But Can’t I Just Apply Online….At Home?

An all too common scenario in college recruiting today is the tendency for students to express frustration and confusion over why employers attending career expos and networking events continually send them to the company’s online job site to apply. “A majority of the employers were just telling me to go to their company's careers page and submit my application for any available positions,” students say. “It felt like a major waste of time because that's something that I can easily do at home.” But while 100+ job seekers may be sitting at home in their PJs, applying for a position with said company on the internet, you as the proactive job seeking student may be talking face-to-face with the recruiter or hiring manager for that very position at a career expo.

Many companies use online applications and resume drops to track candidates from start to finish during the hiring process. Students who pique a recruiter’s interest at a career networking event could potentially be on a short list of candidates that he or she is looking for when reviewing online applications. At Auburn University, quite a few companies attend career expo and then return later in the semester to hold on-campus interviews. Those companies use the Tiger Recruiting Link (TRL) system to collect resumes and set up interview times. Recruiters often look for career fair standouts to be in the TRL applicant pool. Furthermore, meeting face-to-face with company representatives allows students the opportunity to learn first-hand the qualities and skills they seek in their employees. This information is invaluable when tailoring resumes and cover letters for the online application process.

So, the short answer is yes, you can apply online at home and you may land interviews using that strategy alone, but the student who does his or her due diligence in researching employers, attending career fairs and meeting recruiters in person prior to applying online, may be sitting next to you in the interview waiting room. And who might have the leg up in that situation?

**It’s not too late. Check out Tiger Recruiting Link (TRL) for a list of employers hosting information sessions later this semester. For those wondering why they should attend info sessions….check out this post.**

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