When job hunting, does the early bird really catch the worm? More specifically, do job seekers who apply in the first 24 hours have an advantage over people who apply after two weeks?

According to a survey conducted by theladders.com the early bird does catch the worm. After reviewing 4,000 job applications for 100 jobs, the study revealed that half of the candidates who applied within 72 hours of the job going live were given the ‘thumbs up’ mark, whereas those who applied after 72 hours were much less likely to get a ‘thumbs up’, and those applying after 14 days were likely to not be rated at all.

It seems that the earlier that you apply for a job, the better your chance of getting an interview. This means that job seekers need to be alert to new vacancies, so they can apply in good time. Along with signing up to job alerts job and careers sites, you should network and read employer’s news and twitter feeds to get advanced notification of job vacancies and whispers about when jobs are likely to be advertised. Doing this can put you one step ahead of your competition.

Don’t sacrifice quality in order to get your application in quickly. Hitting the 72 hour deadline is important, but you must still prepare a tailored, high quality and spell checked resume and cover note, otherwise you will lose the early mover advantage you gained.

If you do miss the 72 hour deadline you might be better served applying to a newer posting so you can hit the deadline and get early mover advantage. Of course, if you do want to apply ‘late’, why not call the employer to see if you have ‘missed the boat’, or not, in a manner of speaking. Or consider, sending your email directly to the hiring manager (in addition to HR/Office Manager) to see if you can leapfrog those in the queue ahead.

Good Luck with your job hunt. If you are looking for a job and need assistance with your resume, the interview process, or finding jobs, call us, we’d be happy to help.

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