A Guide to Successful Online Job Applications Almost 80% of job applications are now made on-line. Online applications can be made directly on an employer’s website; via a Jobs Board or Jobs Website; or by emailing your CV and Cover Letter to a specified e-mail address. Sounds like a lot of work before you even begin applying, but once you know the fundamentals of on-line applications it becomes easier, and the more you do, the better you’ll get at doing it! Before you begin, you should first check that you have everything you need: Reliable internet access. An up-to-date CV and Cover Letter saved on your computer as either a Word Document or PDF so it can be easily uploaded onto job sites or e-mailed. An e-mail address – if you don’t have an email address, it can be easily set up using an online email provider such as Gmail or Outlook (previously Hotmail) References – contact details for at least two references Applying for Jobs by Email When you are using email to apply for jobs, it's important that all your communications are as professional as they would be if you were sending a paper CV and cover letter by post. Avoid using unprofessional email addresses. Using your name or as close as you can get to it always works well. The email address you use is one of the first things that an employer or business will notice, so be sure it reflects the professional you, not your personal or family life. Don’t use [email protected], for example… Get your Documents Ready When you are sending CVs and Cover Letters as e-mail attachments, the first step is to save your CV and letter in the right file format. Your documents should be sent as either a Microsoft Word or PDF document. To save your documents as a PDF; Click File Click Save As and in the ‘Save as Type’ box choose the 'PDF'. Saving documents as PDFs helps ensure that no formatting errors will appear if the person opening the documents has a different operating system from your own. Make sure you CV is saved using your name, for example ‘Joe Bloggs CV’, rather than with a generic file name like "my CV." This way, the hiring manager will connect you with the CV when they review it. Write an Email Cover Note Once you have saved your CV and cover letter and they are ready to send, the next step is to write an email cover note to send with your documents. You can either write your cover letter directly in the email message or attach a copy of your cover letter. Either way, it's important to follow the directions in the job posting or your application may not be considered. Writing an email: Open your email account. Click on 'Message' at the top left of the screen or, Click on 'File', then 'New', then 'Message'. You can either type your cover letter directly into the email message, copy and paste from a word processing document or if the company requests an attachment, attach your cover letter with the email message. Your cover letter should be brief and to the point. Include a Subject Line The subject line of an email is where you should write a very brief summary of the content of your email. Make sure your Subject Line explains to the reader (the employer) what job you are applying for. If the job advertisement includes a reference number, you should include this in your Subject line. If there is no instruction in the advert about what to include in the subject line, use something like: Joe Bloggs - Job Application – Retail Assistant Vacancy. Add a Signature It is important to include an email signature with your contact information, so it's easy for the company to reach you. At the bottom of the email message, type your full name, your email address, and your phone number so the hiring manager can see, at a glance, how to contact you. It should look something like this: Kind regards, Joe Bloggs [email protected] 087 123 3456 Attach CV and Cover Letter Once your email message is ready to send, you will need to attach your CV. Click on 'Insert' and then click 'Attach File'. Microsoft will display a list of files in the default file folder of your computer. If your CV file is stored in a different folder, click on the appropriate folder. Click to select the file you want to add to your email message, click on 'Insert' to attach the document to your email message. Tip: In Gmail, click the paperclip image to add your documents to the message. Watch a short video demo below on attaching documents to an email using Gmail. Proofread and Send Before you click send, be sure to proofread your email. This means checking for any grammar and spelling errors. Check to make sure that you have added a subject and your signature to the message. Finally, send a copy of the message to yourself, as well as to the company, so you have a copy for your records. Add yourself as a Bcc (blind carbon copy) by clicking 'Bcc' at the top of the page and adding your own email address. Click Send and your cover letter and CV will be on its way, and you’ll hopefully be one step closer to getting the job you applied for! Applying for Jobs on Company Sites or Jobs Boards In addition to applying for jobs via email, you will most likely also have to apply for jobs directly online. Many employers, especially large companies, use applicant tracking systems to track and manage job applications. Firstly, review the best sites to look for jobs. For jobs in the Ballyhoura area, have a look at Ballyhoura Development’s weekly Jobs Bulletin, which is a weekly listing of jobs available in the area. For jobs in other areas, some examples of sites are www.indeed.ie, www.irishjobs.ie or www.jobs.ie. Create Your Account on a Jobsearch Site Most job boards require users to create an account when they first apply for a job through that site. It's a good idea to start your online job search by creating an account on at least one of the major job sites. To create an account, you'll need to register with a current email address so that your account can be confirmed. Your username will either be your email address or a name you select. You'll be able to choose a password for your account. You will normally be required to upload your CV & Cover Letter. The method of doing this differs on each site. If you would like some assistance with this stage in the process, contact the Ballyhoura Jobs Club. Setting Up Job Alerts Most job sites have job alert systems that notify you when there are new job vacancies that match your interests or location. Once you sign up, the system will send you job listings via email so you can check for job openings in your field without having to mine through every job search engine. Use Job Search Keywords When you look for jobs online, the most effective way to search is to use job keywords to find jobs in the career fields and industries you are interested in. Keywords are the words you type into the search box on a job site to bring up a list of jobs that you might be interested in. Keywords can be more effective than using the predefined search options in the job board sites, because they search the entire listing (job description, job title, contact information, etc.) for the keyword(s) that you use. It might be helpful to write down a list of job search keywords that reflect your job interests, including the location where you want to work, type of position, industry, etc. Example keyword list: Mitchelstown Cork Retail Shop Deli Customer service Company Websites Company websites are a good source of job vacancy listings, especially if you know what companies you are interested in working for. You can go directly to the site and search for and apply for jobs directly on many company sites. Apply directly on the company website whenever possible, even if you find the listing elsewhere. Follow the same procedure as if you were applying for a site through a Jobsearch site (see section above). Benefits of Finding Jobs at Company Websites If you find positions that catch your eye through large job search websites, make a list of those jobs and then go to the companies' websites and apply through them instead. The benefit is that you'll be competing against a smaller pool of applicants, which will naturally decrease the competition for your dream job. Also, you will be delivering your credentials to employers in their preferred format, as opposed to the one utilized by an external job site. Some organisations also provide more detailed information about job openings on their website, compared to the descriptions on job listing sites. Assessment Tests You may need to take an assessment test as part of the online application process. For example, if you are applying for a job with Aldi, you will need to complete a ‘Situational Judgement’ test. This involves choosing the most appropriate and inappropriate solutions to various work situations that you could find yourself in within your chosen role. These types of tests assess your skills and your personality to see if you are a good fit for the job and company. Sometimes, you are told immediately after taking the test whether you moved on to the next round of the hiring process or not; sometimes it takes more time. Search for company profiles on LinkedIn Most organisations have established a presence on LinkedIn that includes a company profile. Insert the names of target companies into the search window on LinkedIn and then follow the link to jobs on the profiles. You can follow the company, so you’re sure to see the latest listings. Don’t forget to notice if any of your LinkedIn contacts are working at that organisation. Consider reaching out to your contacts in advance to inform them of your interest and ask for assistance or perspective. Most importantly, follow the instructions! If the advertisement asks you to quote a specific reference number, then quote that reference number in your cover letter. If the advertisement states that applications will be accepted by email only, make sure that you submit your application and don’t waste your time sending your application by post since it will likely go in the bin. If the advertisement asks for a CV of 2 pages max., then ensure that your CV does not run beyond 2 pages. If you need any help or assistance with online job applications or with any of the steps above, please contact the Ballyhoura Jobs Club online or by phone on 086-3062510.