Dear Roze:

I can’t deny I’m losing all hope. I can’t think of one redeeming feature of the online job application process, at least from the job candidate’s perspective.

You probably get a lot of complaints from people applying online, but I haven’t had to deal with it until I was laid off last December. Since then, I’ve probably applied for at least 30 jobs online. I’ve rarely gotten a response, and if I did, it was either one of those automatic replies confirming my application was received, or one of those that basically said thanks for your application but you’re not what we’re looking for.

I’ve seriously thought about contacting these companies directly, but so many of them tell you not to do that. Do you think it would be okay if I reached out to some of these businesses’ hiring officials?

Feeling hopeless

Dear Feeling hopeless:

I truly sympathize with you. And sadly, you are absolutely correct. I hear from so many of my readers and clients how the online job application process is one big black hole. The hiring process needs a huge overhaul, but I do not see it happening any time soon.

Having said all that, I do believe there are times when it could be effective for job candidates or individuals on behalf of job candidates to make direct contact with a hiring official or some other key official within an organization.

If you are highly qualified or have the skills and experience that are easily transferrable, then in addition to your online application for a particular job, you could take a calculated risk and write (not email) a letter to the appropriate individual within the hiring organization. Your letter would not be a page outlining all your qualifications and experience. Instead, it would focus on exactly how you would address the issues the organization is facing as a result of not having that particular position filled.

If a person makes contact with someone in an organization on your behalf, that person should actually have a solid relationship with you as well as the person (i.e., the hiring official or some other key person within the organization) being contacted. Your advocate should be able to convey without hesitation that you would make an excellent hire and why. This scenario, like the one where you write a letter, would not eliminate the online application process, but hopefully, both of these efforts would set you apart from all the other applicants and increase the chances of your online application being pulled from that abominable online application abyss for serious consideration.

I wish you the best of luck!

Workplace Woes – Roze Knows®

Check out Roze's Facebook page, and if you have a question, email her at