5 Things About Job Applications I Wish Everyone Knew

If you've ever wondered why you weren't interviewed for a role you were qualified for (or fabulously qualified for), the reason may be baked into these 5 things.

1. So often, jobs are posted when they’ve already chosen a candidate.

I personally was required by a company to post a job online for my assistant, when I already had my assistant and was not going to replace her. Re-posting her job annually, though, was a requirement of the program funding. Yuck.

That’s one rare reason, but a more common one is that the company (wanting to attract more talent or more diverse talent) requires that all roles are posted. This rule still applies even if the hiring manager happens to have designed the role specifically for Dave. 

2. If you're quickly rejected, they probably didn’t even review your materials.

Beyond what you already know about how many companies have their system set up so that they can filter you out through your resume or your response to their supplemental application questions, could be that since the company so often already has someone, after wasting your time with applying, they're trying to at least be kind enough to let you know right away that it's not going further.

3. Apply ASAP.

HR execs tell me that if they have 10 fabulous candidates the first day...they’re not necessarily going to go back to check in on the growing candidate pool.

4. It’s not your job to decide whether or not you’re qualified.

That's the company's job. If you're compelled to apply, apply.

5. It’s unusual to land a job just by applying online. 

Technology jobs are the only exception in my experience. 100% of the time I ask folks who have recently landed jobs what advice they would give to others earlier in their searches...they say more networking. If you’re an entrepreneur, this is relevant to you, too. People build multiple 6-figure businesses based on referrals, which is another way to say networking.

Thanks for reading, I’m in your corner and available for a free strategy session here, too.


Emma Garrett is an Executive Career Coach, helping high-integrity leaders position themselves for what’s next in work and life. Ready to start doing things differently? Consider scheduling a free call to share your situation and goals or checking out the resources at