According to an April 2019 report by the International Labor Organization, the unemployment rate in Africa is expected to exceed 30 percent this year. If you know what that means, then you would agree it’s not good news. With the rate at which young Africans clamor to get good-paying jobs nowadays, almost anything goes – from searching to getting hired. These days, everything seems to be done on the interwebs.
Online job applications are the go-to as of now, thanks to the habit of companies posting vacancy ads and the emergence of job application sites and portals. If you’re reading this article, there’s a high chance you have applied for a job online multiple times and wondered where your paid-for resume and Einstein-level cover letter went. Well, first off, a company can decide to post a job and collect resumes, without having to interview or hire anyone.
If you are one of those people that have waited weeks and months for a company to reply your time-consuming and nerve-racking online job application, here are five reasons you should not put all your eggs in one basket. Easier said, here’s why online job applications are a waste of time.
Is It Over Yet?
Sometimes, applying for a job online can take up to an hour. It could be more if you battle with power outages and internet connection issues. What’s more, many of these supposed screenings look as though they were whipped up in a laboratory filled with mad scientists.
Have you ever felt like a recruiter does not really need to know how much you were earning in your past employment? This is just one of the many questions you may not feel comfortable answering because they are more or less pointless.
In Massachusetts and several other U.S cities, laws are being put in place to forbid employers from asking job seekers personal questions. Who knows, they may even ask you if you’ve ever been high. Seriously, it looks like anything goes nowadays, especially for the so-called “portals”.
If you couple these rather disgruntling, unnecessarily long application process with the low odds of being contacted for an interview, you’d understand why you’re better off pursuing a different strategy. Employers asking you for unnecessary documents during application isn’t so cool, unless you are going for an interview. All these make the process one long, unproductive and tiring fiasco.
Do I Even Stand A Chance?
The best reason you might want to give other options a try is the simplest – online applications are not as effective as advertised. Estimates for jobs’ search success can be from 2 percent to 5 percent, no more – but it definitely could be less. Thankfully, there are some serious firms out there who will tell you whether or not your application was successful. British American Tobacco, PwC, and KPMG are examples.
The higher estimate (5 percent) is even charitable in the extreme. Applicants are left with no choice but to submit scores of applications online just to land one interview at least. Such efforts can translate into months – if not years – of job-seeking before you ever get hired. Such time you can spend taking online courses, networking, attending relevant events, and developing yourself, all of which can actually lead an employer your way.
March this year, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) opened its portal for nationwide recruitment. A total of 26 million job seekers applied to the site. So, what chance does anyone really stand? The recruitment process also involved a computer-based test (CBT) all over the country. Well, you get the gist.
Such A Killjoy
“Never give up”, a motivational speaker would say. But in reality, every failure can extinguish your enthusiasm. If you apply for 50 jobs online in a month and do not get a response, you may not want to apply when another opportunity comes up.
It’s only routine that job seekers get their vehemence damped down as their search drags over multiple weeks. It’s a natural phenomenon, so it’s essential to avoid strategies that bring about frustration. The impersonal nature of the process takes its inevitable toll.
No human contact, not hearing back, haphazardly designed applications, over-genericness of the applications, and the general low success rate are influential factors.
You could find a job you are well-suited and very qualified for, and not waste time applying. It’s already weeks are you are still waiting to hear from the employer. This does not only crush your mojo, but as well makes you think you are nowhere near qualified. Most times, it’s not that the employer doesn’t like your application, but that your materials never got through.
Most Applications Are Broken
Imagine spending up to an hour applying for a job online, only to be unable to complete/submit it because of a system error. I am so sending out a tweet tagging this recruiter.
After submitting documents upon documents and telling them what they don’t need to know, you get nothing but a broken application. You are not alone. Many job seekers have invested just about the same time completing the job, only to have the system shut down and lose their information.
What could be worse? You decide to try again, driven by passion. But, in the end, it’s the same broken problem. There’s hardly anything else that could send you into a funk fast such as a wasted evening fighting a software that could be two decades old.
Online applications are naturally read by keyword-searching algorithms rather than real people. In a situation where everyone has read articles about including as many keywords as possible, the keyword magic becomes useless.
There Are Better Ways To get Jobs
There are better ways to get your dream job and get paid handsomely for it. Reaching out directly to the hiring managers, if possible, can bring great results. Most of them tend to appreciate it when a candidate is ambitious enough to hit the pavement and directly ask for the job. There are no consequences, so don’t be scared to get your foot in that door.
It helps if you are creative about it because you’re not the only one who knows this secret. Rather than wasting valuable time piling up applications in the Black Hole, you can make good use of networking. Trust me, not all great jobs today were applied for online. You can be recommended or even approached – that’s if you’re good enough.
Do not forget to always build yourself. Put yourself in the position where firms will see your expertise and want to get you on board. The competition is fierce, so you need to be as resilient as possible. Polish up your resume and always attach a well-written cover letter if you have to apply – but don’t bank on just that.
Image Courtesy: Betterhelp.com