The days of manual job hunt have long gone. In today’s digital times, recruiters post their requirements on job portals or professional networking sites like LinkedIn, and interested candidates need to merely click ‘apply’ with a standard resume and cover letter. But, wait! It is not that simple. 

The perfect job application is critical to creating an impressive ‘first impression’ in the eyes of hiring managers. The majority of recruiters these days use an Applicant Tracking System that requires candidates to fill out an online application. You must complete this online job application meticulously with all correct and relevant details. But, there is a ‘before’ and ‘after’ to this application. 

Let’s take a look at the checklist that you need to tick off when you apply for a job online.

1. Take a Very Good Look At the Job Description

Don’t rush to apply for a job online as soon as you find that your qualification matches the company requirement. Go through the job description (JD) minutely to understand if you are an appropriate candidate, whether your existing skills match the role, and finally if your long-term career goals fit in with the organizational goals. In case a well-etched JD is not available, ask for it. Applying without studying the JD doesn’t make sense either for you or the company.

The next to note when you apply for a job online.

2. Research the Company, Connect With Employees

Find out as much about the company as you can before you apply for a job online. Look up the official website, social media profiles, read reviews, connect with alumni and existing employees. Gather information about the organizational culture, hiring process, and tips, if any, to nail the interview. This research and professional connections will garner valuable insights for you that will help in the job application.

The next to note when you apply for a job online.

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3. Ensure That All Your Responses Are Accurate, To-the-Point, and Complete

In the online job application, make sure that you answer all the questions accurately. The temptation to stretch the truth is often massive, but avoid giving in. Stick to the point, and don’t skip any response. Leaving questions unanswered may be construed as disinterest on your part, which of course, negates your candidature. 

The next to note when you apply for a job online.

4. Justify Your Career Breaks

In case you had taken a break between jobs, make sure you do not leave the gap unexplained. Recruiters, in most cases, do not take kindly to career gaps. So provide adequate grounds to make your gap look productive – the certifications you acquired and skills you picked up during the period look good to justify these professional breaks.

The next to note when you apply for a job online.

5. Customize Your Resume, Trim Out the Skills Irrelevant to the Job

Don’t use a generic resume for all the jobs that you apply for. Edit your resume as per the job requirement. Arrange your skills and highlight experiences according to the keywords in the JD to maximize your chances of being shortlisted for an interview. List accomplishments that had a business impact in your previous roles support these claims with figures. 

The next to note when you apply for a job online.

6. Create a Short and Sweet Cover Letter

Whether the job posting asks for a cover letter or not, do compose a cover letter that personifies ‘You’ the brand. Consider it as the ‘First Impression’ that the hiring manager gets of your candidature. The cover letter shouldn’t be more than three short paragraphs that talk about your skills, accomplishments, and the reasons that make you the best fit for the job.

The next to note when you apply for a job online.

7. Format Your Resume and Cover Letter and Review for Mistakes

The format of your resume and cover letter should be consistent, easy on the eye, and clean with appropriate bullets to highlight key points. The layout should be visually appealing. Remember that a hiring manager usually spends no more than 6 seconds on each resume; ensure that your first presentation is striking.

Do not forget to double-check your resume and cover letter for any spelling and grammatical mistakes. These are considered cardinal sins and gives the impression that you do not pay attention to details. That can be potentially damaging to your candidature.

The next to note when you apply for a job online.

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8. Sanitize Your Social Media Profiles

These days, many employers include a background check of promising candidates through their social media profiles, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. So, maintain clean accounts all across that reinforce the brand ‘You’. Strong opinions, heavy trolling, wild pictures, and videos harm your professional persona and affect future recruitment possibilities.

9. Upskill to Brighten Your Chances

Research and find out relevant skills and certifications that further your existing skillset and enhances your chance of being recruited. With rapid digitization, the way businesses function has undergone a sea change. Upskilling has become a necessity to give a boost to your employability graph.

Join Simplilearn, which offers skills training appropriate to thrive in the digital economy in collaboration with leading academic and corporate partners. You can choose to pursue online training in the rapidly evolving technology areas such as Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Data Science, Digital Marketing, and Project Management to keep you ahead in your game.

Simplilearn’s award-winning short and long-format programs provide equally strong work-ready skills in a hands-on-training format. With over 1500 live classes a month, and real-life projects, you would get the best possible digital learning experience from practicing experts in high-demand skills.

Choose Well and Don’t Lose Hope 

When you are searching for recruitment opportunities desperately, each job posting may seem the best one ever. But stop before you rush into the rigor of online application. Apply to only those that indeed are the best fit for your skills or the ones for which you can upskill in a short time. Applying to every job posting will lead to a dip in quality applications resulting in rejected candidature. So, have patience, pick and choose, and have faith. 

We hope you’ll find these online job application tips helpful and use them to bag your next job opportunity. All the best! 

About the Author


Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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