To sail through the human resources filtering system, here are six online-application tips:
1. Put social media to work for you
Make certain your social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – are current, professional and show maturity. Be careful what you publish – always keep in mind your career goals.
Ask yourself a question: “Is what I’m posting now going to hurt or help me if a prospective employer sees it?”
If you are job-searching in a particular industry, post pertinent information and ideas.
Note: If I limited the visibility to my Facebook page to friends and family, under no circumstances would I provide my user name and password to a prospective employer. See why here.
2. Apply at companies where you can get a presence in the room before applying online
Not to imply HR departments are irrelevant, but try to develop a rapport with hiring managers first.
If a manager told me I’d have to contact the HR office to make an online application, I would.
If the hiring company wasn’t within driving distance, then I’d succumb to the online application process.
3. Methodically prepare
Read the job description, and identify the right keywords to use. Otherwise, you risk submitting a cover letter, application and resume that will be screened out by the HR filtering system.
4. Do a trial run
Avoid all the headaches associated with trying to apply online. Use a clipboard manager to submit your information.
Otherwise, print or copy and paste the application to a Word file, and work from it. Methodically, answer all questions. Double-check your answers. Then, paste your answers in the fields of questions.
5. Be comprehensive in your application
Indicate your qualifications, strong interest, and how you’ll be a fit in the organization’s culture. Make sure you customize your approach for each company.
Correctly spell all words. Avoid abbreviations. Double-check every answer for possible typos and verbiage errors. Complete all fields in the application form. This will illustrate your strong interest in the job.
6. Be careful if you’re applying for multiple openings
In case you apply for multiple positions at a company, customize each application, but keep them in the same candidate profile. Help the HR person and the company’s system to avoid confusion.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are related career strategies:
Stand Out: Get a Job Interview with a Great Resume — More and more job seekers complain they don’t get acknowledgment when they apply for positions with prospective employers. It’s disappointing, especially if you’ve done your best to stand out in a crowd when jobs are scarce. Yes, it takes energy and resources for a company to respond to applicants.
7 Tips to Tweet Your Way to a Great New Job – Seriously — If you play it smart, you can take advantage of the 500-million Twitter account-holders to get a new job or career. Sure, it’s a daunting task, but the potential for success is terrific. You can tweet to link up with the right people — just as well, if not better, than LinkedIn.
Is Your Career Stalled? Turbo Charge Your Personal Brand — Perhaps you’re struggling in a job search. You’re ambitious but underemployed, or worse – unemployed. You’re not alone. Millions of professionals are trying to solve similar puzzles. The good news is that you can rebrand yourself for a rewarding career.
8 Tips to Boost Your Career with Shameless Self-Promotion — Some of the best tips ever given to me – at a pivotal point in my career – were given to me in the 1980s by one of the nation’s pioneers in radio and TV. At the time, he was the president emeritus of a major broadcasting company, Bonneville International.
Increase Your Job Chances if You Have to Interview on the Phone — Face time, of course, is best if you’re interviewing for a job. However, headhunters and many companies schedule introductory telephone interviews. Pat yourself on the back. Even if it’s not an in-person meeting, a telephone interview is a good omen. The employer already thinks enough of you to schedule a discussion.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”