Does anyone have any tips for navigating online job applications? It just seems like they don't ever reach a real person.
I know that hitting the streets and asking businesses is a good way to find work, but I live in a floundering small town; the local papers only list industrial and agricultural jobs on a regular basis. I'd like to make at least $10/hour. I don't think that's too much to ask since I made $15/hour TEN years ago!!!
3 houses - 2 blocks in the old neighborhood = 1 eclectic/traditional tribe!
When I was looking for a part time job, I pulled some of my education and experience off the resume. Dropped my b.a. and left an A. A. and downgraded my titles a bit. It worked. I think if you have too much too offer, they just figure you won't be satisfied for too long so they pass you over. I guess it sounds odd, but sometimes they just dont want the degree, or the honors, or whatever. If you don't have an A.A., you could just put that you have three years of college but no degree or something like that. Not as if they would pull a transcript for a bank teller job. Hey, some of these jobs want people who are kind of desperate to get and keep a job so they can have you well in control.
It could very well be true your applications aren't reaching a real person. The job market is flooded. A lot of online software that businesses use now to sort and receive applications are scanning for special key words in your resume. If those words are missing from your resume, it won't get forwarded on to a hiring manager.
At least this is true for larger, more 'metro' areas... Not sure what the market and subsequent hiring practices are for smaller areas and the small businesses within, but you might want to consider getting professional help with your resume- It is usually quite affordable (and often free). A local community college or university should have that service.... as well as other places too.
My sympathy! I just had the same thing happen. I appreciate hearing that it might be an electronic screening process. That makes sense. But, grrrrr!
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
Fortune teller makes a good point. Electronic submissions need a different approach. You can study the job descriptions of what you are applying for and figure out what the key words are Then make sure they are in your resume. That probably means having lots of resume versions or an edit for each position, but it does help you get that interview.
Also, having come from the experience of tryng to get back in the job market after a child rearing hiatus of about 11 years, if that is the case with you, even a shorter amount of time can be an issue. There is an assumption that you will be out of touch with standard office practices, software, etc. You need to work the resume around that.
You really need to make connections. Go to these places and meet people. Tell everyone you know you are looking for a part-time clerical position. Yes, job boards are FLOODED with applications. But people don't want to sift through them. They want to hire someone they know or someone another person knows.
I highly doubt you're getting electronically screened out (unless you're receiving the email within minutes of submission). Most small companies do not use and cannot afford that type of software. If you're applying on a major job board (like CareerBuilder) then they might get hundreds of resumes for one position and have candidates they feel are a better fit. It's not always what you know, but who you know. Those positions might be going to friends and family with no fault of your own.