Applying for Jobs in the 21st Century
Before 1995, most people would apply for a job in the following: locate an opening position, get in a car to the store or site, fight traffic, find parking, walk in and ask for a job application. Then, either quickly fill it out there and submit it or take it home, fill it out and return to submit it. It was a long process. Even this recent, there were not many places where you could apply online and submit your application or resume from a computer.
By 2005, this had changed drastically and many places used automation to do many of the things humans or receptionists did. Of course, you can go into Google and ask for a job application, they may just tell you that you have to apply online to save the paper. Most places nowadays will allow you to submit your resume via email. Many make you go through a battery of tests, many lie detector tests, to see if the applicant is lieing. Many will ask a battery of questions regarding whether you might be a candidate based on if the job can be partially paid for by government, others ask specialize questions.
The end result is now it takes up to one hour to apply for many jobs online because you are forced to take the exam battery and after all this, two things happen: either the result will indicate you did not pass or the company will get back with you about the results. None will ever say, congratulations! you have a job, when can you begin? The whole automated system is designed to weed out the millions who apply by that company's criteria. If you fail, it, in no way, means you could not do the job, just not for them. You never really find out just why the application was rejected, it may not even be work related. If you failed, the system will tell you that you can try again in 30-60 days.
The automation has reached the point where the whole phone interview is conducted by a robot and your response is by pressing 1 for Yes or 2 for No. Home Depot does it this way. Walmart asks you a battery of questions about whether you have been on welfare, AFDC, food stamps etc. You sit there asking, why? The reason is that they tend to hire those very poor people because federal funding partially pays their wage. That is why some employees there may look questionable to you.
With automation as the first hurdle in the application process, you may never actually talk to a human where you can explain things and present yourself. Of course, it does depend on the jobs you apply for. Professionals send their resumes in either to the HR department or a recruiter, who will then pass it on to the client. For many, that is the last they hear of it because the client will only make contact if they are interested. If there is interest, then a face to face interview ensues just like in the old days of 1995 or before.