How to deal with the frustration of online applications

March 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Time & Stress Management

wchance2 asked:

There are so much hidden opportunities out there, I can’t see all of them, and human connections comes with experience and pops up every now and then, where do I look and how can I control that? Many job applications today goes online, I have applied to numerous and put at least decent amount of effort into each of them, and very few of them reply predictably (the worst part is the good job replies only when I successfully got another one and had my schedule all set up).

Sorry I couldn’t explain this better, but online application…seem so “filtering”, late in response, and for the most part, no response AT ALL, it’s very much disadvantage for the applicant…what do you guys think?
There is a jungle of information on the internet, how do you guys get your sources?

Best Answer:

The first stages of the hiring process are very much geared towards filtering applicants out, as efficiently as possible, until the company gets a short list of a reasonable number of good candidates to interview. The candidates that aren’t selected typically don’t hear anything, unless the company has taken the time to set up automated processes to send them mail or email informing them that they have not been selected at this time. Look at it this way: when a company posts an ad on Monster, they might get 1000 or more resumes within 48 hours! That is a LOT of work to wade through. So recruiters typically only spend 10-20 seconds on an initial scan of a resume.

Online applications allow companies to do this at a lower cost, since the number of people required to do the initial filtering is lower. It’s also more effective for them at this stage because they can search the entire database of resumes for specific keywords. So make sure your resume is not only powerfully written, but also keyword-rich to give you a better chance of being among those selected for the next step.

One way to do this is to search for (your target job title) plus “job description” and find 10 or so job descriptions from different companies. The words (requirements) that appear in most or all of them are likely to be more important, so make sure they appear somewhere towards the top in your online application.

Also have a text version (.txt file) of your resume so that you can easily copy and paste into online applications without the formatting issues that can arise when copying from Word or other word processing programs.

Despite all the automation, the bottom line is that people make the hiring decisions, so you need to get in touch with the right people to get a job.

Do you network regularly (even when you aren’t in a job search)? Do you utilize online networking tools such as LinkedIn? Have you let all your friends and family know what type of position you are looking for? Many churches have organizations to help people find jobs. Your alumni association or career services department may also be able to help you. Have you identified several recruiters that specialize in your field?


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