Have you filled out any job applications recently?
Was it online? Was it an actual piece of paper you turned into someone? Either way, did you feel like you are sending your job applications into a black hole?
Your first steps in starting a new job search shouldn’t include an application.
The worst things about job applications are:
- Filling one out doesn’t guarantee you anything. Not even a call back or interview.
- It’s depressing to not hear anything back after you’ve spend all that time and energy filling out the form.
- Job applications are not the best way to get a new job.
- The questions are not designed to allow you to convey who you really are.
- Most of the information is already on your resume, so why should you need fill out the application?
- They are incredibly time consuming and do not provide even a mediocre ROI.
- Often times the applications are broken or the system kicks you out after you’ve already wasted precious minutes or hours of your life on it.
- They often ask ridiculous or irrelevant questions, such as salary history (which you shouldn’t reveal anyway). If these answers are required in order to hit the “submit” button is poses a major problem for the person filling it out.
- Online job applications are typically read by keyword-searching algorithms rather than human beings. So you front load your resume and application with all the “correct” words and hope your application gets picked up. But guess what? So does everyone else.
There are better ways to get a job than filling out Job Applications
If you discover a position that you would like to apply for through an online search, job board, or other impersonal means, don’t click the “apply now” button. Instead, try to make a personal connection offline through one or more of the following ways:
- Research the company and get the phone number and/or email address for the HR department, hiring manager, or anyone who works there who can put you in contact with the right person.
- Use your LinkedIn contacts to find someone who works there.
- If you do connect with someone real and are told you must fill out the job application first, you can politely ask for an initial meeting to discuss the opportunity further so you can decide if you want to fill out the application. A personal connection is so much more effective and memorable than an automated form.
We want to hear about your success with applying for jobs and submitting online job applications. What has worked for you and what hasn’t?
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