How to Fill Out Online Job Applications

Learn tips making online job applications work for your job search

Filling out online job applications can be a long process and seem never-ending when you are going through your job search.  If you need some online apply tips, we’re here to help. Each application may ask similar questions, yet it is important to tailor your answers to the job you are applying for. Remember these online apply tips to make your online job application process go as smoothly as possible.

1. Get your Resume and Cover Letter ready

Yes, first thing is first.  Your resume and cover letter must be in tip-top shape if you are searching for a job.  Put yourself in a hiring manager’s shoes – would you want to hire someone who slopped together a resume or cover letter?  Probably not.  First impressions do matter, even if they are on paper.  Need some formatting suggestions or how to write a top-notch resume?  Check out our resume building blocks here.

What else?

You have a chance to stand out from the crowd by providing additional documents, projects, or resources that you could give to a potential employer.  Even adding a sheet of references is a good idea.  Many times an online job application will only require a resume.  It’s not enough just to provide a resume.  Cover letter, references, and additional relevant information is always a good idea.

Top Tip: Save your complete work history in a notepad-style file to easily copy/paste dates and business contact information. A bit of time creating this file will save a ton of time and keep you focused when you actually fill out the requested job application.

2. Make sure your internet is stable

Nothing is worse than getting through most of an online job application process and your Wi-Fi cutting out. If you are relying on Wi-Fi from a coffee shop, maybe switch to a hotspot from your phone when you start your application process. If you have a poor internet connection or don’t have a working computer, make your way to the local public library or workforce site to save time. These resources are available to the public, you simply may have to reserve time to use their tools.

3. Fill out the entire job application

There is a reason some online job applications are longer than others. A longer job application generally allows a recruiter to identify best-fit candidates.  While easy apply links are nice perks of various job sites, you may see more success with a customized resume and cover letter for each job you are applying for. Filling every box in an online job application can be tricky.  Taking the time to complete everything properly will only take a few extra minutes per application, and could be the difference in securing your next opportunity.

4.  Connect with someone

LinkedIn and Facebook are very useful tools for your job search which can aid you in getting vital company information for the company you are applying for.  Connect with someone, preferably in Human Resources on LinkedIn, so they may recognize your name from connecting when they see your resume.  You can also use this person’s name to address your cover letter to someone in the organization.

Top Tip: Find the company profile, then drill down in the ‘people’ section of the company and search for “Human Resources” or “HR” to create a shortlist of people to follow up with.

5. Clean up those online profiles

How many social media accounts do you have?  Perhaps check how many apps you have on your phone where you have a public profile.  Human Resource Managers and Recruiters will thoroughly investigate your social media accounts before speaking with you, so it’s best to have these cleaned up and looking as good as possible.

Top Tips: Log out of Facebook, Twitter, and other social accounts to see what your profile looks like to the public.  Do a quick Google Search of your name to see if anything strange pops up.

6. Always review the application before submitting 

You took the time to thoroughly fill out the job application but before you turn it in, make sure to review the information you provided one last time. Double-checking your work to ensure everything is correct and you have no misspelled words will give you extra confidence when hitting the submit button.

Applying for a job will take some time and effort, but these online application tips will help you move through the process efficiently. Corridor Careers is your source for the best jobs in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Start your job search or customize your Job Alerts today.

Learn more tips, or find a great job in Eastern Iowa.