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Read This Before Applying for a Job Online

Did you know that applying for a job online is one of the most frustrating things? Millions of job seekers send in their resumes without ever getting a response. So, how can you get noticed?

woman typing in her laptop with her hand on her chin

Before we get into the details, did you know that today, employers are receiving more applications than they can handle. So, companies have been using specialized software to conduct initial screenings for the past several years.

And as you may know, resumes are one of the most important parts of the application process. They allow employers to quickly see if you have what they're looking for and helps them make an informed decision on who should get interviews, but it can be tough putting together your own resume without knowing how best do so!

If you want to get noticed, it's important to know how to operate in this new environment. Take a look at these tips and refine your approach.


The Importance of Keywords

1. Understand applicant tracking software.

These software packages go through resumes to select candidates who use desired words, such as new media or MBA. In addition to your skills, they may consider what colleges you attended and how long you held your last position.

Job seeker writing down notes about his potential employer after doing some research.

2. Research each company.

Look at corporate websites, press releases, and job descriptions, and use some of their exact language in your application and resume. Consider including references to corporate culture, such as environmentally friendly or quality driven.

3. Know your industry.

Stay up to date in your field. Attend association events. Read the leading publications.

4. Consult a recruiter.

Ask a Recruiter or Headhunter for advice. Recruiters will have useful insights into the latest human resources practices and priorities.

5. Edit your materials.

Add essential keywords related to your field to your resume and cover letter. Try to use them in the first sentence of each document, so your resume stands out from the rest.

6. Avoid excessive repetition.

To avoid overstuffing, use a keyword once for every hundred words. Remember to vary the way you state them. Use popular acronyms, if appropriate.

7. Stick to a simple format.

Reduce the risk of having your resume mangled by an automatic program. Put information on separate lines when giving your employer's name, your job title, and the number of years you worked at your previous company.

8. Keep humans in mind.

Remember that a real person will probably review your materials if you make the first cut. Read your application aloud to ensure it makes sense. Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation because if your resume is full of errors, it's unlikely that you'll be considered.

The Value of Personal Referrals

three friends chatting about the next job interview in a hallway

1. Ask around.

Your odds are much better if you can find someone who already works at the company to recommend you or give you inside information. Connect with others through social media or call others in your network.

2. Join a job club.

Job clubs are a reliable source for gathering personal referrals as well as moral support. Your local library may offer a program. Otherwise, consider starting your own.

3. Help others.

Nurture and expand your network by doing favors for others.

Additional Suggestions

1. Be selective.

Applying for a job can be as easy as clicking a single button. Be candid with yourself about whether you have the special qualities and experience to distinguish yourself from the rest of a crowded field. Focus your efforts on your best chances.

2. Use a variety of techniques.

The most successful job hunters tend to use multiple tactics. Experiment with everything from posting your resume online, to answering job ads, to doing volunteer work.

3. Develop patience.

Your career plays a crucial role in your life. Finding meaningful work that's fitting for you may take a while. Focus on your long-term goals and congratulate yourself for every step you take. Positive thoughts will make you happier and more attractive to your future employer.


Applying for a job online can be frustrating, but there are ways to make sure your resume gets seen. Employers are using specialized software to conduct initial screenings and by mastering keywords and deploying personal referrals, you'll increase your chances of getting interviews and job offers. Need extra career support? Check out our resume services.


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