The rising popularity of job sites has made it easier than ever for job seekers to respond to many different job postings from a variety of companies in a short amount of time. However, while it’s arguably easier to apply for a job online than to make the trek to the company’s actual physical location (if it’s even possible), there are other obstacles to applying for jobs online to consider that don’t come into play when you apply for a job in person.

In this post, we explore different tips for applying for jobs online so that you can maximize your chances of success during your next job search.

Formatting your Resume and Cover Letter

It’s important that your Resume and Cover Letter are formatted cleanly and consistently, but while it might be tempting to use software (such as Adobe InDesign) to make your documents stand out with things like dynamic links or tables with multiple columns and rows to organize your information, it could make it harder for your application to eventually reach a hiring manager.

Larger companies that consistently receive hundreds or thousands of applications for a job posting typically use software (such as an Applicant Tracking System or ATS) to scan resumes for things like keywords, specific hard and soft skills, and more to limit the number of resumes that the hiring manager for that position needs to review.

ATS software might have a harder time processing a Resume or Cover Letter that has a lot of formatting or that has been saved in a non-standard file format (generally something other than .doc, .docx, or .pdf) which could result in your Resume not making it to a hiring manager. Essentially, you want to make sure that your Cover Letter and Resume can be read by a computer and by a human.

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Making your Resume and Cover Letter Stand Out

You can make your Resume stand out even if you don’t use fancy software to create it. As an example, when you take a look at the job posting, be sure to note the specific language it uses to describe certain skills and qualifications. For instance, there are many different ways that collaboration can be described: some job postings might say that they are looking for a “team player” or that they want someone that can “collaborate with others.” If you notice specific language in a job posting, be sure to replicate that language in your Resume and Cover Letter. If you do, it could make your application more likely to be chosen for review.

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Addressing Location, Work Hours, and More in Your Cover Letter

The great thing about applying for jobs online is that your job search is not limited to your local area. If you’re willing to relocate for a job you really want, be sure to mention that in your Cover Letter.

Keep in mind that most job postings will specify if the job can be done remotely (which usually means they accept candidates from anywhere) and whether or not the company will pay for relocation costs. If the company is willing to pay to relocate the right candidate, they’ll probably be expecting applications from outside of their local area. Still, it’s a good idea to mention your current location in your Cover Letter and indicate that you’re willing to move for the job.

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Applying for Jobs Online

Applying for jobs online might be easier and more convenient for job seekers, but you’re also most likely competing with more candidates. As a result, you’ll want to make sure you’re making your Resume and Cover Letter the best it can be for each position you apply to. By being mindful of how you’re tailoring your documents to each job, you can increase your chances of being the successful candidate.

Ready to use these tips to create your Resume?

Posted by Lisa Hoffart

Lisa is an experienced writer interested in technology and law. She's been writing for LawDepot since 2017.