Making Applications Online
Introduction • If the recruitment site includes a have thought about the skills you
self-assessment test it allows you have developed and the ways in
Recent years have seen the growth of some input into the process which you have developed them.
the internet as a means of - am I suited to the work? Is this
recruitment. Many companies are organisation right for me? It’s no different when applying online.
now offering the option of applying You will still need to provide evidence;
to vacancies advertised via the web as • Good sites will give you instant the only difference is that you are
a means of not only speeding the feedback - strengths and entering the information onto a
application process up but also to weaknesses, chances of getting a screen rather than on paper.
save money. job
Do your research - use the company
• Gives you another measure of the website and any other information
The benefits for companies organisation - is the process you can find to establish just what it is
and organisations using a efficient? Can you track your they are looking for.
web-based application application?
process In addition, to help you in the process
of tracking down evidence to show
• The whole recruitment process is On the whole, there are probably the development of your skills, you
faster more benefits to making applications might also find our ‘Transferable
online than drawbacks. Skills’ handout useful.
• The process is simpler - less paper
You may have some concerns,
• It gives the organisation instant particularly with regard to security, the
information, e.g. how many automation of the recruitment
applicants, where they are from, process or access to the technology
what universities they attend etc. (whether this is physical access to the
computers or whether special needs
• Promotes the view that an prevent you from applying online). If
organisation is up-to-speed with this is the case and you have concerns
technology that fall into the above categories,
contact the organisation and see how
• Enables recruiters to build in tests they respond; it can be another useful
at the start of the recruitment judge of how responsive the
process organisation really is.
What are the benefits for you Starting your application
as a student?
The preparation that you make for
• The whole process is faster - applying online is really no different
usually, you can expect a rapid from what you would make normally.
response to your application Essentially all recruiters will be
selecting against criteria, i.e. the skills,
• Online forms can be quicker to knowledge and experiences they
complete believe are critical in a particular job.
They will usually have questions on
• The system is more objective the application form that will target
- rejection on the grounds of bad these competencies and ask you to
handwriting won’t happen provide evidence of how you have
developed them. This requires you to
How does it all work? • Take care not to approach the form The response could be a ‘maybe’,
as you would e-mail, which can be in which case you may be asked
a very casual form of to submit more information.
Step 1 - Preparation communication, remember it’s still
an application form!
Go through the process outlined Your CV online
• As a final precaution and to ensure
previously to identify the evidence
that you are making the most
you need to present to the recruiter. When applying for a job you may also
effective application possible, it is
be asked to send your CV via email.
useful to get the content of your
Here are some guidelines to follow if
form checked by a Careers Adviser.
Step 2 - Enter the this is the case:
The Careers Adviser can also be
useful in spotting any grammatical,
• Check with the employer what
spelling and/or keyboarding errors
• You will usually need to register format they would like your CV -
that you may have missed.
your details and be asked to they may not accept attachments
provide a password
• Approach the email message as
• As all communication will be via you would a formal written
Step 3 - Submit your form
email it is important that you check covering letter
your email regularly (you might
With online forms you can usually • Keep it short and focus on the
also want to think about creating a
save what you have written but it is requirements of the post applied
separate email address for all your
important to check this. Once you are for - once again, think about the
job application related
happy with the finished product evidence you can present to the
correspondence – think about the
submit your form and wait for the recruiter
image you want to convey to the
offers of interviews to come rolling in!
It will help to print off the finished Another development, that some
• Download the form and think form for future reference. employers have adopted, is the
about how you are going to scannable CV - a CV written in a
approach your answers to the format which can be read by OCR
questions posed - create draft Step 4 - Your form is received (Optical Character Recognition)
responses software. Essentially this is software
Some forms will be automatically which turns printed text into an
• Put the information on the
scanned using software, which is electronic format and is then read by
screen bearing in mind that less
programmed to pick up keywords in artificial intelligence to select
is generally more and resist the
your application, or it may be printed candidates through recognition of
temptation to ramble on. Some
out and read by a human being (most keywords and/or acronyms relevant to
forms will not put a limit on the
recruiters are keen to stress that the industry. Over the page are some
number of words you can use in
applications are seen by people and guidelines to follow:
responding to the questions and it
not just assessed electronically)
is important to provide concise and
coherent answers to the questions
Either way, you should get a response
back from the organisation pretty
• Check your spelling and grammar – quickly.
recruiters can be very particular
Step 5 - Response
• Most online forms do not include a
spell-check function. Check this
Nothing new here; congratulations,
manually yourself or get someone
they would like to interview you or no
else to help, don’t rely on a
thanks and good luck for the future.
Do Don’t Further Help
• Use a serif font e.g. Arial or • Use italics, shadows, reverses, Application Forms - Handout available
Courier. Font size should be shadings or anything else which from the Careers Service
between 10 and 14 points may prevent your CV from being or online at:
• Leave white space at the top and
between sections • Use boxes, graphics, vertical and
• Be specific in defining your Transferable Skills - Handout available
experience from the Careers Service
or online at:
• Use only bold and/or capital letters
for section headings
• Place your name at the top of the
page and use a standard address Ask to look at the DVD:
Your Job’s Online.
Available to view in the Careers
• Use solid bullet points.
Service and also available to view on
any campus computer.
Check the website for full details:
Access to an online application form
practice tool - you do need to register
with the site to use this.
This handout is available in other
formats on request.
The University of Salford
Humphrey Booth House
Salford, Greater Manchester
M5 4WT. United Kingdom
T +44 (0)161 295 5668/5088
F +44 (0)161 295 5922
www.careers.salford.ac.uk Updated July 2007