There is no "standard" online job application.
Forms, options, and instructions vary with job database and
company. The three most popular options are HR database, e-mail attachment, & copy & paste.
READ the instructions!
Will the application let you save if you can't finish? Are there required fields? How do they want numbers to be expressed? (5/04, 5/2004, May 2004?)
Whenever possible, avoid the middleman.
Apply directly to the company rather than through job posting/resume databases.
Whenever possible, avoid applying via the Internet.
Retro? Absolutely. Most companies offer several options. "Back in the day" applying online made you special. Not anymore.
Best case scenario? Someone in the company hands the hiring manager your resume.
Or...you just show up, resume in hand. Neatly handwritten envelopes get the most attention.
Why is the company asking me to take an online test along with the application?
Some companies request/require applicants to take online tests. These are usually standard assessment tools to determine
management potential, basic math/language skills, or personality. They use these to screen applicants, generally for entry-level
Do I have to write a cover letter if I'm sending my resume via e-mail?
Absolutely! Your subject lines should clearly reflect the job you are applying for [Re: Food chemist position]. Cover letter should clearly state why you're the best candidate for the job.
CONSUMER BEWARE: Is this a "legitimate company/job application?
Companies offering jobs on Monster (CareerBuilder, etc.) are required to supply their Employer Identification Number (EIN). This cuts down on fraud.
Carefully check all unsolicited job offers. See if the company is listed in Reference USA, state corporations databases, etc.).
If this in an "executive search firm," is listed in Kennedy's Directory of Executive Recruiters?
Do not rely on company web sites which may be "fronts."
"Employment opportunities" asking you to accept money/transfer funds, reveal bank accounts/financial information, provide
past addresses, and personal data (names of family members, maiden name, etc.). If it looks like a credit card application, it's
probably bogus. Many of these solicitations are written with bad spelling and awkward grammar.
Best way to identify a scam:
Google the company name with the words: scam fraud (ex: "Acme Schmackme" scam fraud)
Better Business Bureau reports are online.
Three ways to apply online
Enter your information in a job database
Many companies require you to enter your information in their HR database. Job webs (Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.)
also use this option for storing & distributing resumes. Registration is required and
password-protected. This means your personal data cannot be "Googled" or changed by someone else. Resume databases are
relatively easy to use. Most job sites give you several options: upload your resume, create a profile, or enter details on a pre-formatted questionnaire.
Save & send your resume as .PDF to to maximize accessibility (iPad, smartphone, computer)& retain formatting.
Social networking: LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook, blogs, personal web pages LinkedIn is "the" place to upload professional profiles. Recruiters are searching
this space look for/screen out potential candidates. You can upload resume or create basic profile. Uploading your resume to the Web ("googleable")works best for
consultants and freelancers looking for business. It is a convenient way for potential clients to review your credentials.
NOTE: You will be Googled. Be careful what you share. Get creative! Michael Anderson