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Online application systems are maddening

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mark2010, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    It seems to be a trend of more and more companies to have applicants for positions submit their materials through an automated online system, rather than the more traditional email or even snail mail format. Surely, this was dreamed up at a human resources/IT guru convention in Hawaii or someplace, rather than people who have actually ever set foot in a newsroom.

    It seems the larger the company, the more complex these systems are.

    I've gone through a number of these and it seems far too often my material disappears into some cyber black hole and never reaches the person actually making the decisions. Just as frustrating is the fact that it seems a large number of these HR people don't seem to have the slightest clues about newspapers, or most any information platform (broadcast, digital, etc.), so we don't even speak the same language. (I actually had an HR person ask me to explain what "paginating" was..... and this was for a newspaper design/pagination position!)

    So, anyone else find frustration in this? And have you found a better method? So many of these positions don't even list a contact name. I suppose I could research a department head's name and email them directly, although I'm trying to be respectful of their hiring protocol.

    Has anyone ever gotten hired for a position that they applied for using one of these automated systems?
  2. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    It's not just newspapers. I've been sending out resumes for months through online ads and have barely gotten so much as a nibble.
    One SID job I applied for online -- the only way the school accepts them, according to its website -- has been "under review" for 2 1/2 months. The start date listed on the ad was July 1, a good six weeks before I submitted my application. Sent an e-mail to the main SID that's there now asking what's up, but never heard anything back.
    I applied for two state jobs and got confirmation e-mails, but nothing since. One of those applications went out in March.
    The only real interview I went on stemmed from an application I sent in via snail mail. I always prefer that method, if for no other reason than you know somebody, somewhere, will get the envelope and at least glance at it.

    Other companies have job listings on places like careerbuilder.comand monster.com, but never list a contact name. Even if you go to their website, there's not much you can do except click and hope and pray that everything lines up right.
    It's like shouting into windy darkness. For all its conveniences, modern technology is a huge pain in the ass in a lot of ways.
  3. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    That's how every Human Resources department wants it.

    The computer looks for key phrases or words in every application and only forwards the ones that meet the criteria. That way the HR guy doesn't have to be bothered with silly inconveniences like actually talking to applicants or making a decision and can spend his day doing more productive things like watching porn on his computer.
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    It'd at least be nice if, when your resume is kicked out, the same program sent a form e-mail so at least you don't have to wonder about it. I do their stupid applicant tricks, I at least want a treat to juggle on my nose and catch when it's over.
  5. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    What are the good phrases and bad phrases for this crowd?
  6. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I've done two of these in the past for state jobs, in different states, and found the process rather straightforward.

    I would complain if I could, since I didn't get a nibble. But I'm not prepared to blame the process itself.
  7. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    LinkedIn, people. It's not that hard.
  8. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    When I upload the resume and then still have to fill out a lengthy (and repetitive) online application, that's when I pull the plug on a marginal job.
  9. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    I actually ran into a problem the other day with an online application. It wouldn't allow me to attach any documentation, so I used one of the spaces on the online form to point this out. Yesterday I got an email from an HR person inviting me to submit everything directly to her.

    The funny thing is, it's the only response I've gotten from any job I've applied for in the last two months.
  10. You mean uploading an application to a system where you don't know who receives it is a shot in the dark?
  11. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing she means that you can find out who the actual hiring manager is by looking at LinkedIn. Then, you can see if anyone you know knows him/her.

    An unsolicited resume sent to the hiring manager is going in the garbage. But, no matter what they say, if someone trusted by the hiring manager passes along your resume to the hiring manager, you can get in the mix for the job.

    It will still have to go through HR, but the hiring manager can get it there, and unless there is something to disqualify you, they can also fight for you if you are who they want to hire.
  12. There is really no excuse for those looking newspaper jobs to not contact an editor via email. For other jobs, it takes a bit of research. It may take 20 minutes or more out of your day, but if you have someone who can at least say "take a look" to an HR person, it makes a difference.
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