While your chances of getting an interview after submitting a late application are slim. However, there’s also no harm in still submitting an application. It’s possible that the company may consider your application if it hasn't received enough resumes from qualified applicants by the close of the deadline. When the deadline hits, they may still be looking for great people. You could be one of them.
Why Employers Set Closing Dates
As a hard-and-fast-rule, it's always much better if you submit your job application by the closing date. That's just common sense. Organizations set closing dates to cut off the number of applications they must consider for vacant positions. They give the job posting enough time to attract a sufficient applicant pool, but not so much time that the volume of applications overwhelms people screening those applications. If it's critical for the position to be filled quickly, the organization might set a shorter deadline than it normally would.
You want to enhance your chances of getting the job by showing the company you can comply with its announced deadline. The deadline mitigates the possibility the organization will hire someone who has trouble with deadlines. If someone fails to turn in an application on time, the organization can be leery about giving that person any more deadlines to miss. The sample size for measuring lateness is minuscule, but that's all the organization has to judge. Now is a good time to show the company you can meet deadlines with no problem.
How Online Applications Ensure Timeliness
Online application systems make it easy for applicants to ensure they turn in their application materials on time. Many systems allow each applicant to check the progress of a submitted application through the hiring process. If hiring managers and human resources department staff keep this information up-to-date, they get fewer calls and emails from applicants inquiring about a particular applicant’s standing in the hiring process.
But Sometimes You Can't Help But Miss the Deadline
Even so, sometimes you can't meet the deadline for reasons outside your control. Let's say you just came across the job listing today, and you're shocked to see the deadline was yesterday. Or a few days ago. But it's the perfect job for you, and you know you'd be an ideal fit!
Or maybe you missed the deadline because life got in the way. Maybe you were aware of the deadline in advance, but unavoidable circumstances prevented you from meeting the deadline. Stuff happens.
In either case, don't despair. Submit your application right away! But don't hesitate about it anymore. Get cracking on it right away and complete that application immediately. The door is closing.
In either situation, your application might get noticed. Especially in a tight job market, companies are always looking for talented, hardworking, qualified employees. You might just be the exact person they're looking for.
Opening the Door for Future Opportunities
Here's another reason why it can be okay to submit your application after a deadline. Maybe you're not a perfect fit for the position you applied for, but maybe the company needs someone who's just like you for another position—another one that it may or may not have advertised. Maybe a new job requisition just popped up in the department, and the company decides you might be right for it even before it's posted.
There's another possibility. Maybe the company doesn't need someone like you right now, but possibly the hiring manager will take one look at your resume and decide to keep you in mind for future opportunities. You might not get the job you applied for—but the company might contact you down the road about another position.