See a Job You Want? Don’t Wait, Apply Immediately

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A month ago, I mentioned an interesting job opportunity to an unemployed friend. Imagine my surprise last Thursday when she told me that she finally submitted her application.

When I asked why it took her so long to apply for the job that was posted nearly four weeks earlier, my procrastinating friend explained that she wanted to tweak her resume, plus she also claimed resumes get lost in the initial influx of applications. “Better to stand out later in the process,” she said.

So, I decided to test her hypothesis by asking some top recruiters when they find most of the talent they advance to interviews. Recruiters, indeed, confirm most applications are received shortly after posting, then trickle in over the next several weeks. Still, all indicate you increase your chances of being considered if you apply promptly after the initial posting.

Recruiter Tina Dugas of Bloom, Gross & Associates confirms your resume has the best chance at being considered if it is in the initial batch received. “Rule of thumb would be to definitely respond sooner than later.”

Agreeing with the “don’t wait” philosophy is former Edelman recruiter Travis Kessel who now heads recruiting at online retailer Jet.com.

“There is a solid chance that the recruiter will find a few qualified folks and push them through the process first, holding off on looking at others who apply so not to murky the waters of the process,” Travis says.

Chris Mordi at recruiting firm Paladin confirms most resumes arrive early in the posting process, while others trickle in over the following month. “If someone is serious about finding a new job, that person needs to stay on top of the postings in LinkedIn, CareerBuilder and Indeed,” Chris advises. “The best thing to do is apply immediately.”

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