Thursday, 15 January 2015

Application Anonymity

The job market is hyper-competitive these days and many employers are demanding applicants with a large skill set so they don't have to use valuable time and money to train them.  That's understandable.

However one thing I hate is not knowing where your application will end up.  Several times a day I see a listing that looks promising until I read: "Our client is looking for" or "We are seeking a (insert position here) for a leading employer".

Wait just a minute.  I don't like to send an application through an agency that has no interest in my particular skills and preferences, just to have it lost in some black hole of a web portal.  I prefer to deal with a company directly if at all possible.  At least then I know that my application has in fact gone to the right place.  More often than not, when I send applications through an online career site I don't get any confirmation that it was received.  (There are exceptions, however.)

Compounding the problem is that there's an increasing number of companies that put in their job ads "Please do not call the office" or "Only those applicants that have been selected will be contacted".  So how will I know if you've even received my documents if I'm not allowed to follow up?

The whole process leaves more questions than answers.  What are the selection criteria?  What should I put in my documents that will make me more likely to pass muster?  Will my application even be seen by a human, or will it be scanned by an automated processor and rejected if it doesn't have enough keywords?

For a long time I've felt that the system has been deliberately set up to make it as difficult as possible for people to find the job they want.  Some say that you need to know someone that already works with the company in order to have a chance at getting hired there - hence the popularity of sites such as LinkedIn that help with networking.

I wonder if it would be any better to go old school and deliver applications by hand or by mail.  At least then I'd know that my documents arrived at the right place.


  1. Sorry you are having such a time of it.

  2. i agree. Sometimes I feel like those ads searching for so and so for a leading company are just companies collecting names and info for themselves and not really submitting to proper companies.