One of the career services offered by Find My Profession is having job search managers fill out online job applications on behalf of our clients.

Well-known LinkedIn influencers often express, “Online job applications are a waste of time!”

Others say it is, “Just like sending your resume into a black hole!”

We know the process can lead to a job interview. We know this due to the client success we had after launching Find My Profession’s Reverse Recruiting service in 2015.

In this post, read how Find My Profession fills out job applications for clients now. Our Reverse Recruiting Service has changed a bit, but what we learned has stayed the same.

1. Stop Thinking That It Is a Game of “Speed”

You are mistaken if you think being fast and first is the best thing for online job applications.

Applying too fast without thoroughly considering the job description often leads to mistakes. Being the fastest application to the reject bin is counter-productive.

Yes, there may be a large number of job applicants, but the number of quality submissions is much lower.

2. Stop Treating It Like a Game of “Numbers”

Find My Profession clients who were hired within six months all had one thing in common:

A low number of online applications were filled out.

Thinking a large number of job applications somehow improves your chances of getting an interview is merely “spraying and praying” your resume across job boards.

You may not think it’s a big deal, but people working in the hiring process notice. Perhaps, this is the reason only 2% of online job applications result in a job interview.

3. Go for Quality

The majority of Find My Profession clients hired since September 2017 had this other thing in common:

They had multiple job interviews, phone screenings, and offers.

Some received offers they chose to reject. The job was either a perfect, quality fit or it was not.

Good things happen when no one is wasting anyone’s time on jobs that do not fit. Time is better spent looking for that next dream job.

A Find My Profession client was hired after only two job applications online! This is highly rare, and it should be noted her resume was edited ten times before applying.

If you are not a fit, do not submit. Be honest with yourself during a job search. It saves time.

4. Make Sure Your Resume Is Easy to Read

We have seen highly intelligent people put so much info on their resume that it loses impact and appears disorganized.

If you are a genius, dumb down your resume for the non-genius hiring people organizing the process. We all want to help you.

You have to explain what you do in a style that makes sense to everyone from the recruiter to the CEO.

And please, do not go crazy with keywords trying to trick an applicant tracking system (ATS).

5. Forget Job Boards and Go to the Source

We highly recommend going straight to the company website to fill out an online job application. You can often use LinkedIn to find the job and company website.

It is their database. You went to the company’s website. It is their career section.

Job boards are seen by millions. Company career sections are seen by the people interested in working for the company.

6. Add Cover Letters as Part of the Resume File or Application

Think of the user on the other side of the screen opening up two files for every 50 job applicants.

Every file opened requires organizing where it goes and clicking buttons. It starts to feel like a chore to read two files.

Instead, write a cover letter and paste it into the application form.

If the application does not allow this, then make it a cover sheet for your resume. Admittedly, we rarely had to do this. When we did, we had success at getting a client an interview.

Most of the time, application forms allow for attaching a cover letter.

7. Make Broken Online Application Forms Work for You

You see a dream job and want to apply. When you go to the online application, fill it out, and it does not work.

That is such a shame, and there is only one thing you can do. Contact someone on LinkedIn involved in the hiring process.

Explain what happened and see if you can pass your resume along.

Note: Be honest. Only do this if the online application is truly broken. Lying to get job interviews never works.

8. Fill out All the Sections of the Online Application

Add all of your references, skills, and certifications, even when it is tedious. See if you can add a referral to the application.

Attach files that offer evidence you should be hired.

You are making the case for hiring you. Show proof in an organized fashion.

9. Watch Your Grammar and Typos and other applications will not catch when you enter the wrong number or email. The recruiter or hiring manager will notice when they try to contact you, and you never reply.

Recruiters will not track you down either because there are plenty of other candidates.

10. Be as Meticulous as Possible About Everything in the Online Application

If you rush your online job application, leave sections out, ignore certain sections you do not understand, or fear it is a waste of time, you will get what you fear most: Nothing.

Before working at Find My Profession, I filled out more than 1000 job applications and made 1000 mistakes in the process.

After working here and seeing what is required to do it right, I have filled out less than 1000 applications for many clients.

Many got interviews and were hired.

Filling out online applications is tiring. But if done the right way, it works.