Bettering your chances with online job applications

07.11.2012


Bettering your chances with online job applications
Bettering your chances with online job applications

As more companies begin to use technology to help them in their search for talent, it will be increasingly important to know the best ways to submit an online job application when attempting to find a job, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Statistics show about 50 percent of medium-sized companies and virtually all large companies have adopted the use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) that digitally screen job candidates before ever meeting them. The technology has helped HR departments automate and store hiring documents, eliminating the need to rifle through mile-high stacks of paperwork, or even sift through hundreds of emails to find the right file.

Colin Day, the founder and chief executive officer of iCIMS, Inc., which develops talent acquisition software, recently sat down with the media outlet to discuss the top ways to make sure your application gets under the nose of hiring managers.

To start, Day says, thoroughly read job descriptions, and decide if it is the right fit for you. One of the most common pet peeves among recruiters is receiving an application for a position that is far beyond the candidate's abilities.

"ATS technologies can filter candidates by those whose responses dovetail best with specific job descriptions. For the best response rates, make sure your content and experience match up accordingly," Day said.

According to the news source, Day said creating a unique cover letter for the online application is also imperative. The letter should be tailored to your own accomplishments in the field in which you've been working, and accurately address the job description. Candidates can even go above and beyond by highlighting how these skills can be put to use at the desired company. At all costs, avoid sending out blanketing, generic cover letters that will only prove to recruiters you're just another average job seeker.

"Despite the cover letter being digital, it's often the first thing recruiters read when viewing candidate profiles—even ahead of the resume," Day stated. "Use the cover letter as an opportunity to showcase your personality, qualifications, and desire for the job."

While it is important to assert your individuality and drive to work for the company, the current digital times cannot be ignored. Key words are a growing part of resumes and cover letters, and these buzz terms should be researched and used organically, and ideally will further customize your application, the news source stated.

One of the most important things to consider, Day says, is an aspect that is often tragically overlooked: Errors.

"With paper applications, poorly written submissions can be tossed in the 'circular file,' never to be seen again," Day says. "But with digital applications, error-laden content lives on at that company, potentially hurting your chances for a relationship with the employer in the future as well."

This new method of storing applications should be enough impetus to triple and quadruple check for spelling, content and grammar mistakes - and then do it all again.

Other things to consider include ensuring all fields are properly filled out in the online application, keeping up with your social media presence, and carefully reviewing all information before hitting the final submit button, according to the news provider.

Although the U.S. jobs market is seeing a slight recovery, the reality many job seekers are finding is that any one-up on competing candidates is welcomed with open arms. With only 80,000 new jobs added in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is still important to make every application a priority. 

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