With daily leaps and bounds in technology, the approach to finding a job also has changed drastically. Before the Internet, an applicant would look for a job in the classifieds of a newspaper, print a resume on nice paper and dress in his or her Sunday best to apply for a job in person.
In today’s world, if you were to walk into a business to give them your resume, the receptionist would either look surprised to see you and not know what to do, or instruct you to go back home and apply online.
In the world of recruiting, technology is making it so the perfect candidate will fall into the lap of the hiring manager. Instead of a recruiter having to look through a stack of resumes for someone who meets the company's qualifications, an applicant tracking system, or ATS, can narrow the search.
If you have recently applied for a job online, you probably have noticed there are several questions specific to the job. “Do you have a degree in engineering?” “Have you worked in the medical industry in the past?” “Can you lift 50 pounds on a regular basis?” These questions automatically sort which resumes the recruiter will even see.
If you do not have the basic qualifications required for the position, there is a chance no human will ever lay eyes on your resume. This allows the recruiters to only see those candidates that meet the qualifications and have the skills required.
With unemployment at one of the highest times in U.S. history, the quantity of applicants is also at an all-time high. Depending on the company, each advertised position online could attract anywhere from 50 to 200 or more applicants. As a recruiter, who would want to have 50 to 200 people walk into the office with a printed resume that needed to be read? That is why employers are requiring applicants to apply online.
So what if you are not computer savvy or feel the online application process takes too long and you give up on applying for that job? The answer is quite simple, adapt or die. You must embrace this change in job seeking or you will not find employment.
With this paradigm shift, there is also a linked difference in where jobs are listed. We have established employers are not printing job openings in the classifieds. You need to know where to find open positions. Job boards like Indeed, SimplyHired and Jobing are designed to pick up on positions listed on the Web. That means if an employer posts a job only on the company's website, a job board may find that posting and include it on its site.
Career sites such as Monster, CareerBuilder and Dice require the employer to pay to post the job. There are also free sites where employers can post jobs such as Craigslist and Oodle. All of these sites are a great place to look for openings.
Social media is becoming the next hot tool for recruiters. There is no question the best way to find a job is by knowing someone on the inside who can refer you. By using sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, an employer can get word out about job vacancies to those who are inside the organization and let their employees do the legwork of alerting their friends of the vacancy.
Do not become discouraged by the fact that most companies no longer accept walk-in applicants. Become encouraged by the fact that you can stand above the competition by crafting the best possible resume, using your network to get an inside referral and land an interview. It is time to embrace the new way of applying for a job.
Jared Olsen has been in human resources and recruiting for more than six years.