You vs. The System- Applying to Jobs Online

online jobsWe’ve all been there—we keep hearing how social media continues to dominate the corporate world and when it comes to job searching, it seems like online postings are one of your only options to get a foot in the door. As you apply on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, or on a company website, it seems that all that time spent on those long and tedious applications was wasted. When it comes to applying online, the right keywords, is what can make all the difference in your application and getting a call back from the recruiter.

It is time to switch gears and put yourself in the mind of a recruiter. If you were searching for potential candidates to fill a key position what keywords would you search for?

  1. Redundancy– In order to catch a recruiter’s eye, try to incorporate your strengths and qualifications catered to the position you are applying for throughout the body of your resume. Preferably, the earlier in your resume the better- so the recruiter will quickly glance and see in your most recent position and that you had “project management skills with multiple clients.”
  2. Avoid vague descriptions– Some of the most common phrase used on a resume are “responsible for,” “team player,” “possesses strong communication and leadership skills,” or a “go-to person.” All of these phrases really do not tell us what you specifically did in your previous roles, how you accomplished your objectives or met specific deadlines, or most importantly why you would be an ideal candidate for the position. Quantify your achievements as much as possible and use specific examples that demonstrated your crucial role at that position. Employers are looking for candidates who can grow so it makes sense to want to look for progression and milestones in your career rather than a laundry list of previous job descriptions.
  3. Relevancy– If you are using the same resume for every job you apply for- it is time to step up your game. If the position you are applying for is a project coordinator, first take a look at the job description to see if you would be a right fit- then do some fine tuning on your resume by using keywords from the job description given that mirror your previous accomplishments.

Think about it this way, if you were screening hundreds of candidates every day to find the best fit for the open position- what would you be looking for? After you complete the application process, try to find the recruiter who posted the job, do your research by looking him/her up on LinkedIn and send a follow up email. Remember, recruiters are extremely busy and anything you can do to remain on top of mind professionally, can help you not only for this open position, but others you may qualify for in the future. Do you have any tips to help “beat the system” and get noticed? We would love to hear your story!

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