Don’t Apply to every Job out There

When it comes to looking for a job, which I’ve had to do quite frequently since being divorced, the big job search engine Indeed has become my go to spot.

There are different Indeed sites depending on where you live. Obviously, I use Indeed Canada but if you’re in the states, you’d want

Sign up for free Indeed account

Indeed has many great features. For starters, it’s free!

Just about every employer out there posts job vacancies on Indeed.

For us jobseekers, we can upload our resume and run job searches using key words, like administrative assistant, and then narrow our search to our city, or within a certain distance. When we hit the search button, Indeed will also prompt us if we would like to get a daily email using our search criteria of new jobs posted. You bet! Sign me up. You can create as many job searches as you’d like to receive emails. My searches also included data entry, receptionist and the area of town I wanted to work in. There was a lot of overlapping and I’d see the same job postings in more than one email. That’s because administrative assistants often do data entry and reception relief. My keywords were grabbing every possible job!

Once your resume is uploaded on Indeed, and you’ve spotted a suitable job, hit the “apply” button. Your resume is sent directly to that employer.

Cover letter?

Indeed has an option to include a cover letter. Do it! A cover letter is an opportunity to close the sale. Or at least catch the employer’s attention to take a closer look at the resume. In an upcoming post I’ll include a copy of my cover letter that you can tweak if you’re looking for suggestions.

When applying for jobs on Indeed, say yes ton include a cover letter, and Indeed asks if you’d like to use a previous cover letter. Choose yes, and you can make changes to the cover letter to highlight any relevant experience the employer is looking for.

Cover letter is optional, but I say do it. Whether or not you’re an older jobseeker, a cover letter is where you can expand on your experience and include information that’s not on the resume.

Right now, my employer is looking for out of town staff, and I monitor the administration email account and see the applications coming in from Indeed. I’d say less than 5% of job applicants are including a cover letter.

Wow! How things have changed. It wouldn’t even occur to me not to include a cover letter when applying for a job. Unless of course the employer specifically says don’t include it. Following instructions is also important! Something I’ve noticed that’s typical with job applicants – a cover letter will make you stand out from the competition because the majority of job seekers aren’t using one.

Every girl and her donut applies!

When I met the manager of the company I now work for he shared with me that he was getting tons of applications from non-suitable applicants. He said just about everyone who works at Tim Hortons was applying. Ha ha! For those of you not in Canada, this is a big donut coffee shop franchise. My company was looking for an experienced office administrator. Not someone who can bake donuts and sell coffee. He also said people were applying from all over, facing an hour or longer commute.

I told the manager how it works on Indeed. The job applicant pulls up the job posting, and hits the “apply” button. Someone looking for a job can pull up every posting on Indeed and hit the “apply” button whether or not they’re qualified to do the job.

Hit apply and hope for a hit?

I know this because we currently have a job posting up for a mobile designer job. This entails driving to client’s homes to provide an estimate. One of the questions applicants have to answer is do they have a driver’s license. One job applicant answers no. How does this person expect to get him or herself to our office or to client houses? Employers deal with every turkey who pulls up all job listings and hits “apply” in hopes of getting called for an interview.

Now you see why a cover letter is so important. If you’re experienced, tell the employer about it.

If you live locally, guesstimate how long your commute will be and include in your cover letter. Employers want someone who can get to work easily. Public transit is lousy where I live so employers see that as a disadvantage. Unless you live in a major city with a good bus/subway system that everyone uses. New York City and London come to mind.

Don’t waste time applying if you don’t meet a major requirement of the job. If the ad is for a plumber and you’ve never picked up a pipe wrench, don’t bother applying. If the job posting is for someone who’s can do a fast turnover on baking cupcakes and you’ve never used a mixer, don’t hit that apply button. If you don’t have a driver’s license, don’t apply to be a truck driver.

Other places to look for work

Craigslist is another popular place to find job postings. Your local manpower or government assisted job search websites can also give you leads.

In the past I’ve also registered with Monster and Workopolis, but Indeed seems to be the big database for companies posting jobs.

I’ve done searches on LinkedIn, but it seems every employment agency in the world is clogging that job bank. It gets tedious weeding through what might be fake jobs among legitimate job postings.

I don’t recommend using an employment agency. The staff who work in those places troll the Internet and pester companies that have posted jobs online. Occasionally they send in resumes for one of the jobseekers registered with them. What? That person is too lazy to do their own research. Not all employment agencies are bad, but the ones who are give the industry a bad name. And some agencies are out to scam you.

If there’s a company you’re interested in working for, check out their website, they could have a careers page where current openings are posted.

Your city employs people. Look at their webpage and the career section. Many years ago I applied for a city job when city hall was closer to my house. Then after all those years of silence, one day out of the blue I get a job offer for a job I hadn’t even applied for!

Track your job search

Keep a spreadsheet to log the companies you’ve applied for. It doesn’t have to be too complicated: date, company name (if it’s not a blind ad), how you applied, and any extra notes like the URL of the job listing. If you’re looking for work over a lengthy period of time, you’ll notice many companies constantly posting the same job. If you’ve already applied, don’t waste your time applying again.

No response IS a response!

There’s usually a good reason why a company has a high turnover rate for the same job and you don’t want any part of that place.

Your job search spreadsheet is where you keep track of interviews as well. Sometimes you need to keep track of everything you did as part of looking for work if you’re collecting unemployment benefits.

Who is who?

Something you might regret later and wished you thought about it at the time, is making notes of the people you met at your possible new place of employment. If you were in email contact, the sender probably used their name in their signature line, so you have that. Sometimes there’s more than one person interviewing. Other times you meet the whole gang!

As soon as you get back to your car, write down the names of the people you met before you forget them. This is helpful if you go back for a second interview. You can say hi to the receptionist by name. Impress them with how good your memory is!

Time marches on

If you’ve been out of work for a long time, you get desperate and will take just about anything. There’s still no need to apply to every job out there, but you might have to consider a longer commute or taking a lower paying job. At least temporarily to get the cash rolling in. It might not be the job you want, but at least apply for jobs you know you can do and will be acceptable, at least for the short term. Don’t apply to every job out there without reading the ad first. You don’t want to end up at interviewing somewhere that you never should have applied for in the first place.

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