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When I was in between jobs several years ago, I perfected my resume and cover letter and started applying for jobs online.

I applied on company’s websites, Indeed, Monster and all the biggies.

I felt excited reading the job descriptions and first selected those that I fit perfectly.

I was an ideal fit since I:

  1. Worked the number of years they expected
  2. Managed groups the size they wanted
  3. Brought in the revenue they requested

I applied for over 100 jobs, 20 of which I was a perfect fit.  Only 2 first round interviews from which I heard nothing back.  What’s wrong with me?

Then my brother taught me the 3 reasons why applying for jobs online does not, well, do the job:

  1. The job was never available
  2. The job was filled
  3. Too many applicants

The job was never available

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What? If the job is posted on the company’s website, what do you mean it was never available?  I have a family to feed; I don’t have time to waste.

Employers are going to find candidates internally to reduce the perceived risk of a hire.  Internal candidates are already proven, vetted and ready to go.

I get that Mike; but why did they post online for that job?

Companies post online and waste your precious time and mental energy because:

  1. It is a cheap form of advertising-so many job openings, the company “must” be doing well
  2. The government mandates that certain jobs are made “available” to veterans, minorities, or other categories of professionals-job boards count
  3. The company CEO just increased the size of HR to achieve parity with competitors and needs to keep HR busy

You are being used as advertising, compliance and HR’s busy work.  That’s wrong!

The job was filled

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HR sometimes is really slow in removing jobs that have been filled.  For mid to larger size companies, keeping track of job posting data simply isn’t a priority.

Filling job openings is a priority.

I have seen situations where someone calls me, an employee, to find out more about a posted job when we already hired another person 2 months ago!

Makes me mad enough to scream.

Hey companies: get your act together, remove stale job postings, and stop making me angry!

Too many applicants

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Here, the job is real and available.

You know you are highly qualified for the job.  However, and don’t take this the wrong way, but so are many others, at least in the employer’s mind.

Have you ever applied for a job on LinkedIn and seen the number of applicants? I rarely see the number below 1,000 per job.

The company’s screening software algorithms go to work and remove your resume because you didn’t use the 33 magic words 

Oh, by the way, the algorithm will change such that next week, you will need 38, and they will be different.  Don’t despair; there are better approaches.

What should I do instead?

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Network, network, network.  I have blogged before about why networking in person and on LinkedIn is the most efficient way to land that job.  Please check out “The #1 Job Search Tool” 3 Part Series.

Going to networking events where you will find professionals to meet and learn about opportunities works well.

Linking in with alumni, members of your former employers and others you have a common interest work well also. Get a coffee or at least a phone call to learn.

You will feel less aggravated, less pissed off, and feel the skies are starting to clear 

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