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
  • Frank Upson
    Re: Things to Consider Before a Career Change
    Looking for a mentor Please thanks anything hands on thanks plastering painting decorating Anything gardens diy
    21 June 2019
  • Frank Upson
    Re: Becoming a Painter and Decorator
    Please I need help I want a career change 41 not beyond Help me if you can Frank
    19 June 2019
  • Frank Upson
    Re: Becoming a Painter and Decorator
    Are there any painter decorator willing to show me the trade Pass on their skills and knowledge I,m 41 too Seems we are not…
    19 June 2019
  • Warren
    Re: Becoming a Teacher or Teaching Assistant
    I have a level five higher diploma in counselling would that be an acceptable qualification to use to gain entry…
    18 June 2019
  • Evie castle
    Re: How to Become a Health Visitor
    Do you definietly have to be a qualified midwife or nurse to train to be a health visitor.. I've worked in care for 5 years and…
    17 June 2019
  • Katie Chambers
    Re: Becoming a Nurse
    Hi i currenty work as a team leader in supported living but always wanted to do nursing but things got in my way i have done my nvq level 2 what…
    7 June 2019
  • Katie Chambers
    Re: Becoming a Nurse
    Hi i currenty work as a team leader in supported living but always wanted to do nursing but things got in my way i have done my nvq level 2 what…
    7 June 2019
  • Sue
    Re: Becoming a Social Worker
    I have spent the last 17 years as a social carer, and have gained an NVQ level 2 in care and social care, and now just starting a…
    16 May 2019
  • Mikel
    Re: Changing Career to Become a Social Worker
    I have a postgraduate degree in Business management (MSC). I could not get a job and now, I want to switch…
    13 May 2019
  • Gabi
    Re: Becoming a Nurse
    Hi I have a NVQ Level 3 diploma in health and social care. I would like to become a nurse. What's the steps to follow to rich my goal?
    11 May 2019