We’ve touched on submitting your CV, covering letter and application form online or by e-mail, and also looked at job searching online.
However given that business communication in all its forms is ever more dominated by the web, we thought it would be useful to include a separate section on applying online in addition to those tips.
If completing an online application form, as with the hard copy form, don’t just go ahead and start typing. Have all your information to hand and make sure you’ve looked at the form first so you know how to navigate round it and which sections to fill in. Pay attention to detail and be careful - one click of a button and you could send a half finished form through cyberspace to the employer of your dreams!
Allow yourself plenty of time. Computers, servers and links can all crash, and unlike with a hard copy form, you may not have the original data to fall back on and could lose it all. Bear in mind that if you have to log in to a site to complete a form, there may be a time limit after which your connection expires.
Even though it’s online, format and presentation still matter. Don’t lapse into e-mail speak, and make sure you lay your information out clearly. Sometimes you might not have much control over this if the form has its own formatting that you can’t override, but still pay attention to this and spell check rigorously!
Applying online may seem deceptively quick, simple and convenient - clicks of a button rather than painstakingly tweaking your CV, printing it out and lovingly sending it off in its pristine envelope. Ask yourself if you’re applying just because it’s easy and instant, or do you really want the job? Your time might be better spent applying for a different job, even if it takes a little longer.
Increasingly employers use specially programmed software to screen applications submitted online for keywords, often those found in the advert or selection criteria. Read the advert or job description carefully before you apply, and make sure that you reflect the language used in it and mention what the employer is looking for.
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