Today, many employers use the internet for advertising openings and inviting candidates to apply for jobs. The rising popularity of job sites has made it easier than ever for job seekers to respond to many different job postings from a variety of companies in a short amount of time.
While it’s arguably easier to apply for a job online than to venture to the company’s actual physical location (if that’s even possible), there are different obstacles to applying for jobs online than when you apply for a job in person.
Choosing the best places to apply
To maximize your chances of being discovered, you might find yourself posting your Resume on a dozen sites. Instead of trying to upload your Resume on every job search site, stick to a few that are more likely to get you results.
Craigslist is a popular spot to look for jobs, though it’s best used to search for entry-level positions. Big sites like Glassdoor or Indeed are also good options if you want to cast a wide net, as these sites feature job openings around the world.
Your best bet, however, may be to stick to sites that have a more local focus, such as New York Jobs, that allow you to search for jobs in your area easily.
Formatting your Resume and Cover Letter
Make sure your Resume and Cover Letter are formatted cleanly and consistently. While it might be tempting to use software (such as Adobe InDesign) to add dynamic links or tables with multiple columns and rows, it could make it harder for your application to reach a hiring manager.
Larger companies that consistently receive mass amounts of applications typically use software (such as an Applicant Tracking System or ATS) to scan Resumes for things like keywords or specific hard and soft skills to limit the number of Resumes that the hiring manager needs to review.
ATS software might have a harder time processing a Resume or Cover Letter that has a lot of formatting or that is saved in a non-standard file format (something other than .doc, .docx, or .pdf). Make sure that your Cover Letter and Resume can be read by a computer and by a human.
Making your Resume stand out
Once you’ve found potential jobs and sent in your Resume, you may face another problem—too many other applicants have applied for the same position. When applying for any job, you want to stand out from the competition. Make an impression by crafting the perfect cover letter and Resume.
Be sure to note the specific language used in the job posting to describe certain skills and qualifications. For instance, there are many different ways that collaboration can be described: some job postings might say that they are looking for a “team player” or that they want someone that can “collaborate with others.” If you notice specific language in a job posting, replicate that language in your Resume and Cover Letter.
Utilizing your Cover Letter
The great thing about applying for jobs online is that your job search is not limited to your local area. If you’re willing to relocate for a job you really want, be sure to mention that in your Cover Letter.
Most job postings will specify if the job can be done remotely and whether or not the company will pay for relocation costs. It’s a good idea to mention your current location in your Cover Letter and indicate that you’re willing to move for the job.
You can also add a little personality to your application by listing unique or interesting hobbies or skills or by using a friendlier tone in your cover letter. Be careful not to get too personal, however. You still want to come off as a professional.