his organizations. He believes in using technology for solving real-life problems.

Recent Posts

How It Works

Schedule a Demo