Recovering Corpoholics

Ep 20 - Is Applying Online For Jobs a Waste of Time?

February 02, 2022 Felicia Serano-Shtivelman Season 1 Episode 20
Recovering Corpoholics
Ep 20 - Is Applying Online For Jobs a Waste of Time?
Show Notes

In today’s episode of Recovering Corpoholics, we're going to discuss if applying online is a waste of time.  

Find the full show notes to this episode at

So, you want to find a new job. As you’ve probably done in the past, you start looking at job sites such as or, LinkedIn, or even the career pages of those companies you want to work for. 

When you find something that catches your eye, you apply (which is uploading your resume and then basically retyping the same information from your resume). And then you wait and hope that someone reaches out to you. 

But is this worth your time? 

To me, it’s not. And I am going to share with you 4 reasons why I think that it is. 

Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t be applying for jobs online. All I want to say is this shouldn’t be your main or only strategy to get a new job. 

That’s why I believe networking is so important (to learn more about networking, listen to the Networking series I did, episodes 14, 15 and 16).

So, what are those 4 reasons? 


1. High Competition / Low success rate.

First, the success rate for applying for jobs online is at most 5%, meaning that 95% of applicants will not get hired by applying online. 

Why is this? Well, applying for jobs is pretty much a straightforward and easy process. There are some people who want the job and some are just applying to see what happens. Whatever the case may be, the competition is high, hence why the success rate is so low!

We honestly could end this episode right there but let’s continue with more reasons.


2. The process sucks.

The second reason in my opinion that applying for jobs online isn’t worth your time is that the system doesn’t work in your favor. You may be the most qualified for the job but depending on when you apply, recruiters may never see your resume. 

According to, on average, every corporate job listing gets 250 applicants. However, only 4 to 6 of the applicants will be called for an interview. 

Why is this?

It’s just how the process works. When I did a tour in recruiting during non-busy season, I saw it first-hand. The hiring manager would ask for 10 resumes and I just went in the system and went from who applied first down the list. Once I found 10 good resumes, I didn’t even look at the rest of them. 

So, if you are #20 to apply for the job, your resume may never be seen if they already reached the number of resumes requested. So, unless you apply as soon as the requisite comes out, is it even worth your time. 

Now, if you are an internal candidate or internal referral, they have to look at your resume (hence why referrals are so important). But if there are 10 good internal candidates or a mix of internal and internal referrals, you could still be the best qualified external applicant but again, you won’t get seen so it doesn’t matter.

Now they do have Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), software that scans resumes for selected information the hiring manager wants, but according to, 75% of applicants are still rejected with this software. 

I will do another episode on how to make your resume ATS reviewable. Sign up for my email updates at to be the first to know when that comes out!

...... Find the Full Show Notes Here.