Obviously, there is no way to get a new job without selling the reasons you should be hired. The easiest way to apply is online, but it is full of obstacles you have no control over such as ATS and ghosting. This makes it the least productive way. Fortunately, given a little coaching, there is a way to job search that minimizes ghosting and ATS problems. And it results in more formal interviews and more job offers.
Avoid HR. Avoid ATS. Talk directly to hiring managers, not HR or systems you cannot control. The hiring manager is the decision-maker to sell to. Making informal contact directly with hiring managers puts you in the driver’s seat. Establish rapport. Discover the critical needs. Sell to the needs. Then edit your resume and cover letter to reflect what you have learned and send it directly to the hiring manager.
Good salespeople start first by prospecting, identifying who the decision-maker is. They prepare and internalize scripts that get them past gatekeepers. They learn what to say when initially speaking with the decision-maker and they establish rapport. They learn how to discover what the decision-makers chief pain is so they can sell their solution to the pain. They view objections as an opportunity to sell and learn how to overcome them. They make more sales than their competition. These are all trainable skills. Get a coach if you need one.
Sure, you will ultimately need to apply online which will process you through ATS and HR. If you have sold your benefits to the hiring manager well, he or she will be asking HR to set up an interview. And because you have established rapport, he or she is likely to be responsive to you, not ghost you.
Does this approach always work? NO! But it is more successful than most other approaches to job searching.