Online Application Tips from an Expert

By Candice White, CARW

Have you ever felt like you are sending your resume into a vacuum when you apply online? You are not alone in your frustration! Recently, I was fortunate to have a one-on-one conversation with Karyn Gold, Talent Acquisition Consultant/EJRT Coordinator for LifeBridge Health. Here are insights and tips she shared about getting your job application noticed:

  • Don’t wait to apply if you see a job posting you like.

Gold reads applications in order of receipt to pull a qualified pool of candidates with which to start the interview process. This means a job might still look open while the company is already deep into the interviewing process. The quicker you apply, the more likely your resume is to be considered.

  • Show you meet the minimum requirements.

Make it super clear to the hiring manager that you can do the job; connect all the dots and make it as easy as possible for them to see you are capable and what qualities you bring. You have the best chances for an interview when you meet the minimum requirements 100%.

  • Answer all the online application questions.

The only way a person is immediately rejected from the process is if they don’t answer the “knock-out” questions. For example, “Are you authorized to work in the United States?” or “Do you have a driver’s license?” Answer all the application questions to give yourself the best chance at progressing.

  • Include a cover letter.

Always include a cover letter if it’s requested or if you’re not sure if it’s needed; they really can make a difference in moving you forward. Some hiring managers expect them and won’t interview you if they are missing. Keep them concise and targeted to the position.

  • Follow “resume etiquette.”

Save your resume with a sensible, professional name, like “Tony Smith Resume.” Make sure the resume is 100% current and updated. Speaking of professional, please save the cute and funny email addresses for your personal communication and use an appropriate one for your job search activities. You can never go wrong with an email address that includes your actual name (and leave out the birth dates!).

  • Double-check multiple applications.

People will sometimes apply to multiple jobs at the same organization. Once the system has your information, it will auto-populate your subsequent applications. Ensure the auto-filled fields complete correctly and that you attach the correct cover letter with its matching application.

  • Use ZIP Codes.

Some people don’t want to include ZIP Codes on their resumes for a variety of reasons. Gold shares that companies that have many different locations like to see them because that makes it easier to match candidates to the correct locations. Something else to remember: job applications are legal documents, so address information must be correct. In other words, even if your resume doesn’t contain your ZIP Code, you may still have to enter it as part of the application materials.


We hope you find these suggestions helpful in filling out your next job application!


Candice White, CARW is a Career Coach at the Ignite Career Center of Jewish Community Services.

Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the Ignite Career Center, a program of Jewish Community Services, can help you go further and get there faster. Our highly experienced Career Coaches provide individuals of all backgrounds and abilities with the customized services and tools they need to stand out from the competition. To learn more, visit ignitecareercenter.com or call 410-466-9200.

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