Should you bother applying for jobs that have been posted online for a month or more, or are older job ads a waste of time?
That was a question that came in to the CareerBeacon team over social media this weekend. Victoria had just started looking for a new job, and she found two positions that sounded perfect for her posted online. However, both of those openings had been first advertised over a month and a half ago. She wanted to know if it is worth her taking the time to apply.
The answer isn’t a simple yes or no.
For the greatest odds of catching an employer’s attention and landing a job interview, you should focus your energy and effort on the newest job postings. Statistically, those candidates who apply sooner have a higher percentage of success.
For more on this research and to see the best times to apply for jobs, see: Analyses of millions of applications reveals the best time to apply for a job.
Applying to older job postings.
That being said, often we see job ads that are still up online weeks or even months after their initial posting date. If there are no ‘fresher’ jobs that suit your profile, consider applying for these.
There are numerous reasons why a job could remain advertised online for longer periods of time. It could be that the employer has had difficulty finding the right candidate for the role. Perhaps the job has a high turnover rate, so the employer is constantly looking for new hires. It could also be that the job is so hard to fill that they want to keep the listing open until their initial hire passes their probation period.
Don’t apply haphazardly. If the employer is still considering candidates for the role, you want to make a powerful, positive first impression.
In my experience hiring candidates, I generally receive a flurry of applications as soon as a job is advertised. HR and the hiring manager sift through these and create their shortlist of candidates to interview. However, if none of those candidates are right for the role, fall in the right salary range, or would make a good fit for the team, you go back to newer, more recent applicants to see if maybe a new gem has come in.
So, employers quite often go through the screening process of their first short-list of candidates and then go back to the application pile. Your resume coming in at this point could stand a greater chance of standing out.
Newer job postings are a better bet. However, older ones are still online for a reason. (Of course, that reason could be that the employer just hasn’t bothered to take it down. You never know.) There is still a chance that you could be just the applicant that the employer is waiting for.
The only thing you have to lose by applying is your time and effort. Don’t be stingy with those. The more time and effort you put into your job search, the greater your success will be.