One of the most common forms of making money is in the form of traditional employment. Whereby an individual (i.e. an employee) performs a job, such as a set of tasks on a full-time, part-time or contractual basis, on behalf of an entity (i.e. employer) that compensates them for the work completed or for the time spent. Working as an employee can provide a level of security that may surpass other forms of money making, since employees are not usually responsible for keeping the business viable, which usually falls on the company directors and shareholders.
0. Who this guide is for
This guide is intended for individuals who are seeking out their first job or those who have not sought a new job in many years and are looking at ways they can prepare themselves for applying and interviewing for job opportunities.
Before you can begin searching for a new job, you should start by preparing yourself to complete job applications online. This will entail preparing a resume or CV (curriculum vitae) in a digital format, which is most commonly a Word, PDF, or OpenDocument format. Most of the applications you send out will either be completed via a job board or directly through an employer site.
It becomes easier for you to submit applications after you have gathered and understood the requirements that were stated on the job description as well as have prepared your resume or CV. Depending on the type of job or career you seek, there are websites that specialize in particular industries or job roles. While at it, also look into techniques to use when uploading your cover letter and resume, the details that applicants have to provide, and the ways that you can use to streamline your application process.
1. What You Will Need to Apply
For you to search for work online as well as fill an applications via the internet, you will require a valid email address to use when searching for work, access to the internet, an up-to-date resume, an employment history, a cover letter for certain jobs, and your work availability, particularly if looking to work on a part-time basis.
Additionally, you should have employment references in mind. These can be previous colleagues, supervisors and even former customers. You should also prepare yourself for any job-related employment tests that are aimed at determining your capabilities or understanding of the job you are applying for.
2. Prepare Your Resume
You need to update your resume before you can start the search for jobs and complete any job application. Ensure that you update the resume so that it’s ready for uploading. Depending on the job that you are looking for, you could also need to get yourself a good cover letter that will accompany that resume.
Any resume you intend to use during your job search has to include your work history and your current contact details. In addition, ensure that the resume is saved with your name “john_doe.doc,” as opposed to using a generic name such as “resume.” By doing this, you will make it easier on whoever may be downloading your application to have an easier reference of the file name, assuming the resume you submitted is not automatically renamed by the system processing the applications on behalf of the employer.
It’s also important to have access to a basic cover letter that you can easily customize when sending job applications. Job applicants have to include a cover note when sending applications unless the job listing states otherwise.
You may come across some websites that will allow you to upload your current resume from a Word document saved on your computer in a few steps. There are also those that will require you to first convert your resume into a PDF file. In others, you may only need to select and paste the document into the application portal or be asked to submit using a resume builder,which has been included in that particular application system.
3. Using Relevant Employment History
You should always ensure that you have details of your past employment history ready, especially when it comes to experience that is relevant to the job you are seeking. All web-based applications will naturally ask for the same data that is required when making paper job applications. This will include your educational background, your contact information, as well as your employment history, including start and end dates of your employment, job titles, and the salary earned in each position.
In some cases, it may also be crucial for you to include the addresses of each previous employer accompanied by their phone number. A supervisor’s name and contact number may also be needed.
4. Go Through Sample Job Applications
Before you start sending the online job applications, if the job you seek requires a job application form, make sure to first download a copy of the form to review the questions and keep these in mind. This will allow you to get a feel of what you will need to do once you get started on the real thing. These are the details that you will need to provide when you start to send out the online job applications.
The completed sample should serve as your guide for the actual job application. You can also review this particular list of questions that are often asked in job applications to help you fill your application.
5. Create Accounts on Different Job Sites
Some company websites and job boards require job applicants to create user accounts whenever they need to apply for jobs. It’s important to create a user account on different job boards when you start the search for a new job. For those looking for professional jobs, the first place to consider should be LinkedIn.
For one to create a user account, they will need a valid email address. The username for that account can either be a name selected by the user or an email address used during registration. The user will also get a chance to choose their preferred password.
Some websites also make it possible for the applicants to submit job applications using their LinkedIn or Facebook profiles. On such sites, the user can use their Facebook or LinkedIn passwords and username to access available job listings. You can also import your existing employment history from the websites that you have used to connect to the jobs portal.
6. Post Your Candidate Profile or Resume Online
Many job websites provide job applicants with a system where they can post their resumes online. Once the resume is uploaded online, the applicant can use it to easily send out applications online.
Each site will have its requirements, though most allow employers to quickly view the profiles registered on the portal.
7. Make Use of Keywords
Whenever you are looking for jobs online, an efficient way to go about looking for available jobs is to rely on keywords. This is particularly useful when dealing with career industries and fields.
Keywords tend to be more useful and efficient compared to predefined search options provided by the job banks. This is because the keywords can search an entire listing, e.g., contact information, job title, job description, etc.
Thus, you should come up with a list of job search keywords that help to reflect your preferred job interests. The keywords should comprise terms related to your preferred location, industry, and type of position.
8. Search for Jobs Online
Besides making use of job boards that show the jobs that have been posted by employers, you can save a lot of time by using a job search engine. A job search engine makes it easier for you to look for jobs across numerous employer websites and job boards.
For instance, LinkUp, the job search engine only looks for jobs posted on employer websites. This means that all the listings you find using it will pertain to the postings valid at the time. Indeed.com, another job search engine looks for openings on company websites, job boards, associations, and digital newspapers. It also includes all the Fortune 1000 companies.
You should search for jobs on these engines using keywords related to the job that you want. By using it, you will get access to all the openings meeting your job specifications. Every time you click on a given job opening, it will display the instructions that you need to follow when applying. You may also get directed to the company website.
9. Use Company Websites to Apply for Jobs
Company websites are one of the good sources of job openings, more so if you already have an idea of the kind of companies that you would prefer to work for. You can opt to go directly to that website and conduct a search for current openings. In many company websites, you will find that the firms will encourage you to send your application via a portal incorporated in their official website.
This includes hourly, part-time, full-time, and management-level jobs. Whenever possible, try to apply for jobs directly through the company website, even when you have found the listing on another forum. Such applications are sent directly to that company’s applicant tracking system which means that each applicant can easily monitor the progress of their application.
10. Consider When Will You Be Available to Start Working
When looking for part-time employment, chances are that the company may want you to specify the hours and days that you will be available for work. As such, you have to be familiar with your job availability and schedule before you can send any application.
An applicant who is flexible with their work schedule should ensure that this is emphasized in their job application, as well as when they attend the interview. Most employers are appreciative of flexible applicants. These are applicants who have flexible work hours meaning that they can work in all shifts, including during the weekend, evening, and nighttime.
11. Job Application Instructions
You have to ensure that you follow all the instructions when you are applying for any job online. The process may require you to fill out your profile, upload a cover letter accompanied by a resume, and/or sit down for an employment test before applying.
Regardless of the application method used, there’s a need to confirm that you have followed all the application instructions issued by the company. Also, ensure that you have submitted the materials requested. It’s also important to proofread the application to check whether everything is included before clicking on the “Submit” button.
It’s always important to keep a track of all the accounts that you have created on the job websites to easily track the applications that you have sent out. This will also come in handy when sending future applications as well as when updating your resume.
12. Emailing Job Applications
Apart from sending direct online job applications, there are times when you will need to email job applications. Not all employers, especially those running small companies will have systems that can easily handle online job applications, thus email becomes the default method of job submission for many smaller companies. Note that there is a wrong and right way for you to send a cover letter and a resume.
You must create a formal electronic mail account for the job search process early on during the search. Simply put, try to avoid using unprofessional email addresses. For example, best practice is to use an address that only includes your name, and maybe some numbers.
13. Be Ready for Employment Tests
Besides sending the job application via the internet, the employer may also require you to take a test as part of the hiring process. Certain tests, such as the talent assessment is designed to test your professional skills and your personality to determine whether you will be a good addition to the company.
In some cases, you will be informed immediately you have completed the test whether you are allowed to proceed to the next stage or not. Some companies may, however, take a few business days before getting back to you with an answer.
You should understand that there are different types of pre-employment tests such as the EI (emotional intelligence tests) and cognitive tests. Try to research online on how to handle each type of tests and how to prepare for them.
14. Chasing up Contacts to Get an Edge
If you are lucky enough to have contacts at a company where you have submitted an application, you can use them to try to ensure that your application gets noticed by a human resources manager.
Once you have sent your job application, head over to LinkedIn, and check whether you have any contacts at that particular company. If you do have one, be sure to ask for an introduction or a referral, otherwise, sending an unsolicited message may put some hiring managers off from considering your application.
The same case applies when you happen to come across a job posting that has a listed contact person. For postings that don’t come with listed contact persons, it will be important to inquire from your acquaintances whether they know people who may be seated in the hiring committee and whether they can introduce you to them.
For college graduates, they should make sure to check with their career offices to establish whether they can be provided with alumni contacts who could be working at the said company.
15. Don’t Wait for a Response, Keep Hunting
After submitting a job application, the next step is to forget you even submitted the application and continue the job search at other companies. The reason being that a vast majority of employers do not respond to job applicants, and those that do respond do so several months after the job has been filled. Thus, it would be wise to not put much faith or hope into one particular job application. In the meantime, you can learn about other ways of cashing the cow to make more money.
Getting a job seems can be the least interesting way of making money. However, it does have numerous benefits in addition to the regular payments, working a job gives you a structure and a routine. Having this routine will make it easier to set time aside before or after work to plan your next move on how you aim to make money through other ways.