Bulletin Board: Multiple applications? Not so fast
Jul 27,2007 00:00 by Amy_Winter

It is as easy as a click of a button to send online resumes to multiple employers; however, this technology can have its disadvantages. Job seekers send out as many resumes as possible in hope of getting a response. MRINetwork, a recruitment organization, found that often there is little connection between the job's requirements and the candidate's qualifications.

Michael Jalbert, president of MRINetwork, compares today's online boards to the time when job boards were nonexistent. He says the pre-era consisted of a lot more work involving writing cover letters and mailing hard copies of resumes.

"The shotgun approach seems to have taken over the job search today," Jalbert said. "Many candidates shoot off their resumes to a wide range of postings in the hope that one of them will hit the target."

The issue with this approach is employers tend to delete responses immediately if they notice anything that doesn't fit with their posting. Going through the mass amount of responses is frustrating to employers. Jalbert discusses one company's experience:

"The job posting listed very specific qualifications that included terms like 'business-to-business, financial services and high-tech,'" he said. "But a high number of the responses came from candidates who clearly sent their resumes to a dozen companies, regardless of their suitability for the job."

Many job-seekers assert they studied the company before applying, even when their experience clearly wasn't suited for the job opening.

Jalbert offers some advice to those seeking jobs online:

- Read the job description and be aware of the requirements.

- Don't respond to ones for which you don't qualify.

- Change your cover letter to fit each job posting: Edit your cover letter to address the key points stated in the posting.

"There's nothing wrong with responding to multiple postings," said Jalbert, "as long as the candidate can demonstrate some suitability for the position."

For more information, visit www.mrinetwork.com.

THE NAME GAME

Your university's name may be impressive but not necessarily a shoo-in when applying for jobs. Chief financial officers were asked in a survey to see how much weight a job seeker's alma mater should be given during the interview process.

Fifty-one percent of the respondents said the name of the university was very important, while 49 percent believed it was not important at all, according to a survey by Accountemps, an accounting staffing service that surveyed more than 1,400 CFOs. And, 38 percent believed the university's name was only somewhat important.

"Because many entry-level candidates have little professional experience, hiring managers often consider non-work-related factors, such as the quality of the applicant's formal education," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. "But learning extends beyond the classroom - valuable skills and knowledge also are gained through extracurricular activities, internships and jobs held during college.

"Employers should avoid letting a single factor, such as where an applicant went to school or which internships he or she completed, carry disproportionate weight in the evaluation process," Messmer added. "A strong work ethic and the ability to adapt quickly to a new environment, for example, are equally desirable."

For more information, visit www.accountemps.com.

© Copley News Service