The reality of the digital age is that eventually we will conduct most previously manual tasks over the internet. For millennials this means that finding a job is now a digital venture. And as many of us can attest, applying for a job online is exhausting. Many job boards are flooded with applications and most applicants never even receive a follow up email on the status of their application. Unfortunately, most millennials have few other options outside of applying online, as many companies have already moved away from traditional paper applications in favor of online versions. To increase their likelihood of a call back, many applicants opt to apply to several positions at the same company. But this can back fire, as hiring managers tend to overlook applicants that look like they are applying at random. Applying online can be tough, but it is not hopeless. People do get interviews and even hired after applying online.
Below is a list of tips to make your Online application standout:
The Online Application: Many companies are switching to a standardized online application. Hiring managers find online applications easier to follow as mistakes on an application are easier to track online. If you rush through the application, they will notice. That is why it is important to take your time to double-check that all the sections are properly filled out.
The Resume: your Resume should be clean, clear, and concise. A hiring manager won’t even read a resume that is tough to follow. Your entire resume should be in the same format and font so that it looks well-structured. There are several online resume templates that you can download for free to help you organize your resume. When listing your skill set, opt for brief bullet points rather than long sentences. List your education but don’t overstate it; companies care more about your professional experience than they do about what clubs you were part of in college. Your professional experience/work history should be easy to follow. Make sure that the company name, your job title, the dates you were employed, and the duties you performed during your time there are clearly laid out. A brief description of the company and your work there will also help a hiring manager get a better idea about your background. Lastly have someone check your resume for grammatical errors.
The Cover Letter: Add one! Most people will only fill out an application and send in a resume, so adding a cover letter can help an applicant to stand out from the crowd. A cover letter is your chance to describe your background in more detail. It is also a place where applicants can lay out how they can be an asset to the company they are applying to. If you are applying to several jobs make sure that your cover letter is tailored to fit the different positions, you are applying to. A cover letter that is to general will not get a second look.
The Follow Up: After sending in your completed application and cover letter you should also send in a follow up email 1-2 weeks after you send your application in. Hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes a day and do not have the time to go through all of them. A follow email will show that you are enthusiastic about the position, which will increase the likelihood of your application getting a second look.