Self destruct

It looks convenient, doesn’t it? A single button on a job search website which will fire off your resume off at the click of a button. It allows you to apply for dozens of jobs in the time it takes to eat your cornflakes in the morning.

But clicking that button is possibly the worst thing you can do for your chances of success. It’s essentially a self-destruct button for job applications.

Sending one resume off to dozens of different job ads is a good way to guarantee that you won’t get an interview for any of them. A successful resume is one that is carefully targeted to the requirements of the position. This involves not only reading the job advertisement carefully, but also doing additional research on the company’s website and on Linkedin. You need to identify which skills, experience, and personal qualities are essential for success in the role and then ensure your applications documents highlight how well you meet these requirements.

Doing this research takes time and effort and it can be tiring doing it all for each and every application. It might be tempting to cut a few corners with the “apply now” button, but the negative effects on your success are massive.

Furthermore, resumes sent through these websites often get lost in the crowd with all the other irrelevant, unrealistic, “I don’t really care about this job I’m just testing my luck” applications. These websites may also affect the presentation of your application, as they package up your files as it suits their system, not as it best reflects on you.

So, what should you do instead?

1. One resume for one job application.

The first thing to do is to make sure that you take the time and make the effort to prepare an application that is carefully tailored to the job you’re applying for. See our Career Ready resources for some job applications advice.

2. Go directly to the company website.

Find their “career opportunities” page and follow the instructions, to the letter. Often, they’ll have their own online tool to help you submit your application. If the company doesn’t have a page like this, or if the instructions aren’t clear, move on to option three…

3. Contact the company and ask.

If you’re not sure where to send it, email or call the company and ask who you should send your application to. Not only does this help you get your resume into the right hands, it also allows you to show off your professional communication skills and attention to detail.

4. Get help from us.

You can get advice and feedback on your application from one of the La Trobe Career Development Centre’s consultants. Simply book an appointment or come to one of our workshops.