Career Advice

Don't Expect Love From A Job Application Machine

If you’re smart, you figure out where you want to work, who you want to work for and network your way in. For some, that’s too much trouble. It’s so much easier to surf the net, apply for a job and sit back and wait for the money to roll in.

Except it doesn’t. Ever.

At the very best, the odds of getting a job you apply for online are one in two hundred unless you are a nurse, a coder with the latest skills, a Wal-Mart greeter or an undertaker. Otherwise, you’re lumped in as just one more resume in the pile. A job ad brings a couple hundred resumes. You’re just one.

If you are surprised  the machine doesn’t send you back a nice condolence letter when it sifts you out of the pile, perhaps you are suffering from Joblessness Related Depression. Unrealistic expectations about the job hunt are a symptom.

Today, most job application processes are machine driven. Expecting that a human is involved is the highest form of naivety. Expecting that a human is going to care about your application is sheer insanity.

When you apply for a job online (through a job board or a company website), begin with the assumption that it’s like buying a lottery ticket. You have to play to win. Just don’t count on winning and never expect the State government to say thank-you. The automated “we received your application” is as good as it’s ever going to get.

Adjust your assumptions accordingly.

So, by all means, devote 17 minutes per day to applying for jobs online. Then, get back to figuring out what you want to do, where you want to do it, who you want to work for and how you’re going to network in.