Complaints From Online Job ApplicantsOnline Job Search Haters' 7 Biggest Complaints
Mike Bowman   

Here at the Career and Jobs division of, my team and I get emails from desperate job seekers every week asking for help or advice in finding work. After so many requests, we have identified the top 7 biggest struggles job seekers say they have when looking for a new job. We will list them here and offer advice on each one.

1. When I apply for jobs online, it is not uncommon for me to get no response from the company. I don't even know if a human being got my resume.

Suggestion: If you want a new job, you need to talk to a person, not a machine. Skip the online application process, and go to a job fair where you can meet real people and tell them why you are a great fit for their company.

2. Applying for a job, hearing back from an employer, scheduling an interview, etc. takes forever.

Suggestion: The best way to speed up your job search is meeting multiple employers at the same time. Job fairs are kind of like speed dating. In one day, at one location, you can meet many employers, shaving weeks, even months, off the time needed to find a job that fits your goals and skills.

3. The good jobs are not advertised.

Suggestion: That is mostly true. Most jobs (approximately 80%) are not advertised through traditional outlets. If you are lucky, you may know someone who can tell you about open or new positions in a company. However, are you going to know 100 people from 100 companies who will all be reporting unadvertised, open positions to you? Probably not. Your best bet is attending a job fair where you can directly ask the hiring manager at each booth what positions they have, which jobs will soon be available, and where your skills would be a good match.


4. I don't know many people who can help me find a new job. I have a small, disengaged network.

Suggestion: All the conventional advice published by the career media outlets says building and participating in an actively engaged network of peers and industry leaders is critical, yet few people actually accomplish this. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a professional network. If you find yourself looking for work and you have a relatively small network to lean on, go to a job fair. At a job fair, you can talk directly to company representatives and meet people in person you may not have had access to otherwise.

5. I have no idea who the hiring manager is for the company I want to work for, so I end up sending my resume to a general email alias where I have no idea who gets it.

Suggestion: Even with tools like LinkedIn, it is often very difficult to determine exactly who the hiring manager is for an open position. Additionally, company gatekeepers are often instructed to guard the manager's privacy and not give you their contact information. At a job fair, companies staff their booths with recruiters, hiring managers and HR representatives. Exactly the people you need to talk to. Go to the job fair, find the companies you want to work for, and introduce yourself to these people face to face!

6. Ok. I understand that if I am going to apply for jobs online, it's going to take lots and lots of applications just to get a few responses, but if I had to drive to 100 employers' locations it would take me months to drop off my resumes.

Suggestion: What if you could spend one day meeting 100 hiring managers face to face and getting their contact information? When you use job fairs, there is no need to drive to hundreds of businesses in order to put your resume into the hands of a human being. Job fairs bring all the hiring managers together in one spot. Itís not uncommon for a job fair to have 80-120 employers present. You could literally hand out 100 physical copies of your resume, meet 100 hiring managers, and get the direct contact information of all 100 of them for follow up later. You will never do that online, and it would take you months to get in your car and do it one recruiter at a time.

7. I feel that mailing my resume to "HR Manager" or "Hiring Manager" means it's going in the receptionist's trash can.

Suggestion: You might as well write "Throw me away" on your resume if you send it to a general email alias. At a minimum, you need to know the hiring manager's name and contact information. Most Human Resources staff do not publish their contact information online. Would you? Think about the flood of spam and useless emails you would get. Job fair events are different though. Company representatives gladly hand over business cards that contain a gold mine of contact information. You can use that information to cut through all the barriers companies set up to screen applicants and get your resume directly to the right person.

Bottom line: Include job fairs in your toolbox of job search options. In an online age, this offline event continues to prove itself as a superior way of connecting job seekers to employers.

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