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Read This Before Applying for a Job Online

Applying for a job online can be frustrating. Millions of job seekers send in their resumes without ever getting a response. So, how can you get noticed? You need strategies to make your resume stand out from the others.


Employers tend to receive more applications than they can handle. Fortune 500 companies have been using specialized software to conduct initial screenings for the past several years. Now, smaller companies are following suit.


If you want to get noticed, it’s important to know how to operate in this new environment. Study these tips and revise 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 training you’ve had and how long you held your last position.

  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 cultures, 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 headhunter for advice. Recruiters will have useful insights into the latest human resources practices and priorities.

  5. Avoid excessive repetition. To avoid overstuffing, use a keyword once for every hundred words. Remember to vary the way you state them. 

  6. 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.

  7. Keep humans in mind. Remember that a real person will probably review your materials if you make the first cut. Read your application out loud 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.

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 big 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 on every step you take. Positive thoughts will make you happier and more attractive to your future employer.

It’s easy for your resume to fall into a black hole when you’re dealing with online job listings. Mastering keywords and deploying personal referrals will help you get more interviews and job offers. By applying these strategies, you’re more likely to get noticed and secure your dream job.