In 2015 Pew Research reported 54% of US adults have gone online for their job search and 45% have applied for a job online. In the time since the report has been released, that numbers are only believed to have grown – substantially.
The fast growing role of the online job application in your career search is a double edged sword. The ease of clicking send on a job application is surprisingly easy; and a happy reinforcement of your movement as an action-taker to make a change in your career.
Yes, those online apps are convenient. But the dark side of the online job app is universally felt – your resume disappears, Poof! out into the recesses of the digital highway, with little emotional feedback that the action taking is actually moving your job search forward.
Well, it’s time to put yourself into the driver’s seat of the online job application process, at least a little. And, here are some ideas on just how you can keep that action-taking momentum moving in the right direction.
While some companies (often out of their own internal, feelings of helplessness and general humanness) tend to leave job candidates in job limbo, there are steps you can take.
Not only will these ideas help you own your job search process; you will also stand out from the pack by putting these steps into action and marketing yourself as a stand-out candidate after you’ve applied for a job opening online.
13 Things Every Job Seeker Should Do After Sending An Online Job App
1. Keep positive. Maybe you’re hesitant to follow up because you’re concerned about appearing desperate or annoying. Gracious and well-written messages show your interest and relevance as a candidate and reinforce you are real.
2. Keeping it real. As easy (and genuine) it is to feel rejected when your phone isn’t ringing after you press send on your app, avoid taking it personally. Did you know that typically 118 people apply to the average job? As impersonal as it feels to you; most employers would never have the capacity to call every applicant personally. While your job search is about you; you need a bit a thick skin, because the process is about the process.
3. Keep moving forward. A recent thread on reddit.com/r/jobs shared an interesting job candidate tale of applying to 680 jobs, and getting hired from application #620! Your job search job isn’t over, until its over.
4. Be flexible. Even if you don’t receive a job offer, you can’t ever predict the value of the relationships you should and might build. Make LinkedIn invitations; invite relevant players into your other personal networks. Gather insights about other environments and learn!
5. Set a task in your calendar. Note if there’s a close date on the job notice. If not, anywhere from 5 to 10 days is usually a reasonable window for confirming your application and trying to continue the discussion.
6. Personalize it to you. Pick the approach that lets you shine. Write an email or pick up the phone depending on the situation and your strengths.
7. Plan, plan, plan. Outline your thoughts before making contact. You want to sound as articulate and thorough as possible.
8. Ask great questions. Ask pertinent questions if you get the chance. Find out more about the selection timeline and hiring priorities.
9. Use snail mail. Sending a hard copy of your application by snail mail sometimes gives you a second chance to capture an employer’s attention. Think twice if it’s an environmental organization that prides itself on being paper free or a technology company that might think that’s old fashioned.
10. Phone (or make) a friend on the inside. If possible, research the company in advance so you can address your application to a specific individual. Afterwards, continue using your network to identify other company personnel you could consult with.
11. Be in the know. You’ll make a more favorable impression if you have something substantive to say instead of just asking the hiring manager when they’ll make a decision. Try commenting on industry news or one of their social media posts. Look for ways to work your relevant accomplishments and qualifications into the discussion by using Google Alerts and
12. Juggle multiple offers. Congratulations if you receive a competing job offer while you’re application is pending. You may want to ask the company about their hiring schedule so you can make a decision or withdraw from consideration.
13. Track communications. Keep a log of your job applications and related interactions. It will help you to schedule future action, stay in touch with valuable contacts, and evaluate your progress.
Bonus: Keep in mind, by some estimates, as many of 80% of all ‘real’ jobs aren’t even advertised. So, in addition to putting yourself in the drivers seat by being proactive in your job application process – you should also take it one more step further. Consider crafting a career networking system to connect yourself to the decision makers of those hidden jobs in your space.
So, what feels better to you clicking send and waiting? Or, picking up the reigns of your job search and driving the process? While the effort of your time will certainly increase, not only will you find the overall process less stressful, you’ll find your job search outcomes will improve greatly, too.
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