By Nisa Chitakasem, co-founder of Career Consultancy Position Ignition
With organisations increasingly advertising their job vacancies online, the process of applying online is becoming a job search skill in itself. Here are some tips for getting it right:
- Have a clear idea of what you seek. The more clear you are on this, the more specific you can be. This will refine your area of search. It also allows you to be smart when looking at a website to see whether the vacancy is the right job, sector and geographic location for you or not. If not, don’t waste your time
- Have a plan. Before going online and searching for jobs or filling in application forms, make sure that you have a plan and a focus on what you are looking for and what roles will fit you well. It’s easy once in front of a computer to meander and to lose focus so in order to prevent this make sure you outline your targets and actions before going on to the internet
- Do your research. The more that you understand about the vacancy and the organisation that is hiring the better. Armed with this information you are in a good position to fill in the online application appropriately
- Keep a list of jobs that you are applying for and where you can, keep a copy of the application form you filled in. Make sure that you keep track of what you have put yourself forward for so that if any are successful, you can refer back to what you wrote and be well prepared for your interview.
There is no point applying for a role that will ultimately clash with all the things you deem important.
- Prepare your CV. Prepare some useful phrases, bullet points and paragraphs on what you want to say in your online application. This is useful because you can cut and paste them from a word document later, to form part of your application.
- Think about what you really want and the type of role that would work for you. Establish some clear criteria and constraints, such as the number of hours you want to work, how many miles you want to commute and how important bonus, pensions and benefits are to you. There is no point applying for a role that will ultimately clash with all the things you deem important.
Less is more when it comes to the number of applications you fill in.
- Prepare two CV documents. You might use a one page overview document that you will attach to each online vacancy and, as described in the previous bullet, cut and paste into the application other relevant information
- Less is more when it comes to the number of applications you fill in. Usually we think that the more jobs we apply for the better chance we have of having success, yet it is sometimes actually the other way around. Focusing on doing a few applications really well and making sure that you are genuinely a good fit for them is likely to put you in a much stronger position than applying for anything and everything half-heartedly.
- Agree with one or two people you know that they will be your referee. Make sure that you use referees who will be useful to you – maybe they know the sector and/or the function that you are applying to. The more relevant they are, the more credence can be given to them by the employing organisation. Never use a referee’s name and contact details without first checking with them.
About the Author:
Nisa Chitakasem co-founded Career Change Specialists Position Ignition, to provide high quality careers support to individuals questioning their career choices, wanting a career change or needing help with their career challenges.