Tips for applying to jobs online

Applying for jobs online is a much different task than applying for them via paper forms. When you're applying traditionally, you're probably putting your documents in the hands of the person who will be considering them, literally. When you apply online though, you have to compete vehemently for attention – you're application document has to stand out when compared to hundreds of other comparable ones.

Listed below are a few ways you can work to ensure that your application will stand out amongst the digital crowd.

Don't send applications everywhere – read job descriptions thoroughly
When hiring managers are looking through applications submitted online, the first thing they'll be checking is qualifications. So if you apply for all the jobs listed on a given company's website, even though you're only qualified to work a couple of them, you can be sure that your cover letters will never even get opened. If you only apply for the jobs that you're qualified for, though, you give yourself an opportunity to earn an interview for each position you desire.

Verify the legitimacy of the job opening, and never volunteer excess personal information
Most of the jobs listed online are completely legitimate. Yet, as with all other tasks completed on the internet, you have to stay careful. If you notice that an application form is asking you for an excessive amount of personal information, you should probably shelve that application – especially if the information being requested is financial in nature.

Make use of "keywords" whenever possible
Sometimes, when hiring managers are looking through applications submitted online, they'll search through the whole bunch of what they've received for keywords. For example, if they're hiring for accounting jobs or wealth management jobs, they may do keyword searches for specific skills or for degrees – like MBAs – that fit perfectly in those positions. So make sure you list every skill and accomplishment relevant to the job you're applying for – you never know if it's going to be the "keyword" they're looking for.

Keep an eye on your social media accounts
Lastly, know that many hiring managers considering applications that come in online will cross-check those applicants against their social media accounts. So keep the pictures of your binge drinking escapades, your expletive laced rants and anything else that might send up a red flag off your Facebook. Those faux pas' can cost you a job, no matter how professional your application is looking.