Once you have completed your kick butt resume and amazing cover letter to apply for a job online, you need to either send them via email or upload them to the company’s server. Seems easy right?
A few of my clients have had significant difficulty with this part resulting in NOT landing the interview or the application being rejected altogether.
What follows is important information to keep in mind when you are about to apply for a job online or by email. Keep this post handy or better yet, save it to your bookmarks so you can refer back to it often. The information I’m going to share can make or break your chances of getting hired!
Before you start the actual application, you have a few things yet to do. Once the resume and cover letter are complete, you must prepare any required supporting documents as per the posting. You may need to send in a drivers abstract, copies of certifications, formal education, and occasionally written recommendations. In the case of brand new teachers, you are required to submit your practicum notes. Experienced teachers may be required to submit their yearly evaluations.
The most effective way to provide the supporting documents when you apply for a job online is to scan everything to one PDF document folder and name it Your Name – Supporting Documents. Now you can move on to the application process.
The Application Process
1. Follow the application instructions exactly!! If it says to send via email and quote the posting number… DO IT. Not following the exact instructions means that your resume will be kicked and not read.
Last year, I had a firefighter client who hired me to do her resume and cover letter. The final docs were excellent and she should have landed an interview. The problem was she used her iPhone to upload her application and it came back a few days later with “application incomplete”… she did NOT get the interview after investing significant time, money, and effort.
Another note about firefighter or police applications is that the application may be very long. The Vancouver Fire Department Application is 27 pages long!
2. Do the application process at home on a lap top or home computer with access to a printer. Allow at minimum of one hour because some companies request a profile and/or a questionnaire. Note: There are instances that the profile cannot be revised later so be careful.
One of my clients, a SEA, was having trouble uploading her docs to a particular school board. She seemed to have difficulty with the questionnaire and asked me to help. We met at a coffee shop and carefully went through the questions and I typed it into the online form. At the end of the questions, up popped a note telling us to print the questions. We had no access to a printer and could not save the questionnaire. Brutal. Screen shots would have saved the information to be retyped in later IF we had thought of it. Lesson learned.
3. Fill out the profile as required. The profile is extremely important and is the first filtering of your application. Triple check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Answer ALL the questions.
Just a couple of weeks ago, a panicked client called and asked me to fix his application after it was sent into a city. I requested his email and password and went to take a look. I found some serious issues as he had uploaded a Pages document and the city required either a word doc or PDF. I rummaged around his profile and was able to revise his resume and cover letter with the correct files. After searching around for his profile, I could not find it, revise it, or see it.
The website he was applying to clearly stated that once a profile is done, there is NO revising it. He told me he was not confident he filled it out correctly. He may have missed the opportunity for the perfect job!
To wrap up: In the process of applying for a job online, ensure you schedule ample time to complete the actual application process free from any distractions or interruptions. Once you have all your documents ready to go, take a deep breath and jump in!