Applying online? A word to the wise . . . .
Frustrating, but mandatory. Few candidates today can escape the process, even at the highest levels. So, prepare to be challenged and frustrated. The first online application you complete will likely be the hardest, so get comfortable, allot sufficient time to do the job right and make sure you have everything you need.
What does that include? Depending on the type of application you’re making, you may need some or all of the following:
1) Electronic version of your resume and cover letter, preferably in the .doc file version
2) College transcript(s)
3) Teaching certificate
4) Professional license(s)
If you are completing the federal job application process, you may also need forms to verify:
1) Military service (S-50)
2) Application for compensable disability (SF-15)
3) Discharge from active duty (DD-214)
4) Most recent performance evaluation
A good way to avoid someone’s stealing your identity is to refrain from including professional license numbers and/or your street address on resumes that you post anywhere online. If you’re completing an online application, however, that wisdom doesn’t apply.
Print a copy of all the forms you complete online so that you remember your responses if/when you’re called for an interview and when you’re completing the next online application. Never apply for a job from a computer provided by your current employer. Company email is owned by your employer, is routinely backed up and web surfing can be tracked, making your termination easily justifiable.
When you upload a resume to a hiring site, you want to use a file format that is compatible with most of the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) in use by employers today. Avoid using graphics, charts and fancy typestyles on your resume. Graphics and charts cannot be read by ATS and fancy typestyles may not be compatible with software in use by your target employer. Note that PDF files should not be uploaded to hiring sites because they cannot be searched for the keyword qualifications that recruiters are looking for.
Always follow instructions to the letter and apply early.
Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC