Applying for a job online can be a complex and terrifying experience

With competition getting ever fiercer it seems graduate applications are becoming increasingly complex and rigorous. It is important now more than ever that graduates are able to sell themselves.

With online applications posing such questions as “Using a maximum of 150 words, please explain your understanding of the industry, why you are attracted to the role and how a role on the graduate scheme would help you fulfil your career ambitions” you could be forgiven for assuming you were applying for a position within Twitter.

In the future are we likely to see applications saying “In 140 characters please outline your competence and future ambitions”, and that you have only 30 seconds to do so? How do you differentiate yourself within such a limited window?

Luckily if you advance beyond this speed dating round you often open the door to the full arsenal of HR employment tactics such as CVs, cover letters, online applications, psychometric testing, telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews and the joys of assessment centres. Each area its own individual minefield with numerous books and web pages built around helping you succeed in each of these areas.

Perhaps it is not the companies who are to blame. It is understandable that a company would want to ensure it hires the most suitable candidate for a position, and increasingly pressure mounts for this to be conducted in a fair and transparent manner.

A number of the aforementioned selection tools produce tangible and measurable results which understandably are very attractive to companies striving to construct their transparent and infallible recruitment systems.

We have come to demand this from organisations, but would the traditional and simpler methods be deemed professional and sufficient in today’s market? In the interests of transparency an increasing number of us now also expect feedback when we have found ourselves unsuccessful. With ever increasing numbers of applicants this can place massive strains upon HR departments.

Do you long for a return to the old days when a well written CV and professionally conducted face-to-face interview were sufficient enough to acquire your dream job or   do you welcome and embrace the ever increasing challenges and hurdles?