Top Tips For Applying for Online Jobs

If you have not applied for a job in a while, you may find that the whole business of application for a new position has changed a lot. Whereas, in the past, jobs were applied for by post, over the phone or in person, now the vast majority of applications are done online. CVs, cover letters and references are no longer submitted as paper copies, they are now sent online to the recruiter either by email or on their website.

Before you Apply

To apply for jobs online, you need a number of things:

  • Internet Access – This seems obvious, but reliable internet access is essential. If you don’t have this, then you should be able to get it at a local library or in some of the larger Job Centres
  • A Computer -Again, this seems obvious, but the internet can also be accessed via a wide variety of devices. Phones or tablets could be used, but a PC or laptop is much more suited for job application. Remember you will also need a word processing application of some kind, ideally Microsoft Word.
  • Email Address -Your email address should be a professional one, that is yours to use. This doesn’t mean one related to work, but use an email like rather than
  • Up-to-date CV – Make sure you have an up-to-date CV, with the correct contact details before you start applying. This is possibly the most important thing you need to prepare. For help on getting your CV the best it can be, check this guide. It’s also useful to draft a basic cover letter that you can be customised for each job you apply to.  Not all jobs will require this, but it is useful to have ready for those that do. A good tip is to save your CV with a title containing “CV”, as well as your first name, your last name and the current year.

1. Use Job Search Websites

The vast majority of (although not all) online jobs appear on Job-Search websites. There are a lot of these. These websites allow you to search for jobs using different filters, like position title, salary and location. It is a good idea to register and build a profile on a number of these. You can save searches and get the website to email notifications of any jobs that may be of interest to you. Here is a list of the top ten job websites.

2. Adapt your Application

Although many companies use Job-Search Websites, some don’t and you will need to ensure you apply in the way that they have asked you to.  Company websites are a good source of job listings, and you may be able to apply directly via the company website. Do this, even if you have seen the job elsewhere, as this may give your application an advantage over those coming from Job-Search websites.

Some smaller companies may just require you to email a copy of your CV and covering letter. A good tip is add your full name and the title of the position the subject line of the email.

Sometimes you may be asked to convert your CV into a PDF or other kind of file. You may need to complete and online application form, section by section, like a paper application. Just make sure you follow all instructions and carefully proofread your application before you click the “Submit” button. Follow all the application instructions and double check that you’ve done so, at the end.

3. Keywords

Keywords are very important in online Job application for two reasons:

When you look for jobs online, the most effective way to search is to use job keywords to find the jobs in you are interested in. Create a list of job-search that reflect your job interests, including the location you want to work, type of position, industry, etc.

You should also be aware of the keywords that employers use in their job advertisements. You should use these in your CV and cover letter. In fact, you should adjust your CV for each application, using any keywords the employer uses, if this is possible. Many employers receive far more CVs than they can check through practically, so Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), or ‘Resume Robots’ can reject up to 75% of CVs before getting to a person. These ATS use key words to identify people with the required skills and qualifications.

4. Don’t Apply if you are not Qualified

Read the job description well before you start and only apply if you meet the requirements. Applying for a job takes time, so you can save time and effort by being selective. If you aren’t qualified, then chances are, your application will be unsuccessful.

5. Check and Double Check

Check that your spelling, grammar and content don’t have errors. Fit your experience to the job you are applying for, be original and be honest. When you have done all this check again before you submit.

6. Keep Track of Your Applications

Check your email account at least once a day for any replies or offers of interview. Don’t forget to check your spam folder as important emails can end up there. If you have had missed calls, make sure you follow these up.

It also helps to keep a written or digital record of the jobs you’ve applied for. This will help you remember who you should follow-up with and what different roles you’ve applied for. Either call or email the employer if you haven’t heard anything, after an appropriate interval.  Unfortunately, not all employees respond or even let you know that you have been unsuccessful. They may even state in the Job Description that if you do not hear from them to assume you were unsuccessful.

7. Keep Applying

It may take some time and quite a few applications before you secure your new job. The important thing is to keep trying and keep on applying.

Good luck!


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