Friday, January 25, 2013

Applying Online? Stay Classy!

Job search has made a swift transition from applying to ads in the paper to finding positions by the click of a button online. This has made job search a lot easier, hasn't it? We are able to search for the perfect job just be visiting a site like or and type in our location and desired job title and voila, 20 hits! And even better, you can visit the employer websites in a cinch to do that important research for tailoring your resume and cover letter, as well as for preparing for the interview.... that is if you get it. If. Because while there are thousand and thousands of jobs featured online, 85% of jobs are not. Don't believe me? Have you have thought about how those 20 perfect jobs you applied for online might also be perfect for somebody else? And by somebody else I mean somebodies -  many of them. Think of all of the people job searching online, just like you, applying to the same 20 jobs. All of the sudden 20 doesn't seem like many at all....

BUT, that does not mean you are at a disadvantage! In fact, by reading this you are ahead of the game! This blog goes over some handy tips to consider for maximizing your online job search techniques, as well as your online presence!

1. Don't apply to all 20 jobs. Take the time to read through each posting carefully, considering how and if your skills coincide. It's better to spend time on 5 job applications than to blindly to 20.

2. Be formal. It is the tendency to be more casual online because you're not face to face in your encounters (usually). Consider the first email sent to an employer with your job application attached your handshake. Always introduce yourself the way you would in person - this is your first impression, and that is a lot more difficult to make over the computer!

3. Follow directions when preparing the email. Often employers will indicate what they would like you to put in the header of the email when you apply to the job, but if they do not the best best is to identify your name and the position for which you are applying. (ex. Brittany Stewart - Application for Sr. Career Assistant). It is important to be clear and to also follow directions - you are telling a lot about yourself already just by preparing this email!

4. Can't sign the cover letter? Add an electronic signature. Because you cannot sign your cover letter when sending it online, it is still important to be formal and use a loopy font as a signature in its place. You may also choose to scan your signature right onto the computer for copying and pasting, whatever you choose!

5. Edit the email. One benefit to applying online is that you get a chance to edit your first impression again and again, something you never get to do "irl" (in real life, bad joke?)

These might seem straight forward and basic, but you'd be surprised at how many applications get trashed just for missing something like this! There is a lot more to professional etiquette online than these five tips so feel free to comment here if you have a question, or come on in to the Career Resource Centre between 9 and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday!

Happy searching,

Sr. Career Assistant

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