Home > Job Applications > The Art of Online Applications

The Art of Online Applications

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 11 Aug 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
Application Employer Software Spec

It used to be that people just applied for one or two jobs in their lives. They would post their CV to the person stated in the job advert, go for an interview and, if successful, expect to stay in the job for practically as long as they wanted.

The world of work is nothing like that now. Even traditionally long-term careers such as Teaching require a greater degree of flexibility, with very few people having a job for life.

With this change in our employment possibilities and expectations comes an increased focus on our ability to effectively apply for a job. If you’re lucky enough to have a Network Of Contacts who offer you work, then you are very much in the minority. For the majority of us, applying for jobs is something that happens far more frequently than ever before – especially if you’re a Freelancer, contractor or consultant.

These days, the vast majority of job applications happen online. So how do you make a good online job application? Is it about making your application stand out or making it keyword dense? Are there tricks to make your application more likely to be seen, instead of heading straight to the trash box of the recruiter? Here is some advice to help your application succeed.

Don’t Rely on a Spellcheck!

With online applications all having their own format, you cannot reply on a computer spellcheck to make sure that your application is spelling-mistake free. You must go through it yourself, although bear in mind that many applications don’t let you ‘click back’ to make changes, so take care on each page or answer before you move on to the next just in case.

Check Your Personal Details

Making sure you have spelt your personal details correctly is more important with an online form than a paper form, as it may mean that even if the company wanted to contact you, they can’t, particularly if you’re relying on just an email address.

Contact the Right Person

Similarly, make sure you get the right details of the person to send the application to, as there may be only mailbox that is accepting applications. You must also read the job spec carefully to see if you need to put a certain job code or reference number as the subject of your email application, or it may never even arrive!

Use Relevant Examples

Remember that many online applications are either initially filtered using specific software, or given to a junior member of staff. This means that you cannot waffle or use irrelevant examples, or even just write good examples badly, as your application may be discarded. Without using jargon, write your application form with choice words that relate to your industry, being careful to use proper punctuation.

Layout your Application Carefully

It is all too easy to just type onto an online application and forget how hard or easy it will be for the employer to read. It is best to double space any long paragraphs, or if that is not possible (if there is not enough space for example) at least use double returns between paragraphs and don’t use overly long sentences.

Keep A Copy!

You would be surprised to know just how many people email off an application without keeping a copy for themselves! This makes it very tricky to remember what you’ve written if you’re called for an interview, so make sure you save a copy of the completed form (or two copies – print one out and save the other on your hard drive).

Writing a Covering Letter

Employers get their first impression of you from your covering letter, so it's important that you get this right. For top tips on how to compose an impressive covering letter, read our article Job Applications and Covering Letters.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Titch7789
    Re: Becoming a Mechanic
    I am thinking of doing a mechanic course. I was a painter and decorator by trade but left due to mental health. Should i do it?
    22 April 2018
  • Nurse13
    Re: Changing Career to Become a Social Worker
    I am an adult nurse with 5years post grad and would love to become a social worker how do i go about doing this
    15 April 2018
  • ACareerChange
    Re: Training to Become a Midwife
    Rachellax - Your Question:Hi I’m qualified hairdresser nvq level 2 and a nail technician I’m looking at changing careers I left…
    11 April 2018
  • Rachellax
    Re: Training to Become a Midwife
    Hi I’m qualified hairdresser nvq level 2 and a nail technician I’m looking at changing careers I left high school with zero gcse’s…
    11 April 2018
  • Lisa
    Re: Government Help Scheme for Becoming Self-employed
    Hi I have recently became self employed and have been struggling with finances as I am a single parent…
    20 March 2018
  • Blondebearbloo
    Re: How to Become an Air Hostess
    I'm actually 42 yrs, only finishing my role as single mum , as daughter finishing her exams and tending her own life n career of…
    15 March 2018
  • shazy
    Re: How to Become an Air Hostess
    I'm an upper 6 learner at Regina mundi secondary school my dream is to become an airhostess ,but I'm not good in maths is there…
    15 March 2018
  • masheza
    Re: How to Become an Air Hostess
    I'm a form 4 learner at Fatima high school at Zimbabwe my dream is to become an airhostess but I'm not that good in maths is it a…
    15 March 2018
  • Doufa
    Re: Transferable Skills for a Variety of Career Options
    Hello there, I have spent the last 25 years working in the advertising industry as a creative…
    11 March 2018
  • ACareerChange
    Re: Becoming a Mechanic
    Em - Your Question:I’m 37 and seriously contemplating a change in career from film production to automotive repair. I’ll be 38 by the time the…
    7 March 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ACareerChange website. Please read our Disclaimer.