As you know by now, I believe that sitting at a computer and clicking “APPLY” on every job posting that strikes you as a possibility is a poor use of time for anyone who is serious about a job search.

That said, online applications are a necessary evil. Even if you’ve been referred to an opening and spoken with the hiring manager, in most cases you also will be asked to complete an online application.

There are few things more aggravating than completing a form
which doesn’t have flexibility, is unclear,

poorly constructed, and confusing!
Today’s online applications are all that and more!

Common Job Application Mistakes

Yes, online job applications are a nightmare, and you’ll want to watch out for a few things. Keep these common errors in mind to ensure that your application makes it through the gauntlet!

  1. Inconsistency between your resume and your application details. This mistake is common because online systems will often make you put the details of your resume into their fields. But a typo – say in the dates of employment – will be flagged and you’re out!

  2. Failing to use keywords from the job posting. If the job posting says “customer service,” you say “customer service,” even if your current employer calls it customer support. Action verbs like “managed,” “collaborated,” “organized,” etc., whatever you see in the posting that is clearly important to the role, should be reflected on your resume and as you fill in sections on your experience.

  3. Incomplete and unconsidered responses. If there is a question – answer it! Like, “Is there anything else you’d like us to know?” is an invitation to share your enthusiasm for the role and the company. Really think about how you want to answer a question like “Why did you leave?”

  4. Not including an employee referral where prompted. Many organizations ask if anyone in the organization has referred you. They give preference to these applications and many are tied to employee referral bonuses! If you are connected with anyone within the organization, especially if they are helping you gain access, you have to put their name in when you apply in order for them to get the bonus if you are hired.

Nobody likes filling out online job applications – but by avoiding these common errors you can maximize the chances your time will be well spent!

Cheers to your career!

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