Sonia Said: Hit by the Application Punch

By Sonia Hadj Said

It has been a month since I started vigorously applying for jobs. While I feel content with the course I took, I know I am entering an impossibly competitive industry. To be fair, I believe that every industry is competitive right now. These are just the times we're in. There is no point discussing how hard it is. Everyone already knows that. You leave education with nothing but a diploma and companies telling you that you need a few years of experience for an entry-level job. You get experience working for free, living with your parents or working part-time, wanting to scream out to every customer just how valuable you really are. Let's just leave that one out.

Before, I thought that applying for a new job would be exciting. I thought that with so much experience in my field it would be a lovely adventure. But just like the Hobbit, I started off by joyfully running around my comfort-zone forest and now am facing Smaug who doesn't seem to want to let me get out alive. When competition is so high and all you want is a job, why do some companies make the process of applying as appealing as facing a dragon?

Apparently, "as well as relying on application forms to prove they are using taxpayers’ money effectively in recruitment matters, some employers use them to find out information that otherwise wouldn’t be readily volunteered in a CV."


"There were too many times I spent hours on one application and weeks later still not had heard from anyone"


I have completed quite a few of these application forms and could easily confirm that there was nothing they could fish out. Asking you to manually enter all the information about your employment, education, and achievements is a mere copy-paste of what candidates put on their CVs. If anything, I always looked at it as a test. Because if I am willing to spend up to two hours re-typing all of the information from my beautifully made and ready CV, it can only mean I'm dying to get a job. And as TotalJobs confirms, "employers also use application forms to assess motivation and make a first pass at essential skills, including spelling, grammar and punctuation."

The problem and the ugly truth is: no one has time for that! People trying to get a job want to get a job. They wrote that CV so that an employee could see their experience and education, and surely they would be more than happy to discuss it all further. People who work do not have all day to send one application. Especially if they get nothing at all in return.

There were too many times I spent hours on one application and weeks later still not had heard from anyone. And after a month of doing it, I've had enough. It is understandable that companies receive way too many applications these days but if you require someone to spend that amount of time on one job application, you should think about making it easy, and you should definitely find the time to at least send a general e-mail to unsuccessful candidates.

Application forms should be abandoned. This isn't about laziness, it's about sanity. Applicants have to send hundreds of CVs and might not get a single interview out of it. They will never find out why (companies don't have time to reply, not to mention give feedback) so this process should start working both ways. Interestingly enough, from all the interviews I got, none of them were from an employer who required an application form. These forms are time consuming, impersonal, not worth it and I will no longer be filling out any more.