5 Do’s & Don’ts of the Online Job Application Process

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To say that a job search is stressful would be a gross understatement. Now that a majority of recruiting is done digitally, simple mistakes can lead to a missed opportunity. It’s important as a job seeker to know the ropes before you accidentally get eliminated from the application pool. We’ve compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts to guide you through the process of applying for jobs online.

1. DO research the company

Before you start your application, take the time to pinpoint what sets the organization apart. Employers want to see that you have a special interest in their company, so find a way to confirm that they’d be a good fit for you. It’s important that the business’s values match yours before you waste your time on the application.

2. DO tailor your resume and cover letter to the position

One-Click Applications are popping up all over job boards. While they’re an easy way to apply for jobs, they’re also an easy way to get your application overlooked by recruiters. Almost all medium to large-size corporations use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that assists HR professionals to sift through resumes. ATS has the ability to sort applications by topic or keywords. Edit your resume and cover letter to include specific keywords from the job description or the company’s website to guarantee that you won’t slip through the cracks.

3. DON’T skip spell check

While this step may seem obvious, after hours upon hours of tweaking your resume and rewriting cover letters, it’s easy to miss small spelling errors. If the position requires strong communication skills, prioritizes attention to detail, or involves any sort of writing, these minor mistakes could make or break your chance. Running one last edit is imperative to landing a job.

4. DO line up your references beforehand

In a survey of hiring managers and HR professionals, 69% said that they changed their minds about hiring a candidate based on responses from a reference. It can be tough to compile a list of references, especially if you’re just entering the workforce, but it’s a must. Make sure you reach out to potential references before you list them on an application. This gives them a little time to prepare what they want to share with your potential employer. Plus, it’s an opportunity to confirm their contact information.

5. DON’T use autofill

Autofill can (and usually does) warp your resume into a mess of incorrect formatting, therefore making it unreadable by an ATS. A manual input of information will take longer, but it increases the likelihood that it’ll be read properly by any system or human.

As technology changes the online application process, we have to change our approach alongside it. These 5 simple do's and don'ts could single-handedly change the outcome of your career.
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