Today’s job hunters have to navigate a few important things if they want to secure a job in the digital age. It’s much easier than ever to find opportunities online, but job hunters have to search through numerous job postings on multiple sites and customise their application to suit each job. We show you what you need in the digital age to be successful.
The way you craft your resume for submission for an online application directly determines whether your application is seen by a hiring manager or not.
- Ensure you have the correct keywords related to the position or industry.
- Make sure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors.
- Send your resume in a .doc or .docx file unless specifically asked for another format.
Ensure your resume is optimised for the applicant tracking system (ATS) and is also easy to read and effective when a recruiter looks at it.
You want to use the keywords used in the job description, but not verbatim, and it needs to be legitimate (goes without saying…).
The use of online recruiting tools and technology has increased dramatically over the last few years. The near-endless options of websites and apps emphasise the importance of correctly using these resources.
If you don’t have any target companies, but know what you want to be doing, conduct your searches on keywords and phrases that speak to the responsibilities you hope to have in your next role. Or, search using the qualifications you have.
It’s easy to get lost in the mix when you’re applying. Firing off multiple emails a day without actually keeping track of your activity can mean a lost opportunity to follow up. To combat this, if you see a position that’s listed on a job site, create an account with that site to keep track of the jobs that you’ve applied for.
If you’re applying via multiple sites, a good filing system is needed. I used to use a spreadsheet that kept track of the job title, company, link to the job posting and date I applied. Too often, the job posting would be taken down by the time the interview rolled around, and I didn’t have the description to reference anymore.
Once you’ve submitted your application, you can use sites like LinkedIn or face-to-face networking events to build your professional network.
Don’t try to get your application in via back channels before you’ve formally applied. Apply first, then try to get a leg up via your network,
Like any skill, applying for jobs takes time and comes with a learning curve. Mistakes will be made. You want to always come off as professional and avoid making the common mistakes, which can often make you look unprofessional.
These are the most common mistakes while applying online:
- Edit your work. To avoid typos, be sure to spellcheck your work and have a second pair of eyes run over anything you plan to submit. Be careful not to use language that’s inappropriate or too casual.
- Not reading the job ad properly. It is very common to just focus on the bulleted lists of responsibilities and qualifications, but the other details that are provided in the job description are important. Often, this is where specific instructions for applying will be mentioned.
- Having a poor online presence. In addition to your resume and cover letter, your online presence needs to be pruned and shaped before you apply anywhere. This is especially true on LinkedIn, but also on any other platforms where you have profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
- Obsessing about the job title. A manager at one company is a specialist at another. Job seekers should focus on the responsibilities of the role to determine if it’s the right level for their expertise and career goals, because you could be missing out on other opportunities that are perfect, but are just not labelled as you’d think.
Regardless of what you want to do, you should sit down and make a list of goals you would like to achieve, with an emphasis on what makes you happy. Get up to speed with the digital age – it started ages ago, it will continue to evolve at a rapid pace and you need to stay on top of it or your search could go on and on.
Good luck and remember to hunt wisely!