Job Search Tips & Resources

Five Problems Job Applicants Must Overcome When Completing Online Applications

  • Online application forms are designed to screen-out candidates. Information on the application must match up to the employer’s job posting and job description (amount of experience, education, skills match), or anything that can be interpreted as a “high risk” (being fired, job-hopping, felony convictions) can be a reason to reject an applicant.
  • Online applications take some control away from job seekers (doesn’t give you a chance to explain anything).
  • Online applications are highly competitive. There are hundreds or thousands of job seekers completing the same online application and competing for the same job.
  • Online applications are designed to look for “keyword” matches. Many employers use the ATS – Application Tracking System that is an application scanning program that scans for keywords that are relevant to the occupation and/or industry.
  • To be better prepared and organized in completing an online application, job seekers need to invest some “upfront” time and energy preparing a system to collect, organize, and store information about their skills abilities, and experiences that will be used over and over in their online application forms. Create a Word document that includes;
  • Work History
  • Educational Information
  • Contact Information
  • Professional and business references contact information
  • Keyword career vocabulary
  • Accomplishments list
  • Skills and Qualifications list

An Effective Job Search Strategy



R – Make a list of the companies you would like to work for – target companies – and RESEARCH them incorporating some of the research information into your tailored cover letter. This research information will also be useful during the interview.

M – MAIL Your cover letters and resumes to the “hiring authority” (person in charge of the department that you want to work in who has the authority to hire you). Make sure you have the correct name and spelling of that name, title and location. Be sure to get the direct phone number for the contact person.

F – FOLLOW UP – This is the most intimidating step of the job search for many people. Follow up with the contact person about a week or two after the mailing.

Resume Tips

  • Send in a hard copy of your résumé after the required electronic submission with a handwritten note at the top: “Second submission – I’m very interested!”
  • Well-written and customized resumes and cover letters are essential.
  • Don’t forget to send a “thank you” to the interviewer – a note, or an email, or a handwritten card 24 hours after the interview.