We’ve covered how to make your CV sparkle, how to search for a job – and how to claim Jobseekers Allowance in the meantime. But now? It’s time to jump in with both feet and start applying for those exciting opportunities.
The days of printing out your CV, attaching an appropriate covering letter with a jazzy paperclip and mailing it to your prospective employer are sadly gone. Even hand-written application forms (although still necessary for some professions) are on their way out. Now it’s all about the online.
Job adverts in newspapers direct you to the recruiters website to download an application pack. Online job search engines want you to use their own application process. Companies request you to email your CV in with a covering letter. Agencies need you to email your CV in before they’ll register you.
I tell you, we are living in an online world. Fortunately I’m an online kinda gal.
The first thing to say is don’t despair if you don’t have access to the internet at home. If you need to file an application, head to your local library where you can ordinarily use the internet for an hour-or-two for free (you even get some gratuitous people watching thrown in – bargain!).
The second thing to say is don’t get sloppy. You still need to write stunning cover letters and stop-them-in-their-tracks personal statements. Just because it’s online doesn’t change that. In fact, it means you’ve even less excuse for typos, spellos or any other nasties – that’s what spellcheck is for, remember!
I’m going to focus on cover letters and personal statements in a future blog post, but for now here’s some tips on how to apply for a job online:
- If you need to fill in an application form – copy and paste the appropriate information from your CV to avoid mistakes. If for some reason you can’t do that, print out a copy of your CV and key the information in from that. Do what it takes to get it right!
- Keep the Job Spec/Person Specification in mind as you complete your application. Make sure you’re ‘bigging up’ all of your past experience which makes you perfect for this role.
- Spellcheck, spellcheck, spellcheck!
- Make it easy for the agency/your new workplace to get in touch, by including your telephone number and email address at the foot of your email signature.
- If you’re emailing remember to actually attach your attachment (probably your CV)… and make sure you’re attaching the correct attachment too.
- Check it again before you hit send.
- Remember, if you’re really struggling with the online application, there’s usually a phone number on the job advert somewhere – so let them know the issues you’re having and see if there’s an alternative way for you to apply.