What happens to your job application once you click submit?

Land more interviews with these three steps.

Katelyn Harris Lange


Artificial intelligence (AI) acting as the gatekeeper reviewing job applications and making rejection decisions instead of humans is a common misconception about the hiring process. For most companies, this isn’t the case.

People teams often operate with an HR technology stack that is mediocre at best, without the additional capabilities of cognitive computing. Customer relationship management (CRM) on the people side comes in the form of an applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS keeps track of candidates who apply and passive candidates that recruiters and sourcers engage.

Every inbound application starts in the “applicant review” stage. This is where applications stay unless a recruiter or sourcer makes the decision to move the candidate forward (usually to a phone screen) or decline the candidate (usually accompanied by a rejection email).

Sometimes, applications stay in the applicant review stage indefinitely. Meaning, you probably won’t hear back from the company after applying. This is usually the result of the recruiter closing the requisition without declining every applicant or a pause in the search due to shifting business priorities.

As an applicant, your goal should be to move your application from review stage to hiring screen as soon as possible. Depending on the sector, if you haven’t heard anything positive within about three-four weeks of applying, it’s unlikely your application will move forward.

Here are three tips to increase your chances of moving to the interview stage.

1. Lead with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a shortcut for recruiters; it’s standardized. Reviewing applications takes a lot of time and when reviewing 50+ applications, it’s easier to find what you’re looking for through a quick scan of LinkedIn vs. reading through custom resume formats.

This doesn’t mean recruiters don’t read resumes. Scan your resume for readability. Include ample white space, short bullets under each job description, specific software experience, and quantitative metrics.

2. Show impact through your…



Katelyn Harris Lange

Here for economic justice and community. Philanthropist and power shifter writing about work, social impact & relationships.