Does Applying for a Job Online Work?

Does Applying for a Job Online Work?

Just about everything it seems is done online these days. When the internet started to become widely used popular job boards, such as Monster.Com, started to appear. It wasn’t long before there were so many sites to choose from to post a resume and search for an open position. Companies also started allowing online job applications directly through their own website.

If you have been hunting for employment in the past, posting a resume to popular job boards and applying to online applications is just part of the process. But are these methods still worth the time?

What are Some of the Issues with Searching for Employment Online?

Available Positions

One of the issues with searching the internet and posting a resume online for a new job is the number of available positions. Also, the quantity of really good slots for employment is often limited.

Searching job boards and company websites it may appear there are a lot of positions open. However, many companies never even list all of their job openings. There may be a perfect new job waiting for someone, but they will never know if a search is only performed online. Some openings may only be available to internal candidates entirely or posted to the public once internal applicants have been able to apply. Additionally, there may be positions posted online that have already been accounted for and a hiring manager is just waiting to complete the process.

The quality of available positions online may also be an issue. As mentioned, good positions may only be posted internally. Thus, the ones posted online might be areas of high employee turnover or the types of positions no one really wants to work in. The kind with no opportunity for advancement and low pay. This is not to say all positions listed online are made up of these concerns. Although, a good number of them are likely to fall in this category.

The Online Job Application Black Hole

According to The Ladders job site, recruiters on average take about 6 seconds to scan through a resume. This in combination with every job opening having an average of 250 resumes submitted makes it easy to get lost in the pile of applicants. With the number of resumes submitted only 4-6 people will actually get an interview.

Every job opening has an average of 250 submitted resumes with recruiters taking about 6 seconds to scan through them. Only 4-6 people will get an interview.

Systems also go down and may not function properly. A person that submits a resume and fills out a job application online may never hear anything. Information can get lost in a computer server issue or some other type of internal technological problem.

A high number of job applicants routinely report never hearing back anything when applying for an open position online. Consequently, the black hole is a common term for online job applications.

Online Applicant Tracking Systems also filter the number of resumes and applications received. The algorithms used sort through all of the information submitted looking for keywords and additional information set up in the filter. If a person seeking employment does not have their resume setup with these variables or the information is not included in an application, the individual is filtered out by technology. Once again sifted to the black hole.

Lots and Lots and Lots of Spam

It is not only HR departments that may subscribe to one of the popular job boards to look for potential hiring opportunities. Recruiters also use them. They not only use website job boards, but they may use them heavily. This creates a flood of emails from employment recruiting agencies looking to fill their open positions to get paid a commission. You may be thinking that getting contacted about any opportunity is good. However, recruiters will many times use the opportunity to send out positions a person is not even qualified for. They are fishing to fill a position and they send out a large number of these emails regularly.

It is not just the issue with receiving emails pertaining to positions that a person may not have the qualifications to fill. Job openings recruiters send may not be advantageous to a person’s career goals.

In addition to recruiters, advertisements are also sent out through email. It may be something in the small fine print that allows this depending on the job board or site someone chooses to use. They get your email and buried in their terms and conditions there is a place that allows them to use your information.

Age Discrimination

Yes, I am saying that age discrimination does exist with employers. There are laws in place that should prevent this. Yet, like a lot of employment safeguards that are factitiously in place, there are ways to eliminate candidates without knowing their true age.

Employment Age Discrimination Does Exist

Resumes with dates of college graduation and employment give hiring managers an indication of a person’s age. Moreover, it is not uncommon to see online applications requiring dates.

When it comes to disqualifying a person for an open position based on age technology really has an advantage.

Salary Information

Just as though many online applications have required fields for education and employment dates, they also may have requirements for entering previous salary information. Enter a salary too high and it could disqualify an individual. Putting in a previous salary that is too low and an employer may be eager to call and try to get someone into a position at a great deal for themselves. This has a real chance of devaluing a person’s skills and experience.

Personally, I never liked online systems that make a person put in their previous income. Often times zero, negotiable, or a range is entered if the required field in the online application accepts this. But just know that not putting in an exact figure may also disqualify the application.

Time Consuming

Submitting resumes and filling out applications online is time-consuming in many instances. Job seekers spend countless hours looking for employment and filling out online applications. There is no standard from one job site or online application to another. Some employers or job posting websites make the process easy while others make it a daunting task. Research has shown that job candidates do not want to spend more than 20 minutes filling out information. I am not so sure the people looking to hire have heard this information. Personally, I have come across online applications that want a War and Peace novel.

Should a Job Seeker Still Apply for Positions Online?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics most recent unemployment report for 2019 states it is currently at 3.8 percent. Even with this low employment claim, there are still plenty of job seekers in the market. They may have a position currently, but may also be looking to change careers or move for a better opportunity.

LinkedIn claims there is only a 1.2% chance of getting a job through an online application. This seems a little low, but it probably is not too far off. The truth is most job positions and particularly the highly desirable kind are routinely filled internally or through networking. The old saying, “It’s who you know and not what you know”, is regularly the situation that will get someone into a desirable job. This is especially the situation with networking and landing truly suitable employment.

Most job positions are filled internally or through networking. It's often who you know and not what you know.

According to the Glassdoor, users report an average of using 7.6 online websites in their job search. With this average, it does not appear that people have completely stopped looking for employment online. Furthermore, with technology ever improving it does not look as though the online hiring process is going anywhere anytime soon.

With a majority of the research showing very few job applicants get hired online, it is easy to say that a job seeker should not go through the hassle of filling out applications and submitting countless resumes. Yet, it still should be part of the job search process. It just shouldn’t be the only method of looking for employment. Searching the internet should not consume a lot of job hunting time. Networking and making friends have proven to be the best method for landing an advantageous position. This appears to even be the case in today’s technological world.


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