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Job Search Website Application Cheat Sheet

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By Author: Joel Walsh
Total Articles: 30
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Read on to find out how to give yourself an unfair advantage in applying on job search websites.

You need to approach a job search website not from the point of view of someone who wants a job, but from the point of view of the person who has to handle hundreds of applications.

Ultimately, it's that person's hopes and dreams for getting through the mass of applications that matters, not your hopes and dreams vis-a-vis your career.

Here's how you can make that person's dreams come true:

KISS--keep it simple and short.

Provide everything asked for in the application. Someone who has to sort through a hundred applications a day doesn't necessarily have time to visit your website, or ask you again for the required writing sample, or even clarify any part of the job advertisement.

Make sure the very first sentence of your cover letter specifically references the job in question in a way that makes it clear this is not a form letter (even if it is a form cover letter after the first line). Even something fawningly polite--no, especially something fawningly polite--such ...
... as "Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to apply for your..." will greatly increase your chances of ending up in the recycling bin.

Job Search Websites: Advanced Users' Cheat Sheet

1. After applying online, work your network to try to make a human connection at the company. The person who posted the job has probably already turned the phone off for fear of going deaf from job applicants' calls. But if you can somehow get within a few degrees of separation of that person's assistant, or even a co-worker, you may be able to get the face time you need to jump out of the resume slush pile.

2. Try snail-mailing and/or faxing an additional copy of your materials, with a note that you just wanted to make sure the person got your application. The note should also have a relevant P.S., such as, "congratulations on winning second-place at the Widgets Convention new product awards." Does this method have the potential to annoy? Yes. Does it give you an effective edge? Usually not--just often enough to make it worthwhile. Ultimately, if you're serious about getting a job, you need to make sure your application actually makes it front of a pair of human eyes.

3. In your cover letter use a little humor--mind you, just a little, and keep it tame. Don't sound like a comedian, but don't sound exactly like everyone else, either. You have to stop your reader's eyes from glazing over somehow.

4. Most important of all: submit your application to a recruiter in addition to employers. It's a recruiter's job to sift through applications. They're much more likely to take an interest in you than some human resources officer. Several websites make it easy to submit your applications to numerous recruiters with one push of a button.

5. Most valuable time-saver: Submit your application to a "meta-search" jobs search website, one that will let you apply to listings on numerous other jobs websites at the same time. There are well over a hundred individual jobs websites online, not to mention classifieds. You'll never get to them all on your own otherwise.

In conclusion, the bad news is that you have even more competition than you thought when applying on a job search website. The good news is, it's a lot easier than you thought to make yourself stand out from the competition. Just show the prospective employer with as much respect as you want them to show you.
About the Author Joel Walsh is a regular contributor to job-search-adviser.net. Read his other articles, with even more secrets to beat the job search websites: http://job-search-adviser.net [HTML linking instructions: use "job search websites" as anchor text/visible link text.]

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