Why Online Job Applications are a Waste Of Time

Written by Heather Gilmer

Graphic Design by Gregory Erbs

Modern technology has truly changed the way we apply for jobs. Back in the day, there was no such thing as searching and applying for jobs online. Instead, people viewed job listings in their local newspaper. Then, they went to the desired workplace to fill out a hand-written application. Applicants also sent resumés and cover letters in the mail. Thankfully, the internet has made this process much easier. Now, we can navigate through career-searching sites like Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor. Most companies also have an employment section on their website to apply that way.

But are online applications worth it? Here are some reasons to avoid filling out another one.

Online Applications Are Incredibly Time-Wasting

One of the reasons online applications are failing job seekers is they take a lot of time to complete. Imagine 4,999 people applied for the same position you did. Each person spends an average of 30 minutes filling out the application.  With that competition, your odds of getting hired are as likely as winning the lottery. Only one person will win the grand prize. If you do the math, that means that there were 149,970 minutes or 2,499 hours wasted on that one application. That’s essentially a whole year at a full-time job! Mind blown!

After you submit your application, the waiting game for an interview begins. The worst part is that there’s no guarantee you’ll get one. In fact, for every job posting, an employer receives an average of 118 applications with only 20% of those people landing an interview.

Did you know that many of your online applications don’t ever make it to the employer’s eyes? When you submit an online application, it goes through an Application Tracking System (ATS). This tool screens for job-specific keywords on your resumé. With as many resumés as an employer receives, this helps narrow down the search of an ideal candidate. Your resumé must contain enough keywords relevant to the position. Otherwise, you risk it vanishing into cyberspace, never seen again. 

Many Jobs Aren’t Posted Online

“There is no possible way for every job to be posted online,” says Super Julie Braun (SJ), the Founder and CEO of Super Purposes™. Doing so requires a lot of human resource power, which many companies struggle to provide. Studies suggest that a shocking 70% of jobs are not published on job search sites. So, you may be missing out on a lot of opportunities!

Even when the application is accessible online, HR may tend to view you as a runner-up candidate. They’ll often hire the person who already has experience working for the company. Or, they’ll hire the person who received a referral by someone they know and respect. That’s certainly not fair for someone who was perfectly qualified for the job, but wouldn’t have a chance!

This is why making connections is so important!

Be the Cool Kid: Get a LinkedIn!

Remember when you were in elementary school and wanted those awesome light-up sneakers? All the cool kids had them, and you wanted to be a cool kid too!  Now instead of those sneakers, the cool kids (or adults) have a LinkedIn. So, be that person you always aspired to be in your childhood! It’s time to get on board with a better approach to getting hired for your dream job.

Online applications are like VHS tapes. You could still use them, but you’ll be living in the past. There’s plenty of newer ways to watch movies, such as DVDs, Blu-rays, and let’s not forget about good ol’ Netflix. Networking is the new way of getting yourself noticed by employers. In fact, 80% of jobs are being filled through networking alone.

You, as a job seeker, deserve better than what you’re getting from online applications. You deserve to have your efforts noticed by employers. So, put that application aside and start making real connections!  Connections are like your personal cheerleaders. They inspire the best version of you and cheer you on as you achieve your goals. They also lead to referrals, which will help pull you in the door and increase your chances of getting hired.

So get ready, set, and connect!

For more helpful career advice, please visit our website.

Have a Super Day!