Don’t apply for a job online. It’s a complete waste of time and here is the reason.

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Have you ever thought of why you don’t get through when applying for a job online?

First of all, when you date someone online, isn’t it true that you are looking for a very good match that meets most of your dating criteria? With so many boxes to tick and search criteria to use, you will likely find someone very close to your values, beliefs and interests. The same goes for jobs posted online; corporations are looking for exceptional candidates with almost perfect CV:s. Don’t believe that your transferrable skills or genuine, broad experience will help you get through, because it won’t.

As soon as a job is posted online hundreds of applicants are ready for the next career move including you. I also read below link starting that firms use applicant tracking systems to help recruiters find most optimal candidates. That system is your biggest enemy!

Moreover, if your CV is not structured exactly as a firm want it, and with the right keywords in place, you are likely not getting through. In other occasions, a random selection takes place which is not in your favour. Does this sound fair to you?

For a qualified candidate, it’s hard to put 15 years of gained skills and expertise on a 2 pages CV with 1 page cover letter. There is much more to say than what these few pages can cover.

A 21st century recruiter spins on the idea that robots and applicant tracking systems shall be able to find most optimal candidates, like a dating site, but I’m afraid that many talents and professionals are falling behind the chairs.

I have tried dating sites, but when it comes to chemistry, manners, real life behaviour and hidden agendas, dating sites are of no use. I found my best partners through real life meetings by letting eye contact, gut feeling and chemistry steer me in the right direction. The same goes for finding that special job.

I never found an exciting job by applying online; I found my best jobs my talking directly with the hiring manager. We got to know each other, and we spoke about how to solve the business problem rather than ticking recruitment boxes and looking for career gaps which is the world of a modern and overly stressed recruiter.

It’s easy for a recruiter to tell you to apply online, because they are busy interviewing candidates, and my answer is: I am happy to apply online only IF you can guarantee that you will read my application carefully with follow-up questions. Next problem that appear is whether recruiters understand everything written on a CV.

A majority of recruiters I met are not doing their job properly today. Instead of offering their complete contact details in a job ad, they hide themselves behind the IT system.

Too many candidates imply that your job ad was too lousy and not specific enough. Just understand the reality Ms recruiter!

When I got the job as an insurance seller at Swedish Folksam, in my mid-30:s, I went direct to the hiring manger. I never had the experience of selling insurance packages, but I somehow knew how to sell Forex trading solutions. Any recruiter would skip my CV (I was too senior, I lacked the right experience, I had too high degrees for the role etc), and a computer would definitely never select my CV (career gaps, jumping between industries, not using the right key words etc). But since a decision maker spoke with me, and because the hiring manager had the experience of being a best-selling insurance adviser, he read behind the lines and understood I had the potential to rock in the insurance world.

Do you know what happened next?

I became a top selling insurance adviser a few months after the hiring date!

This also happened when I applied for the job as project coordinator at Ericsson Sweden in my mid-20:s. I previously worked as a telecom technician, and I never had the experience of planning telecom projects. Any recruiter would have ignored my CV, and any computer would not have touched my CV at all due to lack of skills and experiences. But I spoke with the line manager’s manager and got the job. He saw transferrable skills needed in the role and he saw leadership and teamwork potential on top of an engineering capability to get the job done effectively and efficiently.

Do you know what happened next?

I was hired, and I was the only one who managed to get the project back on track in the role of project coordinator, and I received multiple references supporting my achievements in the project.

Same thing happened when I applied for the role of university teacher. I love knowledge and I believe in the sharing of knowledge, and I know how to learn procedures and practices quickly. But I never had the experience of teaching at the university although I had some experience of planning and executing corporate training classes.

However, I got the job as university lecturer by knocking doors and by speaking with vice deans directly. And shortly thereafter, I managed to receive multiple references by deans supporting my subject matter expertise, and a strong ability to create engaging and productive university classes. I kept myself away from HR and got the deal done!

Dear job applicants; connect directly with decision makers in the first place, and use HR only in the very last step to sign the job deal. Save yourself time and headache and don’t let robots, systems and other malfunctioning processes kill your career.

Published 03 Feb 2020 by:

Anthony Eric (Antonios Papadimitriou)

MBA International Business

University Lecturer, Corporate Trainer & Author

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