These days you’ll do most of your job search online – not many people apply for work through newspaper ads any more. That means that when you set out on a job hunt, you’ll probably spend a lot of your time sitting in front of a computer firing off job ads that way.

Online recruitment is easier, quicker and broader than most other forms of recruitment, but despite that you’ll sometimes find yourself slowed down. Some employers and recruiters may take a variety of approaches to their online recruitment process that make the applications difficult or time-consuming to complete.

For those new to online recruitment who want to know what to expect, here we’ll take a look at some of the ways you might be asked to submit your application.

Online form

It’s very common to be asked to fill out a form on a webpage in order to apply for a vacancy. Of all the approaches that could be taken, it’s not the most convenient for applicants, but it is useful for employers as it allows them to compare the answers given by candidates more easily than a collection of CVs.

However in some cases these forms can literally take hours to fill out as information needs to be typed out line by line. At their best however these forms provide an easy and streamlined way for both candidates and recruiters to complete their parts of the hiring process. To speed things up you can keep a copy of your CV open so you can copy and paste information across where necessary.

Paper form

Paper forms that you download and print yourself are used by employers that want to attract jobseekers from online sources but can’t or won’t actually process them digitally. Unfortunately these kinds of submission can be quite time consuming both to fill out and to check later. The reason they’re used is to avoid the need to build an interactive job portal.

While paper forms can sometimes be frustrating to fill out, you can be fairly sure that yours will be read by a real human being as opposed to being automatically screened out. It’s also quite easy to add extra documents, like photocopies of qualifications, if you want to do so. If your handwriting isn’t very neat, remember that you can usually fill in the form on the computer using a word processor or PDF editor before printing.

Email attachment

Most of us would agree that as a jobseeker, the very simplest way to submit your CV for consideration for a role is simply to email it to a recruiter. With no forms and no fuss, you could send your CV to literally hundreds of people every day.

Having said that, it’s more effort on the recruiter’s end to access the documents and compare them to find the best candidate. Additionally, because it’s so quick and easy to apply, the quality of the applications and of the jobseekers sending them tends to be lower than with forms that are more difficult to access. After all, if people are submitting dozens of applications a day by email, chances are they won’t be well tailored to the individual roles.

Make it clear you’re not another timewaster by composing a professional cover letter and attaching your CV in a .doc or .docx format. Address the recruiter by name to show you’re not sending a mass email. Lastly, try to use a relevant subject line –“Application for Administrative Assistant – John Smith” is a good format.

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