The days of handing a paper copy of your resume are largely behind us. Now it seems that every company has a different way of applying online for a job application.
Whilst many companies use different technology programs or platforms for applications, they mostly work the same way.
It is important, however, to make sure that you are putting the best foot forward with your online job application. As the process is often automated it can get tricky making sure you are ticking all the right boxes.
Read the job ad
While job ads for similar roles may appear to be pretty similar, there are plenty of hidden clues in the words they use as to how they might be different from each other.
These clues can help you figure out whether your skills match up or if you might be a good fit for the role.
For example, if the job mentions a ‘high-paced work environment’ and you are more suited to a measured and methodical job, it might be a good idea to keep looking.
Want to find out some more tips to understand job ads?
Read the instructions
Unfortunately, there are many types of software that handle online job applications. So make sure you carefully read the instructions they give you.
You don’t want to make costly errors that can harm your chances by not submitting the online job application properly.
Target the keywords
If you paid attention to those clue words when deciding if the job was right for you, that extra focus will serve you well when applying.
The skills that are mentioned should always be addressed in your online job application. They are what the business is looking for in an employee.
It is also worth noting that many programs that automate the online job application process have keyword targeting functions.
That means if you don’t explicitly mention those specific terms the software may put your application in the no pile even if you are the most qualified candidate!
Keep a copy of the job description open and make sure your resume or cover letter addresses all the relevant criteria.
Make your cover letter unique
This is a must to give yourself the best shot of landing that job. A cover letter is your shot to sell yourself and get hiring managers interested in reading you resume.
We have plenty of tips on how to write a good cover letter, but when dealing with online job applications the big one is to include those keywords mentioned above.
Make sure you have time
Depending on the software the company uses it may have a time restriction (if there are competency exams) or it may not have a save function.
These will generally be explained within those instructions that you should read carefully before you start.
It is best to overestimate the time it takes to complete the application, so you give it enough time to make it perfect!
Complete every field
Yes, it is frustrating having to go through and fill in information that is included on your resume!
However, if you don’t the automated system may bin your application before it gets seen by a human eye.
So, make sure you have the time to complete every field and include those key terms from the job ad where you can.
Think about your social profiles
If the company you are applying for has their job applications process online, you can bet they are checking your online presence as well.
Make sure the image you present to the world is a professional one and not holding you back from getting that dream job.
If you have LinkedIn, there are some more tips on how to make your profile stand out.
At the very least make your profile more private and think about how you interact and present yourself publicly.
If you need more tips, your Job Coach is always on hand to guide you.