Online Job Applications: Everything You Need to Know

In today’s increasingly digital world, it should come as no surprise to prospective job candidates that online is the way to go for your career search.  From real-time open job listings to researching potential employers to applying for jobs, the internet is a career-seekers best friend.  

The online job application, in particular, has led to a quick, streamlined and accessible resource to connect those in need of quality employees with candidate’s looking for the job of their dreams.  With speed and efficiency, however, also come a few peculiarities of applying for jobs in a digital age.  Here we break down everything you need to know when utilizing online job applications.  

Tip 1: Tailor Your Application to the Job Listing

As a savvy job-seeker, you may have a go-to resume, template application or cover letter ready to send out to prospective employers.  Just because you have this info at the ready, however, doesn’t mean you should be in a hurry to click “attach and send.”  Before submitting your online application, carefully review the job listing including the description of required skills and experience.  Be sure to highlight that information in your application, drawing attention to the ways in which you meet the needs of the business.  This will also ensure your application isn’t thrown out by modern pre-screening techniques such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) designed to weed out unqualified candidates.  

Tip 2: Prepare Your Digital Footprint

Hitting send on your online job application is only the first in a number of ways you and your potential employer will be utilizing the internet during the job search.  Once you’re selected for an interview, a review of your social media profiles could help make or break a potential job offer.  Be sure this public information allows you to put your best foot forward in the application process.  Employes will also use the information provided on your application in any required background search, prior to employment.  Ensuring the info is correct will help avoid delays to your start date, should you score an offer.

Tip 3: Complete Those Forms

While many modern applications have made the input of necessary information mandatory prior to submitting, in some cases you may be able to leave fields or queries blank.  As a general rule of thumb, if a potential employer is asking for a piece of information, it’s probably needed in order to help them make a decision.  A word of warning here, be sure that the online job site you’re submitting to is legitimate in order to avoid sophisticated phishing scams.  

Tip 4: Track Your Responses

Whether digital applications or paper and ink, it’s important to track your information for follow up and consistency reasons.  A quick email checking on the status of a submission can help let the hiring manager know you’re interested and excited about the potential opportunity.  Maintaining a record of your various submissions also helps ensure consistency in your response.  This can come in handy in situations such as when tailoring your response to different job fields. Supplying the same, quality answers to every person in an organization with whom you interact is essential in turning an application into an interview and eventual job offer.

Tip 5: No Excuses for Errors
Those of us who are old enough to remember the days of paper resumes can probably also recall asking trusted friends, mentors and colleagues to review our submission packet in order to set a fresh set of eyes on the material and ensure your application is error free.  While it’s harder to send an online application out for third-party review, it’s even more essential to ensure a mistake-free submission.  In today’s world of sophisticated spell check and grammar editors, hiring managers have little patience for errors in format.  The nature of online applications also means that your submission will stick around, permanently helping glaring mistakes hang around and follow you throughout your career.

Closing Thoughts

While online job applications help make the hiring and applying process smoother and more efficient, it also ensures that applicants can easily locate and submit for potential job openings.  Competition for the best positions will often be fierce and you will more than likely need to submit a few applications in order to get a callback, interview or offer.  

Utilizing job boards that allow you to post your resumes, such as Simply Hired, can let prospective employers search for and locate qualified candidates such as yourself, in addition to allowing your resume to be ready at the click of the button to submit in a traditional application process.  Keep your options open and don’t get discouraged by a rejection or two and you’ll end up scoring the job of your dreams in no time.

Article Updated from the Original on October 18, 2017