Six Months, 200 Applications, No Interviews: What Now?

We saw this piece published by Forbes and wanted to spread the word- Recruiters are here to help both candidates and companies!
Dear Liz,

I got laid off in December which was not the best timing because of the holidays, but I dug into my job search seriously in January. Since then I’ve filled out over 200 online applications for every bookkeeping and accounting job I could find within a 50-mile radius of my house.

I have not been choosy about which jobs I applied for. If there were three jobs available in a certain company and I was qualified for all of them, I applied for all of them. Out of 200-plus applications I’ve received auto-responder messages back from about ten to twelve of them.

Not one of the responses said “We’re not going to interview you.” I guess companies don’t want to commit to “Yes” or “No” anymore. They say “If we want to interview you, we’ll let you know later.” So I sit here waiting for months to hear back!
I haven’t had any interviews yet. I took a survival job at Trak Auto and that’s going fine. At this rate I’m more likely to get a bookkeeping job through a customer at Trak Auto who gets to know me and hears about my job search than through any of my active job-search activities.

I have eight years of A/P, A/R and G/L experience, great references, a great attitude and an up-to-date resume with no typos.

What gives? What am I doing wrong?





Dear Bryan,

You ask an excellent question: what gives? What gives is this: the recruiting process itself is broken beyond repair. You’ve experienced that first-hand. Two hundred applications or more, and no interviews? How would anyone get hired through a system like that?

The online application systems adopted by most medium-sized and large employers during the nineties and the first decade of this century are the problem. They don’t work.

They screen tons of people out but almost no one into the process.

Those automated application systems also drive talented candidates away, because a lot of people won’t put up with their insulting forms and screens when they know (as you have learned) that they have almost no chance of getting an interview, much less a job.

The use of Applicant Tracking Systems is undoubtedly the worst-ever use of technology to solve a strictly human problem. Smart companies are getting rid of their tech-heavy recruiting systems and bringing a human voice and human touch back into their recruiting processes – and not a moment too soon!

Liz Ryan ,Contributor

I write about bringing life to work and bringing work to life.

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