8 Keys to Submitting an Online Job Application That Stands OutDid you know that about 50% of midsized companies and almost all large corporations use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen prospects for job openings? 

This enables human resources departments to automate and store hiring documents online so they don’t have to worry about making their way through stacks of paperwork or hundreds of emails to find what they need.  Nowadays, they have to.  One company in my area who employs over 12,000 shared that they get over 10,000 online applications a month!!!

Here are 8 keys to get your online application as visible as you can:

  1. A big pet peeve is hearing from job seekers who apply even if they aren’t qualified for the job. Take time to understand exactly what the company expects from applicants for any positions that interest you.
  2. If the company asks for a cover letter, be sure to include one. Write one specific to your accomplishments and skills and one addressing the job description. Mention how you will use your knowledge and skills on the job. Use the cover letter to showcase your personality, qualifications, and desire for the job.
  3. Take your time and look over your resume. Find key words in the job description and indicate how your accomplishments address those requirements. Customize your resume and/or cover letter to each specific job.  Most HR departments search for resumes that a certain number of keywords.   Often, the hiring manager tells HR how many keywords to search for.  For example, the hiring manager may ask to see resumes with 70%+ keywords.
  4. With digital applications, error-laden content lives on at that company, potentially hurting your chances for a relationship with the employer in the future as well. Triple-check for spelling, content, and grammar and make sure everything is completely spelled out—avoid abbreviations.
  5. Fill out every field on the application. You are not just giving information that could make you stand out from the competition, but also demonstrating your interest and desire for the job.
  6. The ability to view your social media profile(s), allows recruiters to see your current work status and determine whether timing is right to extend you an interview or even a job offer. Keep those all current. Make sure you don’t have public images or content that would distract, or deter hiring managers or recruiters from wanting to hire you.  I know of one person who missed out on an opportunity because of items posted on her facebook page.
  7. Before hitting the submit button, take a final glance at the content you have provided. Remember that once you hit the submit button, your information is sent to the recruiter directly. First impressions are important, so make the best one possible when you apply.
  8. If you can work the job hunt from multiple angles, do.  If a company is getting 10,000 applications a month you have to look for ways to get yours noticed.  Who do you know in the organization that can help you?  Also look for opportunities to network.  Perhaps one of their leaders is speaking at a chamber meeting or the company is having a community event.  Try to attend and make sure you introduce yourself.  You’ve got your elevator speech ready, right???

Years ago, I had a client who really wanted to work for Yum! Brands.  We came up with a networking strategy.  It took a few months, but guess what?  She’s been with Yum! for over 7 years now.

Keep these key tips in mind and you will be getting calls from ideal companies quickly!