Nowadays, recruiters use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to pre-screen job applicants, so they can narrow down the right set of applicants. This is why it’s important to properly fill out the online job application.
Here are some tips to help.
Read Job Description(s)
One of the biggest pet peeves for hiring managers is that the job seeker will just apply to the job without reading the job description. Reading the job description will tell you if you qualify or not and if you don’t qualify, then don’t apply. An unqualified job applicant just leaves a bad impression with the hiring manager and when the right job does come up, that candidate won’t get a call back for an interview.
Many job applications will have you upload your resume, so it can transfer the data in the fields of the application. This system is not always perfect due to resume formatting, so always make sure that all of your info matches what is written on your resume. If there’s a discrepancy between your resume and application, this is a red flag to the hiring manager.
Fill Out All Fields
Do not leave any field blank. If there are questions that don’t apply to you, write “not applicable” or “n/a.” If there’s something you’d rather explain during the interview, such as a reason for leaving a job, give a brief explanation and include “will discuss more during interview.”
Review Before You Submit
Proofread your job application before sending it. Most online applications give you the opportunity to review your application before sending, so make sure you take advantage of that. Mistakes on the job application will not go over very well.
Clean Up Online Profiles
Is your LinkedIn updated with your current information? Do you have inappropriate posts on Facebook or Twitter that you don’t want an employer to see? Make sure your online profiles are ready to be seen by a potential employer. This should happen before you start your job search. Hiring managers will try to research you online and you want to maintain that positive first impression. Check out these 5 Tips to Improve your Internet Appearance.
Be Prepared for a Test
After you submit a job application, there might be an extra step to get you into the door. Many companies send out pre-employment assessments to evaluate your skills, your values, and the way you think. The assessment might even be the last step in the job application before you can press submit.
Information You Need
Before you fill out an application, make sure you have all of the information below:
- Address (City, State, Zip Code)
- Phone Number
- Eligibility to work in the country
- Felony convictions (if any)
- Working certificate (if under age)
- Schools/Colleges attended
- Certifications (if any)
- Dates of Completion
Position Applying For:
- Job Title
- Hours/days available to work
- Available Start Date
- Previous Employers’ names, addresses, and phone numbers
- Supervisor’s name
- Dates of Employment
- Reason for Leaving
- At least 3 professional references (names, job title, relationship to you, email address, phone numbers.)
Resume & Cover Letter to Attach