Filling out job applications are a huge part of finding a job. Whether you are completing a paper application or submitting one online, there are a few tips that can help you stand out as an applicant:
More and more job applications are completed online. Here are some tips for nailing the online application process:
Online Application Tips
The following tips should allow you to complete online applications more smoothly and efficiently.
- Save your application progress. The majority of online applications allow you to save your application if you can’t complete it in one sitting. Saving also ensures that you won’t lose your work if your web browser crashes or if you accidentally close your browser window.
- Save descriptions of your past job duties and transferable skills in a word document, and have a resume word document ready to attach. Online job applications typically require you to list your previous jobs, along with short descriptions of the tasks you completed there. Saving descriptions of the type of work you’ve done in previous jobs, as well as saving resume document with this info, will save time on all future applications.
- Use the auto-fill options from your web browser to enter basic information. Auto-fill options will save your name, address, and other basic information so that it can be entered automatically instead of having to type this information repeatedly on multiple applications. Always be sure to double-check the auto fill information, however, to make sure it is accurate.
- Create a consistent username and password to use for multiple online application sites. Every job application site will require a username and password. Try to use the same username and password across multiple sites so you are less at risk of forgetting this info. For passwords, most sites require at least eight characters, one capital letter, and one number. Create a password that has all of these elements to use for multiple sites.
- Be certain that you are applying to the right position. Online job applications provide a list of available positions that you must choose from before applying. Be sure to select the specific position that matches your skillset.
- Do not – under any circumstances – provide credit card or financial info if the application asks for it. This type of company is likely a scam.
If you are submitting a physical application to an employer:
- Submit the application in-person instead of mailing it. If you submit an application in-person at the job location, there’s a possibility that the working manager will review your application and interview you immediately, whereas applications by mail might not get reviewed as thoroughly. When submitting an application in-person, be prepared for the interview by following these steps:
- Dress appropriately. Please see our resource document on what attire to wear for a job interview
- Have all required information available. If you plan to fill out an application on-site and submit it, please come prepared with the following: driver’s license or ID, names of three references and one emergency contact number, and names of at least two past employers. Please ready to describe the work you have done for your past employers in 2 or 3 sentences, as well the name of your supervisor and reason for leaving.
- Be prepared for interview questions. Our interview resources section provides details on what questions to expect and how you should answer them.
- Emphasize how effective you were at your previous jobs. On most job applications, there will be sections asking about your previous employment and the type of work you did. Instead of simply listing the responsibilities you had at these jobs, emphasize how effective you were at the position. If you have previous experience as a cashier, instead of writing “worked at a cash register,” down “worked the cash register during peak customer hours and managed quick and efficient service with little delays” If you worked a stocking position at a retail score, instead of writing “stocked shelves,” write “kept floor room fully supplied with products and ensured that there were no shortages.”
- No misspellings, grammatical errors, or missing information. Misspelled words are the quickest way to disqualify your application. If you are unsure about spelling, have somebody review your application or Google search the word you are unsure of to see if the spelling is correct. Avoid grammatical errors in any part of the application that requires you to write. Make sure to write in complete sentences, and have someone check before submitting your application. Make sure you read the application thoroughly and fill in all information. In general, you will need the following info for most applications: identification details, references, emergency contact, past experience, education, and the name of the position you are applying for.