Thursday, September 15, 2011 myBiz Blog
Bucky's Career Corner: Online Employer Applications by Lisa Collins

In today’s tech savvy world, most employers use the online application process to help them find students who have the skills, experience, and qualities that best match the requirements for their job opening. You may be worried that an online application makes you “one of a million” instead of “one in a million” and that your application gets lost when clicking send. How can you make sure that your application gets noticed?

Listed below are some strategies for applying online.

Follow directions. Complete all of the fields even if optional. Be thorough on the employment section as employers look for your complete work history, including gaps in employment.

Have an error-free application as it serves as the employer’s first impression of you. Do a spell and grammar check before submitting your application.

Tailor your application information to the position. Use key words, buzz words, and industry verbiage as well as verbiage in the job ad. Ask for advice from a company recruiter or an alumnus who works there

Use your resume to highlight areas not covered in the online application. For example, some employers fail to ask about language and technical skills, volunteer work and professional organization involvement.

Include remarks in the comments section that demonstrate you have researched the company and industry; include numbers and statistics if they are available

You may be asked to attach your resume to or paste it into the application. Make sure your resume can hold its own in a very simple format: Fancy bullets, text, italics, and bold do not convert well in an electronic application.


When employers drive you to their website to apply for a job, astute job seekers can gather some great information from those employers that don't collect paper resumes by asking:

What happens to the resume after I click send? Who reviews it and how? What format will work best with your current system?

What skill sets does your company/agency value the most? When should I follow up?

Which department has the current openings? Which department is anticipating future openings?

Online applications often have a box where you can submit a cover letter. Utilize this opportunity to talk about what you can do for them based on what skill set they are looking for. While it often takes time to write a cover letter, it offers additional information about you that may not be covered elsewhere in the application. Use it to your benefit and write a letter that will convince them to bring you in for an interview.

To learn more about interviewing, attend the seminar Build your Interview Toolkit on September 26th or October 25th beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Next week, check out the post on figuring out what you want to do with your life!