The statistics regarding the number of job searchers using the internet is astronomical; over 2.2 million Canadians visited Monster in the past month. Why? Many employers are now using the internet as a tool to hire or weed out prospective candidates. To further reduce organizational costs, companies are now directing people to their own website’s career section where all the vacancies are posted. Here are some do’s to applying online:

  1. Do your homework. Research the company, check out their website. The About Us section of the employer’s website is useful for finding out about the company history, financial stability, products and services, and information about the company culture and how you will fit in.
  2. Do make sure that you take the time to read through the application instructions. If you can print the application, then do so and practice filling out the criteria’s for employment. Then, review before submitting your answers online. Employers sometimes include specific instructions on applications to see if applicants can follow directions appropriately.
  3. Do make sure to verify that all the required fields of information have been completed. Copying and pasting of text from your resume is still preferred – while uploading your resume, ensure that it is presented well, preferably in a Microsoft Word format that they can open. Make it clear and concise. The font and its size should be consistent throughout- Arial, Verdana or Times Roman ranging between and 11 and 12 point size.
  4. Do upload a cover letter with your resume unless otherwise instructed. The cover letter should clearly state the position you are applying for, relevant skills that you have to offer and a brief statement on what makes you well suited for the job. Gather other essential information such as your driver’s license, dates, and other forms of documentation that the application may require for various positions that you may be applying for.
  5. Do be prepared to take an online employment test. Depending on the company, you may need to take an online test to be considered for employment. These can also be called talent assessments, employment tests, or career tests. They are typically used to help an employer identify candidates who will be a good fit for the job.
  6. Do check your spelling and grammar before submitting your application. It’s important to double-check for errors. If you’re not sure your spelling is correct, use spell check or have someone read over your answers.
  7. Do try and complete the application during one sitting. If you do not have enough time to start the application, do it when you do have the time and without interruptions. This will prevent you from forgetting about the application and leaving it unfinished.
  8. Do prepare a list of references with each person’s name, their job title and contact information. Most applications will want 3 references. Keep a list that is a mix of professional and personal references so you can easily pick and choose who to list on each application.

What other “do’s” have you come across when filling out an online application?

by Carole Marinier, Resident Blogger for Agilec

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