3 Tips for Online Job Applications

The current job market certainly isn’t one to dance and sing about. With the stock market dropping at alarming rates and unemployment maintaining consistently high figures, many recent college graduates are finding themselves wondering if their time at a university will really be “worth it.” Additionally, since most college loans end their grace period six months after a student’s graduation date, the pressure is on students for them to speedily find steady employment immediately upon graduating. Today, however, the job market is extremely different from what it was 15 years ago. More specifically, online job applications have become the norm for most industries. Before you start tossing out your resume online, here three tips on how to best increase your chance of landing a job.

1) Clean up your internet footprint. First and foremost, before you begin any job searching and filling out applications, make sure your “Internet footprint” is as clean and non-threatening as it can possibly be. This means going through all of your old Facebook and MySpace profiles to rid them of any questionable photographs or statements, un-tagging yourself from such photographs posted by your friends (or requesting that they remove them), and possibly turning any middle-school blogging projects of yours onto an entirely “private” setting. Basically, you want to rid your online image of any items that could depict a negative image of yourself. It is common knowledge that companies often do online searches over their potential employees; do yourself a favor and be sure that only positive impressions of yourself can be uncovered online.

2) Create “professional” profiles. Many companies only hire applicants through sites such as Monster, and it can only be to your advantage to create an account on such sites. Other companies and recruiters widely use LinkedIn to find potential employees. Be sure that your profile is entirely professional, including any potential pictures of yourself. Your profile on Monster or LinkedIn is often your only representative of yourself to employers.

3) Have polished resumes, complete with quality references. Resumes should showcase the best of your abilities and previous work experience. Additionally, resumes must be job specific; don’t waste a recruiter’s time by listing all of your previous work as a journalist if you’re applying for a dance teacher’s position. While not every item listed on an application’s resume must be entirely related to a job, each one should serve to showcase some significant area of your talents or experience that could be applied to your job. In other words, if you’re applying to several different types jobs, you will most likely need to create several versions of your resume. Finally, be sure that you have alerted anyone listed as a “reference” on your resume or applications that you have listed them as such. This way they can prepare letters of recommendation or have ready answers to any phone call interview regarding your character from a potential employee.

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