By Derek Attig, in the Inside Higher Ed Carpe Careers series.
When you apply for a job, it can feel like you’ve taken the application materials you’ve spent hours on and just tossed them into a black hole. You can’t see what happens after you submit, and you so often never hear anything back. And that can make clicking Submit feel like the end of the story.
But really, it’s just the beginning. There’s a whole world beyond the submit button, populated by real people (and not-people — more on them later) who evaluate your application. You may not see it happening, but it’s happening.
Understanding and internalizing that fact can help you write more effective application materials that account for your audience and their perspectives. It can also make you more informed about the job search process, allowing you to navigate it with more clarity and confidence.
Doing that effectively, however, requires a bit of a mind-set shift, as well as some research and reflection. Below, I offer some questions and answers to help you begin. They aren’t questions you can answer definitively, but thinking about them will get you started on the path to understanding the world beyond Submit. . . .