Applying to jobs online is not a good use of time for a serious job seeker. One of the reasons for this is because application deadlines for online job postings are generally unreliable. Most people think that recruiters collect applications online up until the application deadline, and then begin to evaluate who the best candidate is. Not true.
Why you can’t trust online job application deadlines
Recruiters are trying to fill a job as soon as possible. That means that they consider applications on a rolling basis – as soon as they find the right person, the job will be filled. In other words, if you applied after the person who got the job, it doesn’t matter that you applied before the posted deadline!
Application deadlines tend to exist because job postings purchased on a third-party job board like Monster have an expiration date that corresponds to the fee of the posting. The application deadline comes from Monster, not the recruiting company. Ask a recruiter to approximate an application deadline for a job posting, and he’ll have no idea what to pick. He needs the posting open if the job’s still open, and down if the job’s filled. When and if the job will be filled through the posting is anybody’s guess.
The most annoying thing about application deadlines is that recruiters don’t maintain their currency. In your job board adventures, it’s likely that you’ve unwittingly applied to many jobs that were filled a long time ago. This is particularly true with postings a company puts on it’s own website. Once a recruiter fills a job, he often moves on to the next one without thinking about cleaning up the advertising for the last posting. And even the most conscientious recruiters who would like to remove a posting quickly when a job has been filled, don’t always have quick access to the company’s website. They need to contact tech people for help, causing delays and extra steps for the conscientious recruiter. At least on the paid third-party job boards, there’s an imposed deadline that will automatically clear out a job when it expires.