Once an employer receives an application from a candidate, he needs to start processing it.
Who Reads Your Application First?
Some employers have a HR person or team to look after the applications that have been received. (HR is Human Resources. These are the professionals who look after employment and staffing at many firms). In other firms, especially smaller ones, one of the company directors may run recruitment, or each Head of Department may be responsible for his or her own recruitment efforts. They may or may not be assisted by an admin person.
You cannot assume that the first person who looks at your application is a technical person, i.e. someone who will understand what you mean when you say that you’ve used Git or Subversion.
How Long Can It Take To Read Your Application?
There can sometimes be lengthy delays between a firm receiving an application for a job, and the firm starting to process the application. Given how desperate firms are for staff, that might seem daft, but there are some good reasons why.
- There may be a closing date for applications; if so, the firm might be waiting until the deadline has passed before it starts processing applications.
- The director or manager who will be looking at applications may be away (on holiday, unwell, or an unexpected absence such as a funeral).
- The director or manager is too busy with their normal duties to fit in any recruitment activity right now. (This happens a lot!)
There’s also always the possibility that they simply hate doing recruitment work, and are doing their best to put it off as long as they can. This is quite common in our industry, where people would rather be coding than doing anything else!
If there’s a long and unexpected delay, all you can do is chase the firm (or the agency that you have applied through) for feedback and an update on the status of your application - and use the time to apply somewhere else in case they never get back to you.
What Do They Do With Your Application?
The first thing they normally do with your application is put it into the right pile of CVs, so that it gets looked at by the appropriate person or team. To do that, they need to figure out which vacancy you’ve applied for.
At the time of writing, despite the global economic climate, many computing firms are expanding. They probably have several vacancies open at any one time, and even in smaller firms different piles of CVs might get looked at by different managers or directors.
If they can’t figure out which job you’ve applied for, they might:
- put you into the wrong pile of CVs by mistake (quite likely), or
- put you into a ‘general enquiries’-type pile to look at (unlikely), or
- contact you to find out which job you’ve applied for (very unlikely)
… but there’s also a good chance that they’ll just bin your CV and move on to the next one.
Once a CV has been added to a pile, it normally goes next into the dreaded CV sift.Tweet