Automated Job Application Services: Should You or Shouldn’t You?
In this age of automated everything, most of us have grown accustomed to the idea of using artificial intelligence (AI) in our daily lives. We encounter it when we call customer service and have to state the reason for our call (and hope we get it right). Some of us use ChatGPT to start a writing project, and some job seekers use it to write their career documents (read our blog on that topic here). And of course, employers are using AI in the form of applicant tracking software (ATS) systems to review resumes. But have you, as a job seeker, considered using an automated job application service in your search?
As with anything in the AI world, there is a chance your request won’t come out as intended. In fact, a recent study highlighted that 52% of ChatGPT answers are incorrect. That begs the question: Is it a smart idea to trust your job search to an AI system? Let’s discuss some pros and cons of attacking your job search in this manner.
The Rise of Automated Job Application Services
In the past few years, several automated job application services have emerged, all with the goal of making applying for jobs easier. As a job seeker, you have your choice. Some of the top offerings include LazyApply, LoopCV, Sonara, and TealHQ. These platforms are all relatively similar in that they use advanced algorithms and AI technology to autofill online job applications. Some purport to update candidates’ resumes to match the job description, but the overarching goal is to save time and—ideally—deliver results.
Benefits of Automated Job Applications
If you are considering trying one of these automated job application services, there certainly are several benefits. Here are a few:
1. Time Efficiency
By removing the time you personally need to spend to fill out online job applications, these systems allow you to redirect your job-seeking time toward leveraging LinkedIn or making in-person connections. You can also use this extra time to tailor your resume and cover letter for positions as needed (especially if the service you’ve chosen doesn’t offer that).
2. Expanded Reach
There are only so many hours in the day, and by leveraging an automated job application service, you can apply to a greater volume of positions. Plus, you can do this faster with an AI than you can on your own. This expands your reach and increases your chance of landing interviews.
3. Customized Applications
Some of these automated services offer features that allow job seekers to customer their applications for specific roles. This ensures that each application is tailored to the requirements of the job description.
4. Integration with ATS Systems
Perhaps one of the best things about using an automated job application service is that it, like ATS systems, is an AI. That means they often seamlessly integrate with each other. And that can result in a higher chance of your resume being seen by the hiring team.
Detriments of Automated Job Applications
As with anything, there are pluses and minuses. While AI systems can be beneficial in many aspects, they’re not perfect. Here are a few negatives of putting your trust in an application service:
1. Lack of Personal Touch
Generic applications don’t have a lot of personality—and when hundreds of candidates are applying for the same role, personality can make you stand out in a good way. An automated job application service may be faster, but if it’s just cutting and pasting, there’s no room for sharing your interest in the company or role.
2. Potential for Errors
From not filling out applications correctly to applying for positions that aren’t a good fit with your skills or career goals, errors can hinder your job search. You need to be involved with the process to ensure accurate information is shared with employers.
3. Overreliance on Technology
While technology does make things easier, it can become a crutch in the job search. It’s not all about applying for positions; a comprehensive job search includes networking and researching companies. Plus, keeping track of everything can be a challenge as well, especially if you’re using a service while concurrently applying directly.
Best Practices for Your Job Search
While our inclination is to do what’s easy, that’s not always the best option. If you do choose to use an automated job application service, be sure to balance the automated aspects with a personalized touch. Here are some of the best things you can do to ensure a better job search:
Whether you’re using tools or doing it manually, networking is a valuable aspect of looking for a position. You can do this online, using LinkedIn or other sites, or in person at events and meetings. Your resume is only one side of you, and it can be very two dimensional. By building and leveraging your network, you’ll create a way for potential employers to see all of you, including your personality.
Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter
Every time you apply for a different position, you should be updating your resume and cover letter. This is imperative for the applicant tracking software systems employers use, but it also helps show that you put in time to say something specific about the company and your fit with the role. Investing time in your documents helps them be seen by ATS systems and decision makers.
One aspect that many job seekers skip is creating a personal connection after applying. A quick LinkedIn search can put you in contact with members of the human resources team or recruiters. Even if you choose the incorrect person, it shows that you’re willing to make those connections. Recently, a candidate applied for a job with 800+ applicants, but because he reached out to a talent acquisition team member at the company to introduce himself, he was called for a phone screen and is progressing through the interview process. That probably wouldn’t have happened had he relied solely on his resume being seen by ATS systems.
Manage Your Job Search Smartly
There are so many tools that can be part of your job-search toolbox, and automated job application services are just one of them. You have your resume, networking, and LinkedIn as well. The smart job seeker doesn’t put too much weight on one tool over the other and understands that a blended approach delivers results much faster than only following one path.
Resume and Career Services has your back with several aspects of the job search, including writing resumes and cover letters, optimizing LinkedIn profiles, and coaching you on how to manage your job search. Learn more about how you can get started here.