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What happened to paper job applications?

Career Exploration The Hiring Process The Local Job Market

Question: I don't understand why it is necessary to complete an electronic application for a job. It used to be that you could walk into any business, get a paper application, fill it out, interview and be hired all in one trip. This younger generation doesn’t appreciate face-to-face interaction; they have to have everything on the computer. It should be illegal to have only computerized applications! Answer: You’re in good company. Many of the job seekers at FCWS remember the days of paper applications fondly. They weren’t so long ago, really. Just a few years ago, most businesses – at least those that didn’t produce high-tech products – had paper applications. For better or worse, there are fewer and fewer of them. Now most companies require candidates to apply online (through the Internet.) And it isn’t just high-tech companies; if you want to work at Lowe’s, or Wal-Mart, or Weis Markets, among others, you must apply online. There is no other way to do it. There’s no point in wasting your time going to the business and charming the receptionist; she doesn’t have any papers to give you, even if she’d like to. So what are you going to do about it? You have approximately three choices: • Start your own business and offer only paper applications. • Sit right where you are and complain. • Make your peace with online applications, move forward, and get the job you want. Sadly, whether you like it or not, the world is going electronic. Your only choice is either to go with it, or to remain unemployed. And it is a choice. You can learn to use computers, at least well enough to apply for a job. FCWS provides free computer classes to support your job search, and other help with online applications. If you’ve never used computers much, or if you’re actively afraid of them, try “Computers for Scaredy Cats.” If that sounds too easy for you, you’ll probably benefit from “Computer Basics.” When you’re ready to type your résumé and cover letters, “Introduction to Word” will teach you what you need to know; you might even want to continue on to “Intermediate Word.” Our “Internet Job Search” class will help you conquer that dreaded Internet, and show you its advantages. If you don’t have email, or don’t understand how it works, “Email for Your Job Search” will get you started. Finally, in “e-Résumés,” we adapt your résumé to work well with websites and email, and even look at one of those pesky online applications. Check the Frederick County Workforce Services (FCWS) Seminar and Events Calendar for times and dates, and come early to be sure to get a seat. Read the back of the calendar, too; it has valuable information about what we cover and what to bring. You can do this!