Where does your application wind up?
Applicant tracking systems (the databases/software that is at work when you apply online) are the established way most organizations accept applications these days.
If you have read anything about applying online you know that you need to use the key words in the job posting or some systems will not even pass you along to be viewed by the recruiter.
Here are a few other things you should know about applicant tracking systems:
1. Using the online application system
If you are having trouble applying online, first look at whether or not your file is in an “odd ball” format or is a large file, audio, use Internet Explorer not Firefox. Some do support FireFox but many more do not.
Still having trouble? Ask a tech savvy friend.
While recruiters will respond to your inquiries regarding how to apply online, we do expect you to make every effort to figure it out first.
Today’s marketplaces wants people who are tech savvy and if you can’t figure out how to apply online, you are already putting yourself at a disadvantage.
And if you are going to write to the company’s HR department for help, don’t start off with “your system is bad, broken, stupid and needs to be fixed”. Even if that is the case, no one wants to hear that their system is stupid and 99% of the time it is user error. And again if you are already showing and expressing frustration and negativity and you have not even applied, you are not creating a great first impression.
2. Application responses
Don’t say your application was not acknowledged because all you got was a standard email response.
The standard email response is the acknowledgment.
And don’t pick a fight with the recruiter because you think you should have been considered but got an email saying your qualifications are not a fit for the position.
Organizations generally select somewhere between 1 percent and 5 percent of applicants to interview. It is a very competitive job market and while you might have some of the qualification in the job posting (or even all), the organization likely has an applicant pool that has all of those qualifications and more.
While it is your choice to move up the chain of authority within an organization and complain that HR overlooked you, did not get back to you as quickly as you would have liked, etc, – don’t do it! No one likes a complainer and creating negative karma with HR is not a good idea.
4. When to apply
Recruiters get email notifications when you apply online and even when you update your application. So while it is ok to apply at night or early am (this shows especially if you are still working that you are not searching for a job on someone else’s dime), don’t apply at 2am or 5am.
Stick to applying before 10pm or after 6am. Recruiters need their sleep and they don’t need email pings throughout the night.
And if you are showing even before you applied that you are a night owl doing who knows what at 2am, you will be casting doubts about being bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready for work at 9am.
Yes, you should get prompt notification after an interview that you are or are not being passed on to the next round.
Unfortunately organizations take much longer to hire than they used to.
There are more candidates to consider and the stakes are higher in terms of getting the right person. So, it can take 4 to 6 weeks for organizations to make a decision after the first round of interviews.
Be prepared for that and don’t bombard either HR or the hiring manager with follow up emails. One thank you email post an interview and one email three weeks after if you still have not heard anything is all you should be send. And make sure that the second email is not whiny or full of complaints. It should be calm, matter of fact just letting the organization know you are still interested and understand that recruiting processes can take some time.
DON’T call-ever unless you are returning a call. Phone calls are never welcome unless they are solicited.
Recruiters simply do not have time to spend with candidates who are not the right fit for a position and sorry to say, do not have the time usually to give you career advice.
If you are lucky enough to get referred by a friend to a senior manager in the field you want to work in or an HR person in an organization you would like to work, be respectful of their time and have no more than 3 set questions for them.
After you have asked your questions, ask them, do you have any advice for me, and then LISTEN, don’t interrupt or argue with them.
OVER TO YOU…
What have you learned about applying for jobs?