June 24, 2014, by Beth Dawson
A-Z of Online Job Applications: Part 1
Looking to stand out in your online applications? Read our quick tips before settling down at the keyboard to discover the dos, don’ts and definitely don’ts of online applications.
Allow enough time for each form. Some can take hours and rushing through them can lead to mistakes, such as poor spelling and grammar.
Break your examples down to get keep them concise and effective. Split them into the situation, what you did and the outcome that resulted from your actions.
Check that you have all the information you need to complete the form. Having your CV and notes about your achievements, strengths and experiences to hand is a good idea.
Don’t cut and paste from one application to another. There’s a risk of accidentally including information that you tailored to another company.
Examine the person specification and job description; these will give you an idea of the competencies and skills the employer wants to see demonstrated in your application.
Follow the instructions on the form. Failing to attach the documents requested, going over the word limit or not answering all the questions won’t leave an employer with a good impression of you – especially if you’ve claimed to have good attention to detail!
Give as much care and attention as you would to a paper application. Make sure you’re not distracting yourself by checking other websites while filling in the form.
Have a friend or family member proof-read your application before you send it off. It’s easy to miss spelling and grammar mistakes on a screen – another pair of eyes could help you to spot them.
If you’re interested in the company or sector, show it! It’s not enough to state you’re interested in a field. Visit professional bodies’ websites, such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing, to get up to date news of sector developments that you could refer to in order to demonstrate your passion for the area you’re applying to.
Jargon and buzzwords may make you feel like you’re ‘ticking the boxes’, but beware of making your answers confusing or using impressive sounding claims without backing them up.
Know the company by using their website, LinkedIn page, Twitter and Facebook pages to research their developments, news and competitors. Use tailor your application and show the employer you’re serious about working for them.
Large graduate employers are the most common users of online application forms, as they’ll have a larger number of applicants to screen than smaller businesses.
We’ll be following up this blog with part two, which will contain lots more top tips to help you’re application for contain maximum impact. In the meantime, visit our applications webpages and book an appointment with a careers adviser through My Career to discuss your application face-to-face.
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