"I've emailed 100's of resumes and applied to 100's of jobs online! I've had so many replies I can't keep up with them all!"
When was the last time you heard this complaint?
In reality there is typically little to no response to numerous electronic job applications!
Students, new grads, experienced workers, mature workers – so many people experiencing the same frustration of the futile online job application process!
Job hunters spend hours perfecting their resumes and cover letters and insist they've applied to jobs they feel they are perfectly suited for.
So what's the problem?
I can't help thinking back to the days before email, the internet, and online job applications …
I don't remember anyone ever claiming they'd applied to 100's of jobs! Job hunting was different back then. It was a "manual" process. You had to type out your resume and cover letter. If you were lucky your mom or a friend was your "spell checker". If you made any mistakes you had to retype your work. The "hard copy" had to be placed in an envelope with a stamp and sent by what is today referred to as "snail mail". You could photocopy your resume to produce multiple copies but cover letters had to be personalized and typed individually for each application. Mailing out 100's of letters to apply for jobs was for the most part unheard of.
Job ads were not as readily available either. Ads were typically found in newspapers, publications, or job boards. I'm referring to the kind you have to stick a thumb tack on or apply a staple to! It was easy to find or apply to 100's of jobs in a short period of time.
Often job applications were filled in by hand. Job applications that were mailed required postage and you had to go to a mailbox or post office to mail them.
Because it was easy to apply for jobs there were fewer applicants for advertised jobs and the pile of applications received was manageable by the reviewers.
Technology has changed the job hunting rules. Today there are many online job boards that can be viewed by anyone with internet access. Jobs can be applied to 24/7 from the comfort of your home, while sitting on the bus, or even while at work using your computer, mobile device, or smart phone. In most cases there's no charge to apply to online jobs and there's no limit to how many jobs you can apply to.
In other words it's become "easy" to apply to 100's of jobs within a short period of time – and if it's easy for me, it's easy for you, and easy for everyone else!
So if everyone is applying to 100's of jobs online what is the potential employer seeing?
My guess is "probably not YOUR resume or application"! If you had a "virtual" pile of 100's or 1000's of resumes to review with a job to fill in a short period of time how many resumes would you look at?
In all likelihood the recipient will review only as many applications as is required to fill the position with the most suitable candidate in the least amount of time.
So you've invested all this time polishing your resume and cover letter and if it even clears the software filters to reach the inbox of a human chances are it's never read. It just sits in cyberspace collecting virtual dust!
If a process isn't working, repeating it indefinitely won't change the outcome.
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 you need to find "people" not computers to send your resume to.
The power of technology has made it easy to apply for jobs but difficult to obtain a job.
Utilize your human contacts to find the humans behind the computers. They're the ones with the real power!