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Career Services

Are electronic job applications a black hole?


Time smoking a picture., Digital ID psnypl_prn_1050, New York Public LibraryFor our patrons who have already attended John Crant's Self Recruiter lectures at the Science, Industry and Business Library, you already know that he believes the "Submit" button on applications is the company's way of reminding you who is in charge of the process. With some online job applications taking as long as two hours to complete, job seekers should consider whether or not the whole process is worthwhile.

Here are a few things to consider before you do all that work to get to "Submit":

Consider the Source

Postings directly from employers (rather than search firms or temporary agencies) are more likely to lead to a real job.  Try sites like LinkUp and JobCentral where you can search postings directly on employer sites using key words and other criteria instead of visiting each employer's site individually.


The longer a job has been posted, the more likely the position has already been filled or the employer decided not to fill it.  Concentrate on positions that have been up for 14 days or less.  Anything older than that probably isn't a good lead.


Use LinkedIn or the company website to identify either the hiring manager or someone else familiar with the search and ask about the status of the search:  are they still reviewing resumes or wrapping-up interviews?  It's not as good as hearing that you're hired or that you'll get an interview, but at least you will have a better idea of what is going on with your application.


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.
Great Points! Amy, you are so right. These days it seems that companies are using their 'applicant tracking software' (sounds like the Job Seekers are the caged animals in this discussion to me!) to exert control and create distance. Distance between a Job Seeker and the real decision-maker. While any Job Posting can be one where the company is just 'window shopping' –and not really ready to hire, focusing on the freshest postings (14 day window, as an example) and also those from various sources in addition to the big job boards (niche sites, company sites, etc.) can lead to discovering fresher, newer postings which might get you in line earlier in their hiring process. You are very right that LinkedIn can be a great source. Sometimes, Job Postings direct from the managers are posted there first. And at the very least, it gives you a great way to find and discover the real decision-makers for many of the Job Postings that you may see out on Job Boards –whether those are the company boards or commercial job boards. Just don't 'submit' and then sit and wait for that phone to ring. Take action, discover who the hiring manager may be (think LinkedIn) and reach out. It just may be the action that creates the reaction that you need –to get your Job Search moving forward.

Re: eapplications

Your articles are well written and very informative. It would be helpful if there was a sharing box for: email, twitter and facebook. Keep up the good work.


Library, heal thyself -- NYPL's job app system is beyond terrible, and there is never any response to submitted applications.

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