Why Job Applicants Should Follow Application Instructions

Often, skilled trades workers don't really need to apply for work. There is high demand for skilled workers. There is also a short supply of them. Employers fall all over themselves trying to find enough skilled workers. COVID-19 changed some of this by disrupting the economy. Now, more than ever, it is important to stand out from the rest of the job applicants. So, don't make the terrible mistake of ignoring the instructions on the job application.

Put Yourself in the Recruiter's Shoes

Put yourself in the position of the recruiter trying to fill dozens to hundreds of skilled trades jobs for a project. You have to sort through thousands or tens of thousands of applications. Do you look at every single application that comes in? No. You can't. As a recruiter, you have to use filters to weed out unqualified candidates. And you have to do this weeding out quickly. Speed is critical to getting jobs filled with the best qualified candidates. So what's a "filter"?


When dealing with a ton of information, you need mechanisms, techniques, or tricks to automate parts of the data consumption process. Big sophisticated companies will have Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that continuously get improved with software releases to help with filtering. These systems will use everything from screening questions, keywords, to artificial intelligence to help recruiters be more efficient in filling jobs. Answer yes or no to that screening question, your match percentage for the job can go up or down in these systems.

Don't Be a Snowflake

However, before you even get into a company's Applicant Tracking System in order to be considered for employment, you have to follow the instructions on the job posting. For example, if an applicant sees a job posting on Indeed.com, they simply click on the "Apply" button after looking at the title of the job posting. The applicant expects the recruiter to figure out if they are worth talking to. Remember how many other dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people are clicking the Apply button. To save themselves time, the recruiter will put "application instructions" on the job posting. It will typically communicate to the candidate where they should go, and what they should do to be considered for employment. And that's the first filter to help recruiters hire the best people: does the candidate follow instructions?

Candidate Quality

If a candidate cannot follow simple application instructions like: go to this website, create your profile, and get two recommendations, how well can they follow work instructions on the job site? RELIABILITY is the first requirement of any worker. Will they show up to work today? When at work, will they do a good job?  As a candidate you demonstrate that you are reliable by following those application instructions on the job posting. You signal to the recruiter, look at my application first because I actually made it into your Applicant Tracking System.

For insight into the next step of the recruiting process, check the TradesFactor.com blog often. We will release fresh, reliable content on a weekly basis to help skilled trades workers get found so they don't have to apply for work again. That can only happen if you have a complete profile on TradesFactor.com so employers can search for workers with your skills.