Friday, July 09, 2010

Billions and Billions of job applications

Applying for jobs sure is different these days.

I've filled out a lot of online applications, and it makes me wonder how difficult it is to sort through all of them. Back in the day, someone had to show up to pick up the application, or make special arrangements to apply for a job over long distances. Now, anyone with computer skills can fill out an application. Combined with the job market these days, there must be hundreds, even thousands of applications for every search-able job that opens up.

It's a whole new kind of slush pile.

Also, I used to be able to shake hands with a manager when I picked up an application, and talk enough to let him know I can communicate with other human beings in a reasonable fashion. That would be hard, if not impossible, to discern from an electronic application. So how would someone decide who to call, out of all those applicants? You couldn't call them all. I happen to have work history, which probably helps (maybe) but what about the kids just hitting the market with no job experience? How can they convey that they can not only text each other, but say hi to a real human being and maybe even get work done that involves other real people? GPA?

I'm intrigued by the idea of people leaving different impressions through electronic applications. Spelling/grammar will be part of it, as will references and such, but handwriting analysis is out the window. Does experience give HR specialists a feel for this sort of thing? Does HR read tea leaves?


Kai Jones said...

My office posts all job openings on Craigslist, requesting a mailed resume and cover letter. The last time we posted a job opening we got 40 resumes the next day, 63 the day after that, and over 100 on the third day. For a part-time file clerk job!

Kami said...

Ooo, I should totally look on Craigslist.