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What are the realities of job application process?

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

Are you frustrated about having to apply to jobs and not getting a reply?

Did you feel jealous of a person who seems to always get the jobs he/she applies for?

Did you ever feel like you were drowning amongst the seas of job applications for a specific role?

Did you know that some of the top companies get more than a 1,000,000 (1 Million) job applications each year?

Well, if you felt or experienced any of those, you are definitely not alone. Online application for jobs is the most easiest and common manner these days. With Linked In's "Easy Apply" option, is become even more quick for you to apply for jobs.

Did you ever stop to think that easy application might not exactly be the best mode of application for you? Do you realise that there are 1,000's, if not more professionals on Linked In, who might have viewed the same jobs as you did, used the same "Easy Apply" option?

This means, that the company got more than 1,000 applications (conservatively), for a single job opening. Of course, this number can be much much higher based on the popularity of the job profile, company brands, designation etc etc.

So, you were one of the applicants in this job. Where do you think your application landed in the company database?

Well, this is the next stage where technology comes in. Most of the decent sized to big companies will use some kind of software to sift through the flood of applications. Software, as we all know, work on logic. Based on each position, the software might be programmed to look for specific :

  • technical skills,

  • $ amount for those in sales and fund raising roles,

  • professional skills,

  • length of experience,

  • current and past designations,

  • language skills,

  • professional certifications,

  • education degrees,

  • college/university names,

  • KPIs based on each profile.

Since, it is humanely not possible to scan through 1,000's of application for each role, these software helps to create a shortlist with more manageable numbers. Based on the rules, the software might provide the "best" of 15-20 CVs.

This process is called the ATS (Application Tracking System). This stage is also the biggest eliminator of the unsuitable candidates. If you have been applying for jobs and have never got a reply from the company, this is the stage where your CV gets rejected.

This means that your CV is lacking the parameters that the ATS systems are looking for. This may be due to :

  • CV is not updated for latest details,

  • formatting issues,

  • relevance to the job profile,

  • unprofessional CV,

  • relevant details are missing in the CV,

  • wrong structure,

  • spelling mistakes and wrong grammar, tenses,

  • missing picture (in Germany),

  • or simply wrong application (finance professional applying for sales role).

While the above example might seem very far fetched, it definitely happens more times than you can imagine. With the ease of applying for jobs, most of the candidates do not even read the JD before applying. This means that the CV will get rejected in the very initial stages, despite the fact that you think you have applied for the job.

The reality is : in most cases, your CV might not even be seen by a HR or Hiring manager.

Your CV is your Marketing banner.

In order to overcome this challenge, make sure of the following :

  1. you have read the job description (JD) for the role you are applying for,

  2. you understand the skills required for the position you are applying for,

  3. you possess the skills required for the role,

  4. you have customized your CV for the job application,

  5. you are not sending generic CV for each application,

  6. you are making quality application with time and effort rather than blindly applying,

  7. you have included the relevant interests, hobbies, clubs that might help your application,

  8. you have proof read your CV before sending in,

  9. you have taken expert review of your CV, from someone who has been a hiring manager,

  10. you have implemented the feedback from the expert in your CV,

  11. you are aware of how the ATS system works,

  12. you send in your CV through references, rather than through the traditional application processes.

Following the above steps will make sure that you have a higher probability of getting your CV shortlisted for the next rounds. Keep in mind that the HR is working for multiple openings and multiple applications at the same time. It is not humanely possible for them to scan through and provide time for each job application.

Your job, through your CV, is to make their life easier. This happens when your CV offers the exact information that they are looking for when shortlisting the CVs. They should be able to see in 7-30 seconds, if your CV will make the hiring manager smile.

Keep in mind that consistently applying for jobs in the same company, without the right skills set harms your application. The software start to recognise the pattern in your application process and will "mark down" or drive down your future application. This means, that the software has recognised you as a delinquent applicant and is punishing you by not even considering your CV for the role.

I hope that this article has provided you an insight into the aspects of job application which the candidates do not get to see. This knowledge should motivate you to ensure that you put in your efforts for the right jobs, with the best possible CV.

This will make you the person who always gets the jobs they apply for. Best wishes for your career.

It always helps to have a mentor, who has worked and lived in Germany for some of the best brands. For personal consultation with Arun Mahajan, book a time with him.

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