Today, most online applications have a set template that they ask applicants to fill out instead of uploading their resume or a cover letter. This is designed to be a time-saver for employers because they can simply perform a search on the applications they receive to ensure that they match the specific criteria that they are looking for to fill this position. Unfortunately for people applying, this can mean that people who are qualified for a position are passed over if they do not fit within this filtering system. Knowing how these templates work can help you avoid missing out on a great opportunity.
Do not Be Dishonest
It is never appropriate to fudge the truth or make things up about your background when you are filling out an application. If your experience does not match what a position is looking for, you are much better off passing this job listing by rather than falsifying your resume to try to get a position’s attention. It is only a matter of time before your dishonesty is discovered. Either the HR department will follow up on your resume or you will be expected to take on a task while on the job that you cannot manage. Either way it will be embarrassing and could result in action being taken against you.
If you are unsure of how to answer a question there are a few options you can take to try to manage more effectively. If there is any room on the application to provide a typed answer, use this to help expand on any answers that you needed to select from a menu box. If there is no room to offer an explanation, look for contact information from the company and give them a call. Explain your problem and ask their preference for how you should fill out their application. With any luck they may ask you to simply send over your resume for consideration instead of completing the online form.
Use Specific Language
If you believe that an application is going to be filtered before a representative from the company has a chance to read it, then you will need to ensure that you match the requirements an application has listed as closely as possible. If you have room to expand on these options, this is important as well because this will help set your application apart when it reaches an employer’s desk, but you do not want to miss out on the basics.
When you are listing your experience, be sure to list any requirements the job has listed using the same language as the application. This will help to ensure that these are noticed. You should also list the requirements that an employer asked for up front rather than blending them in with your other skills. Those that are in charge of reviewing applications are not going to take the time to review candidates that do not appear to have the basic skills the job requires, so you want to really showcase that you can manage the task at hand.