Has technology made applying for a job easier?

“I’ve emailed hundreds of resumes and applied for hundreds of jobs online! I’ve gotten so many responses I can’t keep up with them all!”

When was the last time you heard this complaint?

In reality, there is usually little to no response to numerous electronic job applications!

Students, recent graduates, seasoned workers, mature workers – many people experience the same frustration from the useless online job application process!

Job seekers spend hours perfecting their resumes and cover letters and insist that they have applied to jobs for which they feel they are perfectly suited.

So what is the problem?

I can’t help but think of the days before email, the Internet and online job applications…

I don’t recall anyone claiming to have applied for hundreds of jobs! Job hunting was different back then. It was a “manual” process. You had to write your resume and cover letter. If you were lucky, your mother or a friend was your “spell checker”. If you made any mistakes, you had to rewrite your work. The “hard copy” had to be placed in an envelope with a stamp and sent by what is known today as “postal mail.” You can photocopy your resume to produce multiple copies, but cover letters must be personalized and written individually for each application. Sending hundreds of letters to apply for jobs was mostly unheard of.

Job ads weren’t as readily available either. The ads were typically found in newspapers, publications, or job boards. I mean the kind where you have to stick a thumbtack or apply a staple! It was not easy to find or apply for hundreds of jobs in a short period of time.

Job applications were often completed by hand. Job applications that were mailed required postage and you had to go to a mailbox or post office to submit them.

Because it was not easy to apply for jobs, there were fewer applicants for advertised positions and reviewers were able to handle the backlog of applications received.

Technology has changed the rules of job searching. Today there are many online job boards that can be viewed by anyone with Internet access. Jobs can be applied 24/7 from the comfort of your home, while sitting on the bus, or even while at work using your computer, mobile device, or smartphone. In most cases, applying for jobs online is free and there is no limit to the number of jobs you can apply for.

In other words, it has become “easy” to apply to hundreds of jobs in a short period of time, and if it’s easy for me, it’s easy for you and everyone else!

So if everyone is applying for hundreds of jobs online, what is the potential employer looking at?

My guess is “probably not YOUR resume or application”! If you had a “virtual” stack of 100 or 1000 resumes to review with a job to complete in a short amount of time, how many resumes would you look at?

In all likelihood, the recipient will review only as many applications as necessary to fill the position with the most suitable candidate in the shortest possible time.

So you’ve spent all this time polishing your resume and cover letter, and if you clear the software’s filters to get to someone’s inbox, chances are it’ll never be read. It just sits in cyberspace collecting virtual dust!

If a process doesn’t work, repeating it indefinitely won’t change the result.

Maybe it’s time for another approach!

The goal is to have a “human” review your resume and contact you for an interview. Common sense suggests that you need to find “people” and not computers to send your resume to.

The power of technology has made it easier to apply for jobs, but it has made it difficult to get a job.

Use your human contacts to find the humans behind the computers. They are the ones with the real power!

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