Employment websites make it easy for employers to post jobs, and also very easy for applicants to submit applications. Applicants can send many applications in a short time, and also have their resumes auto-sent when new positions are posted. This reduces the average quality of applications, since people are applying for jobs randomly; these applicants work according to the “law of large numbers” – they send many applications, hoping that at least one will make it past to the hiring manager.
Unfortunately, an applicant working on “big numbers” is easy to spot. The quality of the application tends to be lower – it is hard to send high-quality, tailored applications when one is focusing on large numbers.
Now put that idea on hold for a moment as I tell you about my experience publishing job listings: in addition to posting on employment websites, I also posted on my company’s website. Applications through the company website were far fewer but of much higher quality.
How was I able to spot which applicant saw which listing? Applicants that saw the listing on the employment website opened their emails with “I am applying for position X as advertised on indeed.ca…” Those who saw the listing on the company website, opened with “I am applying for position X as advertised on your website.”
Applicants who came through the website got more attention. Why? When someone responds to a job listed on the company website, I know that they at least saw the website and have some interest in the company; they aren’t sending resumes indiscriminately. Therefore, apply for any job through the employer’s website if possible.
Suppose that you see a job you’re interested in listed on a generic employment website and the name of the employer is provided. Go to the employer’s website to check if they are posting it there as well. If they are, include the following sentence in the opening of your email: “I am applying for position X as advertised on your website.” And you thought that the opening line of an application email was just a formality! If the name of the employer is not provided, try to google a distinctive section from the job description. The search might bring up a page with the exact same listing, just on a company website.
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