Practical Project Management

How to Apply for a Job Online

In Today’s world applying for jobs often means sending your cover letter and resume electronically. Many companies have websites and right on their websites that have online application forms. Here, you can decide which job you wish to apply for, type in your work experience, education and skills into online fields, then send this information by clicking on the submit button. In this article, I will show you how to apply for a job online.

Online Application

How to Apply for Jobs Using Online Application Forms

They are various online application forms, therefore, they will require different information. For instance, some companies ask that you “copy-and-paste” your cover letter and resume into two fields. Others require that applicants fill in various fields such as “education,” “work experience,” etc. Still, others require that you do both submit your cover letter and resume, and still fill in fields that have identical employment-related information.

No matter what the type of online application form an organization might have, make sure that all your information is entered in one field or another. Don’t be scared to repeat information, especially if the form requires a separate breakdown of your work history and resume. The information you provide will be uploaded automatically into an online database, where employers will likely search for keywords. The more times your keywords pop up, the better.

How to Apply for Jobs Online Using Email

The large companies mostly are the ones that have online application forms, a number of other smaller ones simply ask job seekers to e-mail their job applications to the provided employment address like “[email protected]” Here, caution should be taken. Be sure to send your cover letter and resume exactly as the employer requests. Some hiring managers prefer that the cover letter and resume be attached as separate documents (usually in a PDF format or as Word documents). Other hiring managers prefer the cover letter is in the body of an e-mail, but the resume is separately attached. Still, others prefer that both the cover letter and resume be placed into the body of an e-mail. For the latter, make sure that your documents are well written and easy to read.

Resumes, which have a rather complex format, often look horrible when they are pasted into the body of an e-mail. If you going to e-mail your resume, make sure it looks as good as your written resume. I would recommend sending a resume both in the body of your e-mail and as an attachment. This is the best way to avoid a possible formatting fiasco. Another way is to send your cover letter and resume electronically, then send hard copies afterward.

How to Send your Application Documents

In terms of how you send your application documents, it’s not a good idea to go against the instructions given by the employer. For example, when copy-and-pasting is requested, don’t send an attachment. Some companies avoid attachments because of viruses or because they don’t have compatible applications to open them. Some just shun the attachments simply because they just want to avoid the extra step of opening them.

When you are still working on your application documents and placing them into an e-mail, don’t fill in the “to” field until you are done. The reason is that It’s easy to accidentally press the send button and send a half-finished e-mail to a company. This will definitely reduce your chances of making a good first impression, and most likely, of getting invited for an interview. If you were asked to copy-and-paste your cover letter and resume, make sure to check the final documents at least once for formatting problems, then check for spelling errors a final time.

Work on your Attachments

If you are going to attach your application materials, make sure you attach the right versions (i.e., updated versions and the company-tailored ones ) to the employer. Also, be sure that they are professionally labeled. One job applicant regrets his decision to save different versions of his resume under headings like “Resume for IT Specialist Jobs.”  I was applying for two different types of positions. But I did not want every potential employer to know that.

By labeling the resumes the way I did, I pretty much gave them the impression that I didn’t have a clear career direction. Probably the best way to save your resume is to save them under your name only (example: John Banda resume) or under your name and the name of the organization (example: Amazon resume from John Banda). Always mention in your e-mail what you have attached as well as the software you’ve used. For example, in the body of your e-mail you might say: “Please find the attached resume in Microsoft Word 2016.”

Before an employer even opens your e-mail, they should know your name and the position you are applying for. In the “Subject” line, write the position name, your name, (job number, if listed), and the contents of your application (example, “John Banda resume and cover letter for IT Specialist Position”).

“cc” (Carbon copy) or “bcc” (Blind Carbon Copy)

If another person referred you to a position. You should make sure to “cc” (carbon copy) or “bcc” (blind carbon copy) your reference when applying. That is, add that individual’s e-mail to the “cc” or “bcc” field. This will enable that individual to receive an exact copy of the e-mail you’re sending to the employer. Doing so will keep him or her in the loop. That’s the main reason you “cc” or “bcc” your referrer. They should know what stage you are at in the application process, after all, they offered to help you. (Note: In-case your e-mail program doesn’t have the “cc” or “bcc” fields, you just have to e-mail your reference separately.)

Finally, make sure you save a copy of your outgoing e-mail in your “Sent Mail” folder. Do this in case the e-mail fails to go through and you have to send it again. Follow what we have mentioned in this article on how to apply for jobs online. This will definitely increase your chances of landing yourself that dream job.

Man on a laptop with Coursera partners SAS, Yale, Google, MoMA, and Duke in the background.

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