Why You Should Apply Through a Company’s Career Page, with Sabrina Pomar

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It’s so easy to use LinkedIn’s quick apply, isn’t it? No more spending hours filling out applications. But those quick apply links might be hurting your chances of getting the job, says Find Your Dream Job guest Sabrina Pomar. Using quick apply submits your resume, whereas a company’s career page allows you to submit a complete application. It also allows you to learn more about the company, says Sabrina, so that you gain clarity on their mission and needs, which is crucial to your job search because it allows you to form questions that show your interest in working there and what you can offer. 

About Our Guest:

Sabrina Pomar is the talent sourcing specialist at the Cascade AIDS Project.

Resources in This Episode:

Learn more about the Cascade Aids project and their Prism locations by visiting their website at www.capnw.org/.


Find Your Dream Job, Episode 447:

Why You Should Apply on a Company Career Page, with Sabrina Pomar

Airdate: April 24, 2024

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life.

I’m your host, Mac Prichard. I’m also the founder of Mac’s List. It’s a job board in the Pacific Northwest that helps you find a fulfilling career.

Every Wednesday, I talk to a different expert about the tools you need to get the work you want.

You see a position on a job board.

You also find the same job on the employer’s website.

Where should you apply?

Sabrina Pomar is here to talk about why you should use a company’s career page.

She’s the talent sourcing specialist at the Cascade AIDS Project.

It’s a nonprofit that provides HIV services, housing, education, and advocacy.

Sabrina joins us from Portland, Oregon.

Well, let’s get going, Sabrina. We’re talking about online applications today, and why you should use a company career page when you apply for a job.

Before we get there, I do want to touch on quick applications.

You and I spoke about this in the pre-interview, and I just want to set the context here. What is a quick application, and how does it work, Sabrina?

Sabrina Pomar:

Yeah, a quick application is something that you will probably see on LinkedIn or Indeed, and it’s just a quick – if you have your resume uploaded to any of those career sites, you can just hit the quick application, and it will just send a generic application. I do know LinkedIn, if you’ve uploaded your resume, it will send that resume to your prospective employer.

It’s just a one-click button. You send it, and you’ve applied.

Mac Prichard:

Now, I know you, as a recruiter and hiring manager, see pluses and minuses to this approach using quick applications. Let’s talk about the plus to begin with. How does a quick application help a job seeker?

Sabrina Pomar:

It helps a job seeker because we’ve all done the application process, and it can be extremely time-consuming, and it can be exhausting, and so, the quick apply will just help the job seeker be able to really hit that button and continue on with your day. It also will stop with the repetitiveness. If you’ve listed everything, as far as your job history goes, on your resume, sometimes, if you go into apply, it will have you repeat and fill in all those fields again, and so applying quickly is just that.

It goes quickly and it also allows the recruiter to get applications faster.

Mac Prichard:

From where you’re sitting as a recruiter, Sabrina, how can using quick applications hurt applicants?

Sabrina Pomar:

It can hurt applicants because it definitely just gives you a generic application, but it also, as a recruiter, we will get a lot of people who are just mass applying; that’s meaning they may have quickly glanced over the job title, if the compensation is where they’re looking at, then they’ll just apply without really knowing anything about the company or truly what the job description really is.

With a lot of the quick applies, sometimes there’s some editing that needs to happen, especially with the cover letters that have a specific date attached to it or the title of the position that you are applying for.

Sometimes people forget to actually edit those, and so, I will get a resume or a cover letter that has a date that’s incorrect and a job title that’s incorrect, so that indicates to me that you are just applying and not really being intentional about it.

Mac Prichard:

What happens to the resumes that you review and conclude that the candidate is, as you say, “just applying and not being intentional”? What happens to those candidates?

Sabrina Pomar:

It really depends on their background. I try not to be so harsh when it comes to those things because I do understand the climate that we’re in and that it is really time-consuming to apply. If it’s little things, I try not to be so harsh, but I will say, with things like not having the correct job title in your cover letter or not changing the date, sometimes even having a completely different company’s name on there, those come off as red flags for me and a lot of the time you will list, “attention to detail,” as a great job skill that you have but if you’re missing those things, then I can only take that you might be missing some other details when it comes to your actual work.

Mac Prichard:

You mentioned a moment ago that you think many candidates look at a position, and think, “Well, this interests me. It might not be my ideal job, but because of quick apply, I’ll send in a resume and see what happens.”

What do you think of that strategy as a hiring manager and recruiter, Sabrina?

Sabrina Pomar:

I definitely say, if a job interests you, even if it’s in a company that you may not be super familiar with or if you’ve never, for example, if you’ve never done nonprofit work and you’re just kind of curious about it, I would definitely say still apply, but apply with intention and really look at the company. I’m all about growing and expanding and really taking the skills that you have and see how they transition into a new career.

It could end up turning into a great match. So, as a job seeker, I would say, if it interests you, still put yourself out there, and as a recruiter, I’d definitely say, just because they don’t have the direct background doesn’t mean that they won’t be an amazing fit for the role.

I would still say, put yourself out there.

Mac Prichard:

You’ve mentioned several times the importance of intentionality when applying for a job. What are the benefits of being intentional when you send in an application?

Sabrina Pomar:

Being intentional when you’re sending in an application is going to be really positive on the employer’s side because we, as employers, obviously want candidates, and we want our employees to love what they do or really be excited about the work that we do or the company that you are applying for.

If you are not that excited or you’re just looking for a job just to get a job, that puts fear on our end that at some point in the near future, you’re going to be searching for another job, and we’re going to be back to filling this position.

Being intentional is making sure that you know about the company and that you’re actually interested in the work and growing with the company versus applying just to apply and, “I’ve done this work in the past, so I’m pretty sure I can do it, but it may not be what I want to do for the long term, but I’ll do it for six months, and we’ll see how it goes.”

Mac Prichard:

You look at a lot of applications, a lot of resumes everyday. Can you tell, Sabrina, the difference between an application from someone who is being intentional and knows what they want versus someone who doesn’t have that same intentionality?

Sabrina Pomar:

Yes, with the applicants that we get, in our application process, if you’ve applied directly through the website, you will have filled out all the fields, hopefully. I do know that some people can bypass filling out all of the fields, and those are questions as to why do you want to work for our company. What about this position excites you?

The people that fill that out, I know, are being intentional, and they’re being detail-oriented and they’re looking at every question. Now, the candidates that bypass those questions are ones that are, I generally feel like, just applying to apply. Not saying that that is 100% the case all the time, but I do see that as something that I wish they would’ve done is fill out those fields.

Mac Prichard:

Well, terrific.

We’re going to take a break, Sabrina. In our second segment, I want to talk about the benefits of using a company page.

I know you see three major benefits, and I want to walk through them one by one.

Stay with us. When we return, Sabrina Pomar will continue to share her advice on why you should apply through a company’s career page.

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio. I’m talking with Sabrina Pomar.

She’s the talent sourcing specialist at the Cascade AIDS Project.

It’s a nonprofit that provides HIV services, housing, education, and advocacy.

She joins us from Portland, Oregon.

Now, Sabrina, our topic today is why you should apply through the company’s career page.

We spent the first segment talking about quick applications, and you touched on some of the benefits of using a career page on a company’s site. Let’s dive into that.

I know that there are three benefits that really stand out for you.

The first is, and you touched on this in the first segment, that you’re more likely to send a complete application when you use that career page. Tell us more about this and why it matters.

Sabrina Pomar:

Yeah, so sending a complete application obviously is extremely important, and with the quick apply, it just sends your resume. Now, with some companies, if you are applying through their website, you will see a place to upload a cover letter; they will have specific questions for you as far as, “Do you currently live in this specific location?” “Are you able to work hybrid or on-site?” Questions like that.

Once you fill out all the questions, it will come up on our end as a complete application. You can still apply and have it be an incomplete application.

Now, I can look at both complete and incomplete applications. Some hiring managers will only look at completed applications, so they will filter that out, and if you have an incomplete application, you may not be reviewed, especially if the company uses AI. For example, it could also just filter out complete applications, and those are the only ones that are reviewed and reached out to for interviews.

Mac Prichard:

Sabrina, why would someone send in an incomplete application?

Sabrina Pomar:

Someone who may not know that all those fields need to be complete. Like I said, someone who’s just applying maybe for employment benefits, just to show that they’re applying, and a lot of the Indeeds or LinkedIns, when you hit the quick apply, all it does is send your resume. It doesn’t fill out those fields for you.

You may send in an incomplete application by even just starting your application, and that could automatically send it or show up on the hiring manager or the recruiter’s end that you had started an application, so in those cases, if I get one of those, I always send an email asking to complete them.

Mac Prichard:

The headline here is if you want to increase the odds that you’re going to get a callback or an offer for an interview, send in a complete application.

I know another benefit that you see for using a company career page is that you’re more likely to get a better understanding of an organization and its work.

How does this happen, Sabrina, by using a company career page to send in your application for a position?

Sabrina Pomar:

Yeah, by going to the company’s website, you’re obviously seeing what the company is about. You’re more likely to read the benefits of working for that company, really getting to know what they do, seeing photos of people that work there or people who use their services. It definitely gives you a better understanding of the organization if it’s a new organization to you.

I would definitely say that is a huge benefit because not only would we be interviewing you, but you’re also seeing if you want to work for us. It’s a big introduction on the company, and it will also let you kind of visualize a little bit more on if this is a place that you actually want to intentionally apply to.

Mac Prichard:

How have you seen candidates take the knowledge that they get from poking around a company’s website and apply it to the application materials that you review?

Sabrina Pomar:

It definitely shows in our questions that we have that ask, “Why do you want to work for this company?” And, “What about this position excites you the most?”

I will definitely know if a candidate has visited the website if they use that same verbiage or point something out directly from the website. It always shows me that they did a little more digging into it, and especially when it comes to any of our interviews. They will say things like, “Oh, I noticed on the website that it says this.” And that is always a great indication to us that you’ve put in some effort to learning about our organization.

Mac Prichard:

How common do you think it is that candidates not visit a company’s website? That just seems like such a basic step but are you finding that indeed does happen? That people apply without checking out a company’s website?

Sabrina Pomar:

Yes, definitely. It definitely shows when we ask, “Why do you want to work for the company?” And it’s a very generic answer. You would be surprised. Some people in interviews do say, “I actually don’t know anything about your organization.” And that’s always an indication to us that someone’s just mass-applying.

I do see it, and I know it sounds like a very basic thing is to know the company that you’re applying for, but you would be surprised by the amount that have no clue what we do, but they’re still applying.

Mac Prichard:

What do recruiters like you think when someone shows that they took the initiative to visit the company’s website?

Sabrina Pomar:

It shows their genuine interest in the company. Now, I’m not expecting by any means to know the complete ins and outs of what we do. You’ll learn all of that once you’re in, but it gets us really excited that you’re excited to be here.

It definitely puts a reminder in our heads that you put in that extra effort, and that you know and that you’re excited, and it makes us genuinely excited to move forward with you.

Mac Prichard:

A final benefit that you see in using a company career page when you apply for a job is that it gives you an advantage when you’re doing a career pivot. Why is this, Sabrina?

If you want to change from one career to another and make that pivot, how can applying through a company career page help you do that?

Sabrina Pomar:

Applying through the company career page, obviously, you get to know the company, and in your cover letters or any of the fields that ask why you want to work here is where you can really highlight what about your previous work experience and the skills that you gained there and how it will directly translate to what you will be doing for the company and how it can benefit the company.

If you don’t know much about the company, if you don’t know much about the position, it’s going to be very difficult for you to highlight those things, and at the end of the day, if I look at your resume and it’s incomplete, and you didn’t fill out those fields, and I see that your past experience has no direct link to what you’re applying for, I won’t move you to that top of the list.

Mac Prichard:

It’s been a terrific conversation.

Now, tell us, Sabrina, what’s next for you?

Sabrina Pomar:

Well, what’s next for me is going to be opening new Prism locations for Cascade AIDS Project. It’s something that we’re really excited about. We have one currently, and we’re looking to open one at the very beginning of 2024 and, hopefully, more locations in the Portland area.

Mac Prichard:

Terrific. I know listeners can learn more about your work at Cascades AIDS project by visiting your website, capnw.org, and we’ll be sure to include that URL in the show notes.

You also invite listeners, Sabrina, to connect with you on LinkedIn, and when they do reach out, as always, I hope that they’ll mention that they heard you on Find Your Dream Job.

Sabrina, given all the great advice that you’ve shared today, what’s the one thing you want a listener to remember about why you should apply through a company’s career page?

Sabrina Pomar:

The one thing that I want everyone to take away and remember about this is that the person on the other end will definitely appreciate it, and it also shows initiative and that you are applying with intention, and it’s a place that you really truly want to work.

I know sending out the quick links or the quick applies are great, especially if you’re connected with the hiring manager, and they suggest applying with the quick link, then go ahead and do it, but I always say go to the website.

Mac Prichard:

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Next week, our guest will be Candyce Hunt.

She’s a career strategist, a speaker, and a co-founder of the 5 Minute Career Hack.

It’s a podcast and a coaching company that helps you change your career and get the salary you want.

Every job has good days and bad days.

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What do you do if this happens to you?

Join us next Wednesday when Candyce Hunt and I talk about how to recognize and overcome career burnout.

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