I'm sure you would have already come across them by now and you will be familiar with the online application process used by the vast amount of organisations. Today, I'd like to share with you some strategies that will provide you with every chance of getting through the screening process and being put on the short list for a potential interview.
- The average recruiter will deal with around 4000 plus applications in a year, so please be mindful that they will only screen candidates that follow instructions. So if you are asked to apply online then do just that and don't try to short cut the process by emailing directly (unless you have spoken to the recruiter and gained permission of course!).
- You spend hours refining your resume and application documents to ensure everything is right regarding spelling and grammar, the same attention needs to be made to your online application as it is a reflection of how you present yourself as a professional. The recruiter will first read your online application before anything else, poor spelling indicates your lack of interest in the process and poor attention to detail. Regardless of how great your attached resume is, it is guaranteed not to be opened if you have failed to impress at this first hurdle.
- As you complete the online form - please take time to read the instructions, rather than assuming you know what the recruiter wants. In doing so it is likely you will find out more about the process, such as if any numeracy tests are required to be completed. If this is the case you can better equip yourself by preparing in advance and a great sight to check out and practice on is http://www.shldirect.com/practice_tests.html.
- It's common for online tests to request evidence of competencies required for the role. These will normally start with something similiar to 'describe a time'. The original job ad is a good source of information in regard to the competencies they are looking for, even better if you can get a job specification before applying you will have even more information of what is required. Ensure you complete these with real examples and outline them in the STAR process i.e. 'Situation, Task , Action, Result'. I recommend you type these out on a separate word document and then copy and paste them into the box prior to your final submission, this way you can ensure ZERO errors.
- Yes, it's true - majority of online forms have a filter system which will remove you from the process if you leave any areas incomplete or if your qualifications are not a match for the minimum requirement.
- Take time to complete as much of the answer as possible - it shows your enthusiasum for the job. Just writing a couple of lines to 'make do', is not good enough.
- Particularly with Federal Gov roles, if there is a word count (which quite often there is), make sure you do not exceed it. The system will filter this and again it will be a knock out for sure.
- Don't forget to print a copy of the form or atleast save a copy of your answers somewhere. You could be asked a question in reference to your application in interview so you need to know what you're talking about when going through your preparation.