Does Applying Online for Jobs Really Work?

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Does applying online for jobs really work?Perhaps you’ve been thinking about applying online for jobs, and are wondering what sort of success rate you can expect. Is it the same as applying in person, and will you be treated the same way? It’s definitely a valid question, because every job has a human resources department behind it and each will handle its application process differently. Will size up the pros and cons to applying online for jobs and let you know which way to go.

When more and more companies started getting online at the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, it became en vogue for them to have an online application process. It just makes sense, because it cuts out some of the expenses from having to print paper applications. Now it’s pretty much expected for company to have an online application process.

Back then the economy was doing pretty good and jobs were more plentiful, so people got accustomed to applying online for jobs, getting an interview, and getting a job.

But times have changed, jobs are scarce, and the competition is more fierce. You need to do everything you can to get the edge over those that are vying for the same spot that you are. So does applying online for jobs but you had a disadvantage over someone that applies directly?

The Claim
The unspoken claim of companies is that your online application will be treated just as if you had handed it in personally. In fact, many corporations like Walmart won’t even accept applications written on paper, they will direct you to their hiring station that includes a computer with their application already loaded for you.

There are also laws on equal opportunity, which extend the application process. You should not be discriminated against by applying online, and should be given the same treatment as anywhere else that applied in any other form or fashion.

Theories and Conjecture
One theory is that your application will be treated differently because you’re basically a stranger, and you’ll be thrown in a file with the other strangers. Since there is no face-to-face interaction during the application process, there is no way to make a first impression other than what you list on your application and resume. This can get lost in the shuffle of all the virtual paperwork, and it’s hard to breathe life into something so cold and digital.

Another theory is that it’s all in who you know, and applying online for jobs is futile. People don’t actually get jobs when they apply online, because most jobs just go to friends of friends, or through other networking. You may get called in for an interview after applying online, but you won’t end up getting the job because the positions already been pre-filled by someone who knows someone in the company.

It can be a dog eat dog world out there, and you should definitely do everything in your power to make sure you get the best of what’s available to you. Sitting on the sidelines and following the rules applying online for jobs will only get you so far. You have to think outside of the box to get the things that others won’t get. If you go along with what everyone else is doing will just get what everyone else gets. In this case, you’ll end up without a job filling out application after application online and wondering why you’re not getting anywhere.

Think creatively about how you can get the job you want. What will get the employer’s attention in a good way? You don’t have to make a spectacle of yourself, because most people won’t even try any other tactics. You don’t have to put on a three ring circus, just do enough to get on their radar and show them that you’re different than all the rest.

A veteran recruiter supports our advice:

Final Applying Online for Jobs Review

As was previously stated, some companies only allow you to apply online. With those there’s not much you can do unless you know someone on the inside. However, whenever you are given given the option to fill out an online form, or to e-mail your resume directly, always opt for the direct approach. You’ll be able to get in contact with someone on a one-to-one basis, instead of just being processed with all the other online applications.

Your goal is to establish a dialogue with the person that you e-mail your resume to. Let them know that you are a real person, and that this job is really important to you. This is all about humanizing your resume, and getting an interview set up so that you can show them who you really are.

Our Recommendation
Definitely go with your gut on this one. Each company is different so you can’t take the same strategy with each one. If it seems like an online application is the only way to submit your information, then that’s all you can do. But if there is any other contact information, you should use it as a backdoor into the company. Try to get the e-mail address of the hiring manager, and e-mail them your resume and personalized cover letter directly.

This will set you apart as a go-getter, and will yield better results statistically when used enough times. Eventually you’ll find a company that appreciates this characteristic and would give you a shot.

What do you think? Does Applying Online for Jobs work or not?

Customer Review on “Does Applying Online for Jobs Really Work?

  1. Like many things in life, this issue needs to be handled on a case by case basis. I’d bet most companies don’t want all the paper and phone calls that used to go along with hiring for jobs, but I think the most important thing in any situation is to find out what the potential employer wants. This process may seem like it’s all about the applicant, but that’s not actually true. Instead of wondering how to let a potential boss know how lucky he is to have found you, make sure you let everyone you come into contact with in the company know how lucky YOU feel.

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