One dirty secret is that the resumes that get submitted through a jobs page for most companies get sent into a black hole. The trouble is that the company gets spammed, and no one has any incentive to go through the resumes. The other thing is that companies web pages lie. Even when a company is firing everyone, they won't update the careers web page (since they likely just fired the people in charge of keeping the web pages updated).
Online job applications also go nowhere. If you go through a web frontend, that means that someone is trying to automate the process, which means that the people that would read your resume have either been fired or are worried enough about their jobs so they don't care about you.
The ways of getting a resume into the system
* networking through friends and alumni or anyone else you might randomly meet
* campus recruiting
* head hunters
The problem with HR, is that they don't care about you or your resume. If you submit a resume and nothing happens, no one is going to get into any trouble, so no one cares. Head hunters get a commission based on hires, so they care.