As a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently searching for a full-time position, I have so much to say about the application process! After speaking to a few other newly graduated students I’ve come to some realizations.
There are basically two types of job applications. The “30 seconds click to apply” method and a process that evaluates candidates through methods such as questions, assessments, and work samples.
30 seconds is all I want… when I don’t care
Generally, students looking for a part time, short term position have preference for the “30 seconds click to apply” method and there’s a perfectly good reason why – it’s quick and easy, allowing applicants to use a previously uploaded resume for employers to review.
“When I am applying to temporary jobs that I don’t care as much for, I prefer to be able to just click to apply” - Kevin Nguyen, a fellow new college graduate
You might wonder, how do we treat these “temporary” jobs once there’s a call back? Well for Kevin, myself and others, we decide which job to take depending on the pay and whichever is most interesting.
For us, the quick apply process is something we prefer for roles meant for quick cash and to pass the time…
“If it takes more than 30 seconds, then I won’t apply” is an absolutely valid statement that we think while looking.
When it matters, I want a chance
But, when it comes to applying for internships, full-time, and even part-time positions to help flesh out my experience and further my career, I want to be able to showcase my skills. In other words, if there’s a job I want, I want to feel like I earned the position and title.
For jobs that matter, the quick click and apply in this situation leaves us feeling powerless. We want the job but the quick click leaves our fate (I have now learned) to a computer algorithm sorting through stacks of applicant resumes. This puts us in a waiting game, waiting to hear back from a job we know we would be super great at but didn’t have enough opportunity to express our abilities.
Many applicants, myself and my peers included, feel that a process that takes the time to evaluate our abilities is great for fresh graduates. Although it takes more work and effort, it lets us feel in control of our own job application. Additionally, it allows us to feel deserving of the chance we are given in the application process since resumes as a fresh graduate don’t show skills we picked up during university or even high-school - honest, energetic, hard-working – skills employers want from college graduates (along with the degree), but can’t be effectively shown on a resume.
“I want to compete for my spot and have the satisfaction of earning my place” - Joanna Ton, recent UT graduate
When we are competing against applicants with 2-3 years of work experience in the industry, our resume will obviously seem lacking compared to theirs. Therefore, processes with evaluation steps like questions and assessments make us feel like we are able to compete fairly with those that have more years of experience than us. Whether we get the job or not is left to our abilities and not the amount of years we were in a company.
So, while there are certainly perks to the quick click and apply application process, it is definitely more advantageous to graduates like myself when application processes take the time to evaluate our abilities so we can compete for the jobs we want.