Today, many companies have an automated system on their website for job applicants. When you find a position in which you're interested, you may only need to type your answers into the appropriate box, rather than sending a hiring manager your resume and cover letter as email attachments.
However, when you're going through this process, some potential issues can crop up - especially if you think it's a good idea to copy and paste from existing documents. The following tips will help you avoid those pitfalls:
1) Make sure your answers relate to the job
You should always aim to tailor your resume to a position based on the keywords in the job listing and how they relate to your own work or education experience, according to Live Career. But when you're filling out an online resume, you need to be even more careful because you might be more likely to C&P your responses from a past resume.
2) List your references carefully
When you're asked to provide references, you should give a potential employer all the correct information about their roles, contact details and so on, Live Career advised. After all, if the hiring manager is thinking of reaching out to that person, a few transposed digits in a phone number or an email address that's no longer in use isn't going to do you much good.
3) Get all information up to date
As with your references, you need to make sure all the details you're listing about yourself is fully accurate and up to date, according to Best Job Interview. For instance, if you haven't updated your resume in a while, you might be shortchanging yourself when it comes to how much experience you have or how long you've been in your current role. Similarly, if you've gained new certifications for your job, it's important to fully list those as well.
4) Read it, re-read it, then read it again
This idea is just good practice generally, but when you're either copying and pasting information or re-typing it altogether, you might make a typographical error or write a sentence that rambles, Best Job Interview noted. With that in mind, read everything you type very carefully before you press "send," just to make sure you don't miss a mistake that might cost you an opportunity.
5) Get the attached documents right
In many cases, even with these automated application processes, companies might ask you to attach your resume and a cover letter, according to The Balance Careers. When doing so, make sure the info in those documents matches what you put in the online forms, and that they are likewise free of errors, tailored to the job and so on. In addition, you want to attach the right documents; companies that ask only for a resume shouldn't receive a cover letter, or vice versa.
As a general rule, it's wisest to just read everything on a job application page as closely as you can to make sure you don't miss a single detail.
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