We regularly refer to our contacts at Jobserve, Jobsite and the various other sites that we advertise on for their advice on how to use advertisements to attract the best candidates. In a fiercely competitive marketplace, any information that can encourage candidates to apply to our ads ahead of those of our competitors is highly useful.
Sadly, we receive a lot of applications that are, well, poor. For example, if we have requested a cover letter, 90% of candidates won’t bother providing one or will send the standard one issued by the site they have applied through. The covering letter is a great chance to give yourself an edge over the competition, so why are so many candidates wasting the opportunity and sending out flimsy, forgettable applications?
The answer lies on desks, in pockets, in palms and in handbags all over the world. Yes, the culprit is the smartphone. Let’s face it, as much as we might not mind typing a text to a friend or updating Facebook with it, actually using the tiny touch screen or keypad to competently type out a covering letter with it is a bit of an ordeal. And the job boards make it so easy to just fling off an application with one click. This begs the question, has the age of the smartphone made it too easy to apply for jobs? Far from being a jobseeker’s best friend, because you can search for work on the go, and apply for jobs with one click, is it actually letting you down because it encourages you not to make any effort with your application?
The short answer is, yes! While we are fortunate that the technology is available so we can search for jobs on the go, this shouldn’t be our default setting. If you are serious about furthering your career by finding a great role, your time would be better spent using a PC to check your CV thoroughly, tailoring it for the role if necessary, and then typing up a brief, professional cover letter outlining what makes you a good candidate for the role. The few minutes it would take you to do this will be a much more productive use of your time than sending out a dozen weak applications via smartphone that don’t stand out from the rest.
On a personal level, as recruiters we are often accused of failing to provide adequate feedback for the masses of one-click applications that we receive – is it reasonable that because the candidate has submitted the same CV for a dozen roles at the click of a button without following the most basic instructions on the advertisement that we ought to painstakingly provide individual feedback for theirs and a dozen other applicants for roles they will barely remember applying for?
Smartphones are great – our jobs would be difficult without them. Yes, they are great when you are busy and great for browsing job databases. But if you want to find your dream role, and find your applications are ending up in the proverbial ‘black hole’, it’s time to ditch the smartphone. Spend some time on your CV, read the advertisement properly and start sending out fewer, but stronger, applications. It’s not so long ago that we were leafing through postal applications and hand-written CVs – doesn’t seem like such hard work to put in a few minutes’ work to elevate yourself above the smartphone masses, now, does it?