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Making Sure Your Online Application Isn't Ignored
Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paper applications are pretty much a rarity these days which can be a good and bad thing. Online applications are readily accessible and can be done from anywhere with an internet connection. With the vast amount of applicants that pour in for an open position, companies and more easily manage and sort through the candidates.

The downside is that these applications often get screened by a program that searches for specific keywords pertaining to the positions. So even though you might be qualified, if your application doesn't reflect exactly what they are looking for you could easily get overlooked.

Here are some ways to make sure that your application gets seen by human eyes:

1) Examine each job description.

Job descriptions are not a guideline, they are rules. Even if you feel like you are right for a position and think you might stand a chance, you shouldn't disregard the requirements if you don't meet them. Otherwise, you can count on being disappointed. These programs are designed to filter out the candidates that aren't a good match so chances are you don't have any.

2) Customize your cover letter and resume.

Cover letters and resumes must follow that same approach of matching the job description. Generic ones will simply get weeded out. You'll need to include some of the words from the job description such as certain skills and experience listed. If you're finding this to be a difficult task, you might want to rethink applying for the position.

3) Always proofread.

Neglecting to proofread your application can have lasting effects. Anything submitted online can remain the system for years to come and if all your errors and mistakes and kept on record it can be very hard to do damage control. With that in mind, you should always be 110% sure that your work is flawless. Make sure that the information you provided is clear and accurate.

 4) Fill it out entirely.

Leaving anything blank is not taking the opportunity to give yourself the best possible chance. Since the online program scans your resume, you'll want to have as many words as possible that could potentially match what it's looking for. Plus, leaving things out shows that you are taking short cuts and aren't that interested in the position.

5) Update and clean up social media profiles.

If a company does consider calling you in for an interview, they are more than likely to do some background research first. They'll want to see what kind of online presence you have and take a look at your social media presence. Whatever you don't want seen by professional eyes, make sure you adjust your privacy settings accordingly.