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Applying online with the click of a mouse – there can’t be too much to it. Wrong! Filling out an online application correctly is vital and may mean the difference between being considered for a position or not. With online applications, candidates follow instructions and enter information directly into pre-determined fields and words limits are enforced. Online applications are increasingly being used by employers as an initial screening tool. Top tips for applying online:
Start early if applying for graduate positions. Online applications comprise many parts and will take you time to complete. Quality applications are rarely pulled together last minute. Allow for time to have a careers counsellor, friend or relative revise your application.
Sheer quantity of applications submitted does not reflect success. Be selective with your applications and apply with a clear focus. Employers are seeking people who have a genuine interest in working for their organisation and can demonstrate this through their application.
Companies usually have a ‘tips when applying’ section on their website. Read this carefully and understand how the online application is structured. Are you are able to save your application and complete it at a later stage or must it be completed in one session? You may need to have documents with you while applying.
Print the online application if this option is provided – some people prefer to jot down notes in a word document or on paper and utilise cut and paste options instead of typing directly into the application form. This also allows you to spell and grammar check more effectively.
Ensure the reliability of your hardware and software and its compatibility with that of the online application form.
Employers will assess your application against the selection criteria. Ensure you have read these and addressed each selection criteria in your application.
Give thought to how your application will stand out from others. Employers may be receiving hundreds of these same applications. Make good use of key words, keep responses clear and concise and use relevant examples to demonstrate your suitability to the role.
Tailor your resume to the selection criteria and ensure all information you have included is current and truthful. Ensure the layout you have chosen is clear and easy for employers to draw information from quickly.
Review a number of online applications so you will be better prepared for the variations you will encounter.
Build up a ‘glossary’ of possible material you may use in your application. Save all material in a word document for adaptation at a later date if required.
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