How Late Is Too Late to Reply to a Job Posting?
You’ve been searching for that perfect job for weeks now. Finally, you come across a listing that would be ideal for you—your qualifications match the requirements of the job, and it has a flexible schedule that would work well for you and your family.
Only problem? The job posting date is from a month ago. Many job seekers find themselves in this predicament and wonder how late is too late to apply to a job posting.
Consider this advice when deciding if it’s too late to apply for the job:
Understand the timing.
Let’s state the obvious: ideally, you should apply to a job listing within a week or two of the posting. Being one of the first to get your name and resume in front of a recruiter’s eye will only be beneficial to you.
After all, a report from Brazen found that 43% of job openings are filled during the first 30 days. However, this stat also means that 57% of job postings may still be active after a month. So even if you’re nearing the 30-day mark, it may not be too late to apply to a job.
Do some research.
Unfortunately, not all companies stay on top of the job listings on their websites. It can happen that a company fills a position, but doesn’t remove it from its website. Or it’s removed from the website, but the page link is still active, meaning you could still stumble upon it during a job board or Internet search.
Pay attention to the company’s career page to determine if it’s cleaning up its positions. Are there jobs with dates from months (or even years) ago? Chances are, there could be outdated or already filled positions listed.
Make it count.
Just because a listing might be older doesn’t mean that you should half-heartedly send in your resume and cover letter. If you’re planning to apply, make sure that your application counts!
“If you’re going to apply to a job that’s been posted for a while, you should still treat the application process seriously and put forth your best effort. Otherwise, why bother applying at all?” shared Brie Reynolds, FlexJobs’ career development manager and career coach.
“Even if you’re too late for this job, submitting an excellent cover letter and well-edited resume that matches the position allows you to make a great first impression for potential future openings, or in case this job becomes available again shortly or in the future.”
Highlight your strengths.
Some recruiters may wait and collect resumes for a few weeks or a month before looking them over. Some may start glancing through resumes as soon as they come in. Even if the job has been open for a month or so, it may be worth it to apply to a job posting if you are a strong candidate and highly qualified.
If you highlight yourself as a star candidate and show your enthusiasm, recruiters may be open to interviewing you even if they’re partially through the process with other candidates. Passion and qualifications can go a long way!
Show the connection.
Let’s say that your friend or a former colleague tells you that the company you’d love to work for is hiring. But, they point out, “They’re already in the middle of the hiring process.” Having a connection to someone who can refer you to a job is a great reason to send in your job application late, even if the posting has been up for a while.
“If you know someone at this company, or who knows this team or manager, it’s a good idea to name drop! Mention in your cover letter that your mutual connection, Katie Smith, immediately thought of you for the position and recommended you apply. Sharing connections with a potential new employer adds a lot of credit to your application so they’re likely to take a look, even if they’re already well into the hiring process,” said Reynolds.
Reach out on social media.
If you’re late to the game, messaging a manager directly can make up for lost time. Once you’ve applied to a job, reach out to the HR manager directly via LinkedIn or Twitter. If the job description doesn’t list the hiring manager’s name, you can likely find them with some searching on LinkedIn.
Let them know that you’ve applied for the role, you’re excited about the opportunity, and offer to provide any more info or work samples they may need.
Don’t be disappointed.
Even if you decide to apply to a job posting that’s been open for some time and you don’t get the job or even a call back, your effort is not necessarily wasted. Perhaps the company has an upcoming opening for a similar position, or even the same position, and your resume may be kept on file. It’s ultimately up to you to determine if your time might be better spent searching for more recently posted jobs.
Strategize your search.
It can be incredibly frustrating to find a potential job, only to find out the listing has expired. Use some strategy to determine which jobs to apply to first.
Reynolds suggests, “If you find two listings in one day that you’d like to apply for, it’s usually best to apply for the most recently posted job first. So, if one posting is dated from two days ago and the other is two weeks ago, spend your efforts first applying to that two-day-old listing.”
Speeding Up Your Job Search
Keep in mind that, sometimes, using big job search boards can actually slow down your search, since you’ll have to weed through the listings you aren’t interested in, just to find the jobs that you’d like to have.
At FlexJobs we maintain our jobs database around the clock to ensure the listings are still active, fresh, and as always, legitimate. Working with current job listings can help speed up your job search and ensure you’re not wasting time.
Jennifer Parris contributed to this post.
Originally published April 9, 2015. Updated September 5, 2018.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
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