Expressions of interest (EOI): worth applying or a waste of time?

If you think it isn’t worth your time and effort applying for EOI or Expression of interest jobs, you are seriously missing out.

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This morning I uploaded a quick post on my LinkedIn account that was promoting one of my recruitment client’s roles.

It was for Expressions of Interest regarding Civil Supervisor opportunities for a hard rock mine.

Almost within 30 seconds or so, I got a ping on my phone telling me I had a message.

The message read, “is it worth me applying for a position that’s only an expression of interest?”

My immediate reaction was yes, of course you should because it is a potential opportunity.

I felt like saying “did you buy a lottery ticket this week” or have you ever bought a lottery ticket? Have you ever entered a competition?”

Because, to put it bluntly, that’s what this is. In fact, that's what job search is.

Have you ever entered a competition?  Because, to put it bluntly, that’s what this is.  In fact, that's what job search is.

I know this is a worn-out, over used cliché but you literally do have to be ‘in it to win it.’

Unfortunately though, I have found this to be a common misconception when talking with my coaching clients.

Many simply don’t believe the jobs are real or they think that a recruiter is just wanting to grow their database of resumes.

This all stems from not really understanding EOI from a company’s perspective and why they are so necessary.

What is an Expression of Interest or EOI job ad?

When jobs are advertised you typically see the job title, company or agency name, location and salary guide.

This is followed by an overview of the position, desired and essential requirements, instructions on how to apply, plus a deadline for applications.

Expressions of interest work slightly differently.

EOI job ads are placed to receive applications for multiple upcoming opportunities.

They may be looking for a number of people with the same skill set such as call centre operators for example, or they may be used to attract applications to fill a variety of potential roles to fill a team such as operators, leading hands and supervisors.

EOI job ads are placed to receive applications for multiple upcoming opportunities.

They may be looking for a number of people with the same skill set such as call centre operators for example, or they may be used to attract applications to fill a variety of potential roles to fill a team such as operators, leading hands and supervisors.

Why are EOI job ads used by employers and recruiters?

Here’s a typical use case.

A company is in the process of submitting tenders for several projects or contracts.

What they are obviously hoping for is success.

But, if they are successful, they face a problem.

They need to be able to react quickly to fulfil the contract by actually delivering the work.

Going back to this client of mine, they need to have their teams together and ready for that green light – or even multiple, simultaneous green lights.

In this case, they need full work crews including operators, leading hands, supervisors, plus project engineers and managers.

They need that resource ready so that they can go these people and say, hey, we want to recruit you now because we have won the job.

So, it is really important when you are job seeking to apply for these jobs and put the same amount of effort in as you would a non-expressions of interest opportunity.

You may not get the same kind of response as you would with other roles, due to the fact that there is no definitive closing date, but your resume needs to be in there for when things start to happen.

You may not get the same kind of response as you would with other roles, due to the fact that there is no definitive closing date, but your resume needs to be in there for when things start to happen.

Another benefit is that it gives you practice for applying for positions and being productive.

You may be thinking now so, what happens with my resume if loads of people apply?

Won’t it just get lost in the crowd?

There will no doubt be some companies or agencies that leave things to chance, but the vast majority will be using talent pools with their internal database.

What is a talent pool?

Most companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to help them organise the large number of job applications they receive or each position they advertise.

When you apply online for a job, your resume will be parsed into a company’s database and scored for relevance against an opportunity.

Those that match get shortlisted, those that don’t get rejected.

That’s why it is absolutely crucial to have an ATS compliant resume that will work with these systems.

The other function ATS provides for a company is an internal database of candidates that they can call on for the future.

The software allows HR to search for key skills and experience to find the right talent plus the better ones, such as Livehire, allow you to produce talent pools for specific projects or roles.

Livehire talent pool

Livehire's Talent Pool feature

How do talent pools work?

Let’s say a company is tendering for a contract or launching a new product to the market.

They may need project managers within the next few weeks or months, depending on how quickly things progress.

They can of course search when they are ready but they can also set up a specific talent pool.

They set the criteria such as years’ experience, certain qualifications, type of sector, location or anything else that is important for a role.

Once this is created it will pull all current applications into that pool that match and, going forwards, pull new people in even if they apply for something else.

It enables them to be ready when they have the ability and need to hire rather than starting from scratch.

A huge benefit of this is that they are far less reliant on recruitment agencies

They can go into their own internal system, access a talent pool or search for the skills they need, and recruit them into their key roles, all without paying a huge fee to a recruitment consultant.

Now imagine this scenario.

You are up against another candidate with a very similar skill set and experience to yourself.

The only real difference is that they are ‘free’ because they are already on the company’s database but you are not – if they hire you it will cost them thousands of dollars from an agency.

Who do you think is more likely to get the job?

It’s really important when thinking about expressions of interest to keep sight of the bigger

It’s really important when thinking about expressions of interest to keep sight of the bigger picture.

It's not just about that one position they advertise, it’s about all the opportunities that company may have and being directly involved with their internal HR team rather than relying on an external recruitment consultant to contact you.

In it to win it

Yes, I am back to cliches again, but it is literally true here.

You are not in control of how organised they are, what systems they use, or what time scales they are working to, but you are in control of ensuring your resume is in there when they need it.

When you see an expressions of interest role, apply for it.

A final thought…

Hopefully you now know the huge benefit of applying for EOI roles and not ignoring them and moving on to the next job ad.

But what about all those people who still don’t understand what expressions of interest are?

All of those that are still saying to themselves “I’m not applying for that, it’s not worth the effort.”

This means that despite it being an open invitation for many to apply, a lot of people don’t – which means less competition for you when you submit your resume.

Mark Daniel

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About the Author

A global resume writer and career coach, Mark is known for his honest, direct, and hard-hitting advice, helping people manage job applications and succeed at interviews. Now based on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, he is the co-founder of Real Life Career Advice and the Hi Vis Hub. A prolific publisher, Mark contributes to several industry magazines and his daily career advice blog to his 45,000 LinkedIn followers.



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Is your resume letting you down when you apply for jobs?