Many companies especially big recruiters like the NHS and those with large graduate schemes may advertise a job only until it is filled or they have had enough applicants.
So what is a closing date for then?
For some recruiters this really is the last date they will accept applications, your application will be considered if you get it in by this date. This is more likely to be the case with recruiters advertising for a single position.
For companies advertising for multiple positions and expecting thousands of applicants it is expedient to start processing the applications as they go along. You will find applicants having interviews and assessment centres before the deadline. So if there are a lot of great applicants early on it is possible that places might start filling up quickly, those who apply later may find all the positions filled.
It has even been the case that students have been halfway through the process, or even told they have been successful at interview or assessment centre and then later told all the places have been filled.
As an applicant it can be hard to know what your chances are but the later you leave it the risker it is. Why not ask recruiters at events and fairs whether their jobs tend to fill up before the deadline?
Can I still apply?
If a closing date was mentioned but the job has now been taken off the website it is definitely worth ringing the company to check. You don’t want to waste hours making an application only to find they are no longer taking them.
If you see your dream job on the day of the deadline it might be worth ringing the recruiter to ask if they will accept an application a day late. The smaller the organisation the less applicants they will probably be dealing with. If they know they have not had many applications they may say they will take an extra one. They might not, BUT making that call to discuss the role and check can make a good impression. (Don’t give them lame excuses about why you didn’t see the job on time though)
If you see it print it…
If you see a job you are interested in and are not going to apply that day, save the job information as a document on your PC or print it out. When you go back tomorrow it may be gone.
Even if you do apply there and then, ALWAYS print a copy of the job details so that you are clear about what you have applied for so you can prepare for the interview.
- Set up email notifications so that you are alerted when a vacancy comes up.
- Make sure your CV is tailored for the type of work you are going for so that you only need to make minor adjustments before you send it off.
- Be clear on your motivation for particular roles – understand what the role involves and what skills are required.
- Research fully your top 10 companies to work for, and have a top 20 list! It will save time if you need to make a speedy application.