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The Online Maze of Job Applications

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man holding a briefcase stands inside a job-search maze, illustration

It's possible to argue that job applications taking so long is a feature, not a bug.

Credit: Humberto

Applying to jobs online is like navigating a maze.

Amidst the special torture that is resume parsing software, the inability to reuse information across different application tracking systems, and the difficulties of hard-to-use websites like Workday, it can get pretty frustrating.

What factors make a job application more or less frustrating? What industries have the worst application processes? Do big companies ask for more information than small companies?

To answer these questions, applications were submitted for 250 jobs at a mix of companies, from Fortune 500 to early stage startups, across different industries from software to manufacturing. The type of role applied for was kept constant: engineering/product focused. Here are the key takeaways.

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