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Online Job Applications – 6 Do’s & Don’ts

When recruiters and hiring managers post job opportunities online, it’s often they are left sifting through an overwhelming sea of resume applications that are one click away from finding their place in the deleted folder.

What does that mean for the job seeker? It’s no secret that applying online for jobs can be – a full-time job (and a stressful one at that). If you’ve spent countless hours applying for positions on job board sites like LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Indeed and haven’t received a single bite – I’m willing to bet it’s because a few of the following below aren’t taken into consideration – and chances are the lack of feedback is leaving you feeling defeated. We’ve all been there!

In today’s highly competitive talent market, it’s important for the job seeker to be aware of these 6 do’s and don’ts before submitting their application online. Here they are:

Do your research

With one-click easy apply, making the application process a cinch, it’s important to do your research on the company you are applying for before hitting the ‘Apply’ button! Thoroughly review the company’s requirements and responsibilities. Ask yourself if what you’re learning is aligned with what would make you happy doing? Do you meet the minimum requirements? Do you agree with the company’s values and culture? How will the daily commute be? Above all, recruiters and hiring managers are looking for the perfect candidate for the job and want to see that you share an interest in the company.

Do modify your application to fit the position you’re applying for

If you’re not literally applying to “XYZ Company”, personalize your objective, subject, and/or cover letter to read the correct company (you’re applying to). This common mistake may imply that you’re blindly ‘applying all’ to that email of open opportunities with a generic resume.  Additionally, many companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) that parse and filter candidate applications automatically based on job titles, keywords, employers, skills, and education listed in a resume. To easily locate your information for current and future job openings in the ATS, edit your resume that applies to your accomplishments, skills, and responsibilities pertaining to the job posting.

Don’t go overboard with the design

Unless you’re a graphic designer showcasing your creative skills in web design, less is more! Keep your resume functional and concise. Replace paragraphs with bullet points – they are easier to read and identify. Avoid adding pictures and additional distractions that take away from what really matters – your value!

Do match your social media profiles to your application

Recruiters and hiring managers frequently screen candidates’ social media, and a huge red flag is whether your information on your social media profiles match your online job application. If you have mismatched employment dates, gaps in employment, inflated titles or exaggerated experience on your application that contradict your LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., this may hurt your chances of getting a call back. Employers are seeking honesty and consistency in their next hire – making it critical to keep your online presence up to date.

Don’t leave out your contact information

This should be a no-brainer, but it happens all the time. If you’re serious about finding a new job opportunity, providing your contact information and answering the phone to discuss in detail if the position is the right fit for both you and the employer is a large component of the hiring process. Always double check that your contact number is correct – otherwise – what good is all that hard work for if your potential new employer can’t get in touch with you?

Do triple check your content

Once you hit submit on your application, there’s no going back to edit – and first impressions are important. Triple check your content for spelling and grammar errors, and make sure you haven’t left any fields blank. Not only does this show your keen attention to detail, it validates your interest for the job – because let’s be honest – online job applications take time!

Remember to have a solid support system behind you to help remain positive during your job search! For additional tips on submitting online job applications please contact Jennifer Murray at Best of luck in your search!

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