online job applications

Man Spends 11 Hours Filling Out Job Applications And Has Sound Advice For Job Seekers

Software engineer Shikhar Sachdev, who writes a career blog, knows firsthand that job hunting, which most Americans have done in recent years, can be time-consuming and frustrating.

SHRM reports that more than 90% of people abandon online job applications before they are completed. Sachdev wanted to find an easier way, so he challenged himself to fill out 500 software engineering job applications to find out what makes applying for a job so frustrating and how the process can be made easier.

Sachdev found 500 applications to be too much and changed his goal to 250, tracking how long it took to fill out each application in a bevy of industries and company sizes, including companies he noticed while on the street and one where his friends work. Sachdev filled out online applications but stopped short of submitting them except for the jobs he was interested in.

According to Bankrate, 56% of workers plan to look for a new job this year. Additionally, Zippia reports it takes filling out between 21 and 80 job applications to get one job offer, meaning most Americans will fill out dozens of job applications this year. While Black unemployment hit an all-time low of 6% earlier this year, Black workers are well aware of the struggles of applying online.

Sachdev told Wired the shortest application, which was for hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, took less than 20 seconds, and the longest one was for the United States Postal Service, which took more than 10 minutes. Applying for jobs using Workday took 128% longer than applications for similar-sized companies.

Sachdev determined that there were three factors that affect how long it takes to fill out a job application: the size of the company, the industry the company is in, and the software it uses for applicants. Applicant software appeared to be the biggest issue. Many systems, including Workday, typically redirect users from the application page and force them to create an account within that system. Sachdev said that by the end of his experiment he’d created more than 80 separate accounts.

Another issue he found was that in many instances he was forced to retype information after uploading his résumé because the application software misread it.

“Sometimes it’s not even the time,” he told Wired.

“It’s the mental fatigue of having to do it every single time.”

To make applications easier for employees, Sachdev advises prioritizing companies that use similar software or where you can simply submit a résumé. He also suggests making a connection on Linkedin with companies’ hiring manager.

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