Online Application Tips

By: Kelsey McMullan

I’m just going to come out and say it: online job applications are the worst! I know I’m not the only person out there who isn’t in love with the online application process.

I was able to find some tips and tricks that will help your application stand out from others though. I hope these can help you during the online application process.

1)      Pay careful attention to the job description- Job descriptions all contain keywords, sometimes they are more subtle than others.

2)      Tailor your resume for each position- Keep a master copy of your resume and create a new one for each job you apply to. Copy and paste the parts of your resume you need to fit that job description and add and subtract content you think is relevant.

3)      Keywords are important- Keywords are important. They help recruiters, HR professionals, and computers see that you have the skills that they are looking for in a particular position.

4)      Check your verbs- Double check your verb tenses. If you are currently in the position use present tense, i.e. plans camp activities or monitors fluid mechanics data. If you are no longer in the position make sure to use the past tense, i.e. washed cars, observed solar arrays, or coached youths in the rules of cricket.

5)      Use action verbs- Make sure you are using ‘action’ verbs to describe your responsibilities. We have a list you can download available on our Career Resources page.

6)      Triple check for spelling errors- Do not trust spell check or auto-correct!

7)      Create an original cover letter-Just like a resume you should create a unique one for every position. I’ll break down a cover letter paragraph by paragraph for you: greeting, how you found out about the job, why you are interested in the job, how you are qualified for the job, and what steps you plan to take to be considered for the job.

8)      Select ‘Bachelor’s Degree- If you are confident you are graduating within 3 months. Select “some college” if you are not within 3 months of graduation. You will usually be able to make a comment that you are currently in classes somewhere on the application. Or your resume will show that you are currently in class.

9)      Clean up your social media- More and more employers are looking you up before they even contact you after the application. Make sure your online presence is something that a boss would find acceptable. Google yourself to see what you can find and then filter and clean where you need too.

10)   Be Honest- Be honest. There are ways of finding out if you are telling the truth, stretching the truth, or lying.  An employer will never hire you if they find out you lied, or even stretched the truth.

If you create honest and professional documents your chances of success are better. If you get frustrated with online applications, walk away from the computer. Learn what your limit is and develop an application strategy that allows you to apply every day without exceeding that number.

Hopefully these will help you handle the online application process better. I wish you the best of luck!

Remember, if ‘Plan A’ didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters. Stay cool.



photo credit: <a href=””>leg0fenris</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

<a href=””>capturingJenna</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

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