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I understand motivation behind restriction to contact companies until they reply to your application but it would be great to be able to patch your application or sending a note with clarifications.

Yesterday I applied to a job and immediately after hitting send realized that forgot to add something it was required to apply.

I know that you have to be careful and review your application but we are only human so that can happen. Current functionality is so restrictive that unless company provided an alternative contact mechanism, you're done.

I could look on company's website for contact information and try to fix my mistake but it seems this could also be improved on Stack Exchange side since, IMHO, it's too restrictive.

Maybe you can remove this limitation and offer companies possibility to ignore or block applicants in case they start receiving undesired follow up notes.

Another option could be set an expiration time. Before expiration, you would be allowed to send new notes.

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    Hmmm, everything here screams "ability to spam" to me. Need to think about it more. The expiration time is not crazy though, that could work.
    – Will Cole
    Jul 1, 2015 at 3:43
  • @Will Cole: expiration time would definitively help and don't think it would cause any undesired effects to companies, thanks for consider it. Jul 1, 2015 at 3:50
  • @WillCole, does a response from a user to a company get sent immediately or is there a delay? I ask because on the main sites we are given a 5 minute grace period where we can edit a post without a revision being made. If such a grace period existed on Careers, that would cover this particular problem as well ("immediately after hitting send realized that forgot to...")
    – Andy
    Jul 1, 2015 at 14:03
  • @andy No, we don't do that on Careers. That seems to be the most reasonable solution here though.
    – Will Cole
    Jul 1, 2015 at 14:17
  • @WillCole: IMO a combination of a time window to send extra notes + possibility to edit your application would be the best. If possibility to edit your application results to be only acceptable approach, it would be good to be able to cancel the submission as you do on Gmail (so you can fix your mistake with more time) Jul 1, 2015 at 14:24
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    I’m voting to close this question because Stack Overflow has discontinued Stack Overflow Jobs and Developer Story on March 31, 2022. Apr 3 at 11:51

1 Answer 1

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Of course I agree we are only human, and we've all made some mistake like yours at some point.
But I believe adding any fallback option is just shifting the problem. At some point you have to click "send" for real where there is no going back, so why not just at the current "submit"?

Also, adding some way to resolve scenarios like yours does generally also open up other problems.

Ideas (mostly from comments/the question) - I've shown the drawbacks to the ideas mostly, as the benefits are already obvious:

(1)
Show company contact info
The likelihood of spam potential means I doubt this would ever be implemented.

(2)
Grace period
The application is not sent for 5 mins after hitting "submit" and can be edited.

The Question and Answer edit grace period on the sites is just so trivial typo fixes (etc) don't have pointless historical logs.

However, with submitting an application, a grace period is only extending/delaying the problem.
Why hit submit and then think "have I done everything", rather than doing it before hitting submit?

What if you think of something 20 mins later? Should we have a grace grace period? Or just have it set to 30 mins instead of 5 mins?
I'm not being inconsiderate towards people making mistakes, I just don't think this adds any benefits.

IMO, you just need to check it thoroughly before pressing submit. And while clicking submit can clear the mind as some pressure is released, and so we "think of something else", a simple (and arguably better) alternative is: Before submitting, go away from the application for 10 mins or so, do something else, and then come back and have a final check.

(3)
Additional notes
Once (and only after) an application is submitted you can send something else.

This isn't too bad, but it opens up for nuisance emails, with or without an expiration time:
"Did you read my application yet", or "Here's some more info"

It also shows we "made a mistake", and without it users might be more "thorough" in their final checks.

(4)
Additional notes + blocking options
Expanding on (3), allow additional notes after application is sent, but also allow companies to choose to block or receive additional notes "per application" and/or "per user". Allowing each company to tailor this to their policies/requirements.

So a company can choose to block notes for this application, then the notes function is not even present - "this company does not allow additional notes on this application" (informed before submitting).
And if a single user is sending too much junk, they can just block that user.

This might be a great option, but it also seems like a chunky system - might be too much dev time.


For any of those options, dev work might not be a good ROI, especially as the company doesn't really benefit any at all, not over you just making sure the application is completed accurately.


Could back fire on you

While I appreciate we all make mistakes, it's probably not in your interest to have a "backup" to rely on. With a back up option users might not check their application thoroughly knowing they can send something else, or have that 5 mins grace to check it again after hitting submit.

Also, with the "additional notes", being able to send through more than one item means the company has to tie up "multiple" emails or documents for a single person - which could go against them when everyone else has managed to complete the application form successfully (a single document).

Yes, some companies will be fine with this too (and some will also allow additional notes to see if you make mistakes under pressure..etc).
However, considering the dev work, users sending "corrections", and companies having multiple documents, and all just to cater for making mistakes, doesn't seem worthwhile a good procedure to allow.


I expect some downvotes, as people will be against this because they make mistakes.
However, while I know it's frustrating when we make a mistake like this, I do myself, in essence we should really be making sure everything is in order before submitting.

Especially knowing it's so critical.
It's not unlike an interview, or exam, whereby you get that one chance and any thoughts afterwards is simply too late.

And we should be showing companies we are professional and can at the least fill out an application form, without needing to send through "corrections" - especially as we're not even in front of them or in an interview, and are at home/work etc able to spend time checking it.

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  • I appreciate your input but I kind of disagree with your extreme vision of the job application. It's not that I failed on a interview test and try to redeem, just missed some specific information they were requiring and I realized inmediatly after clicking "send". I wouldn't discard a candidate because he sent in a separated email (for instance) his phone number because he forgot to add it on original application Jul 1, 2015 at 18:38
  • @ClaudioRedi It wasn't intended to be extreme, just an opinion of the caveats of certain possibilities. My point was, essentially, make sure it's spot on before submitting, as any "catch" system like a grace period still requires you at some point to actually send it when there is no further fallback. As I said "I'm just pointing out caveats as benefits are obvious"
    – James
    Jul 1, 2015 at 22:27
  • No problem, I appreciate you taking the time to put all this together. Jul 2, 2015 at 2:28

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