I was talking to a candidate for a sales executive position the other day who was telling me about his frustration with applying for jobs online. His story is not uncommon, and it is probably the number one frustration for job seekers. You spend several hours searching the web and looking at a number of employment Websites; you search through hundreds of job postings; and finally, you find what you’ve been looking for, your dream job. So, what do you do? Send in your resume and wait for the phone call, right? Unfortunately, you will probably be waiting for a long time. If you want to move your resume to the top of the call back pile, then you will need to do the Job Seeker Two Step.
So what is the Job Seeker Two Step?
• Step 1 is a Pass/Fail test and will get you in the candidate stack, and
• Step 2 is Extra Credit and moves you to the top of the class.
Step 1: The Pass/Fail Test
Did you read the instructions and did you follow the instructions? Pretty simple, and it is a pass or fail grade. Do it right and you stay in the candidates to consider pile, do it wrong and you get the automated "Thanks for your interest" letter from the HR department. Pay attention and follow the application details. The online job application is a test to determine whether you can follow the directions the company has provided for applying.
The directions usually include things like:
• Send your resume as a .DOC or .PDF attachment to the application or email address provided,
• Complete the online application and triple check your spelling and answers, and
• Make sure you meet or exceed the required skills for the job.
In short, whatever the employer requests in the job posting is exactly how they want it done. The job posting test is pass or fail; either you follow the directions and are considered a viable applicant or you don’t and you are another "spam applicant" and you will get tossed into the reject pile.