I am one of those many Kenyans who have spent endless nights waiting for a reply to a job application I strongly believed I was best suited for. Each morning since August 2013 to February 2014, I would wake up very early to check my email if someone had replied to at least one of the many applications I had sent. No one did. I gave up.
Shortly after I read several Facebook postings and comments to the effect that online job applications are formalities; that if anyone needs to secure a job then the feet must be engaged – door to door hard copy applications – otherwise the alternative would be to have an inside connection as almost all jobs are given to friends and relatives – be they private sector jobs or jobs promised by the government.
The devastation I went through wasn’t limited to not receiving replies. The fact that these days no one bothers to reply to your application, at least to let you know that your application was received, looked at, but didn’t go through, makes one wonders whether the HR teams even bother to check the hundreds or thousands of the applications they receive. The truth is, they don’t bother.
Two months ago I received an email read receipt alerting me that a job application I had sent to a research firm back in September 2013 was deleted without being read. And that was somehow a relief. That’s why when I read about the Bananatag, a Gmail add-on that tracks emails to alert senders whether their attachments have been read I thought, “wow, finally an application to unmask the incompetence of HR teams across companies”.
Bananatag is not like your ordinary email received or read alert. Most of the alerts, be they delivery or read alerts, simply alerts you that your email was displayed on the recipient’s computer. However, Bananatag focuses on the attachment on the email whereby the sender is alerted that not only did the recipient open up the attachment, but also provides data on the amount of time spent on the attachment including the number of pages read.
Thus, if you have sent a five page CV and each page requires at least a minute to go through, then you’ll know whether your application caught the attention of HR or it was just browsed through in haste and discarded. If therefore you are in the business of actively searching for jobs, then Bananatag is the extension you need to download for your Gmail.
But don’t be in a rush, the extension is not meant for everyone. Right now there is a paltry 200,000 users of Bananatag globally – and this is because the extension requires you to part with $6.25 (more than Kshs 650) every month. I wonder which Kenyan job seeker will be able to afford that.
That’s why Bananatag is not meant for job seekers alone. Are you a company that does a lot of email pitching? Do you send those numerous emails with company profile or product brochures attached? Are you worried that your presentation will not be looked into by your prospective client? Then Bananatag is the extension you need.