Invited to Apply

image courtesy of treis via

A few weeks ago, I got a flurry of emails with the subject header “You are invited to apply”.

I was confused.

None of them came directly from companies, although some of the companies mentioned were companies to whom I’d sent LOIs in the past.

All of these emails were from job listing sites, such as Indeed and ZipRecruiter.

I keep an eye on job listings, even while I pitch companies directly. It’s good business to know who is hiring for what, and to see which jobs keep coming up with a high turnover (big red flag about the company).

During the Stay-at-home order of the pandemic, and prepping for last year’s move, I also had used these job sites, looking for work that would inform where we’d end up, if there was something worth giving up freelancing (there wasn’t).

In other words, these listing sites have my information.

But the “invite to apply” had little to do with the kind of work I do, or that I want to do.

Why is that?

Because it’s a computer looking for keywords in the resume, not a person trying to match a company and an individual. Because it has nothing to do with anyone’s skills, and everything to do with algorithms. It has nothing to do with either the potential employer or the job candidate.

If you listen to the ads these listing sites post on, for instance, radio, they talk about how they “find” candidates for the employer within a day, rather than the candidates finding the job listing. It’s not about a smart HR person working for the site looking through those signed up and finding good candidates. It’s a poorly designed AI bot looking for SEO words in the resume, and encouraging the candidate to apply.

No, thanks. If a company is interested in the resume forwarded by a site or a recruiter, then the company can set up an initial conversation, so we can see if it’s worth going further. If YOU are courting ME, don’t tell me to fill out a bunch of unnecessary online questions which are already answered, should you read my resume or look at my portfolio samples. All you are doing is wasting my time to up your numbers. And you are not doing the company any good with your “found” candidates.

I am a copy/content/script writer, not a truck driver. And yet, the AI “invites me to apply” as a truck driver. Because I have a certificate in sustainability on my resume. It’s there because I pitch to environmental organizations to write copy for them. I’m not taking it off to please a poorly designed bot.

So when you see “Invite to Apply”, I suggest the delete button post-haste.