Using online applications certainly speeds up the whole process of applying for a job - within minutes of finding a position you are interested in, you can have submitted your application. However, the advantage of submitting online applications can be undone if you don't take the proper care and attention when completing them.
When people prepare a CV or fill in a paper based application form they tend to take their time and double check that everything is as good as it can be before sending it out. With online applications there is the temptation to get it done as quickly as possible - that can often mean that the standard is lower than the paper based ones you submit.
So how do you ensure that when taking advantage of the convenience of online applications you still maintain quality? The answer is to be prepared in advance by having the key sections already written on your computer.
The temptation when faced with something to complete on a website is to write directly into the form - however, it is much better to write everything in your own word processing software first, then copy and paste it into the form.
When you use word processing software first, you can be sure that the spelling and grammar is right and that there are no silly errors. You can also copy across crucial information such as names of employers, dates, details of qualifications and so on.
You can also pre-prepare lots of information that you might need to fill in a form, or adapt and copy it from your existing CV. Whether you are writing a CV, applying online, or filling in a form on paper, you will always need basic information such as:
- Your personal details (name, address, e-mail, contact number etc
- Your work experience
- Your training and qualifications
It's also a good idea to have thought about and written things like a summary of your achievements, and a personal profile that introduces you and talks about what you are looking for in your career.
In addition, many jobs will ask you to match your skills against those required for the job, and also want to know why you are the right person for the job. Again, take the time to think about those answers and work them out on your own PC before you add them to the application form. That way you'll be sure to get them right.