It’s trying to find a secret mail slot sometimes.
I wonder sometimes if applying to jobs was a lot easier in the days before the internet. You’d just walk into a place and say “hey, I want a job,” and some guy would toss you a broom or an apron or something and there you go. Or at least that’s the image my dad always painted. Regardless, these days there’s a bit of a tango involved when you want to send applications, and like it or not, you gotta make sure you follow the right steps if you want a prospective career to give you the time of day.
Many companies that are looking to hire someone will be fairly clear about how they want to receive your correspondence. Some business websites have a straightforward email address on their Careers or Jobs page that you can send an application to. In that case, it’s fine to attach a resume to the email, but for cover letters, the body of the email itself should be your cover letter. Don’t just attach a separate cover letter and say “read that” in your email. The less clicks a recruiter needs to make to get to the point of your application, the better.
If you find a job opening through a job board site like Indeed, you should only apply through that site, and only apply once. That second part is especially important, as some jobs will list their openings on multiple sites and boards. If you send them the same application from three different job boards, you’re just going to annoy them. You should also refrain from cold-mailing their email, at least until you’ve already sent an application through the designated job listing. If they’ve ghosted you for a while, then you can go ahead and nudge them.
It’s a pain in the butt to have to follow a bunch of arbitrary rules, but then again, you could say that following a bunch of arbitrary rules is how one builds a career. Might as well get used to it now.