Superheroes Online Job Application

You know your job application strategy and you have found the jobs you like? Or are you still refining the search terms on your online job application? Well, I can promise, you will not finish this refining process for quite some time.

For the moment, let’s continue your superheroes' journey. For most applications, you will need a CV, cover letter (or a video) and reference letter/diplomas. These should be adjusted to the company and position you are applying for. As every application is unique, you will have to find a way to easily and time-efficient adjust your application documents. So far no big news. 🤷‍♀️ How do you do this?

I start by clicking through the process and finding out what is needed. Nothing is more annoying than putting together your CV and cover letter, just to find out, that you have to fill it out manually and no cover letter is required. One of my early time-consuming mistakes…

I also realised that some online processes are more of an IT test. In one application, there were even personality tests involved. Or let’s say how to create a user account on a 3rd party free test platform, find the right tests yourself (because the link was wrong), make the test (even though you have done it just recently), download the results in a PDF (the download button didn’t work) and upload it to their application platform (which had a size limitation). All that of course in 40 minutes for a job, which had nothing to do with IT. But my superpowers prevailed! 🦸🏻‍♀️

I then check if the job offer mentions a contact name. That already gives you an indication of the company culture and the chance to place questions about the offer. It also lets you stand out from the other Superheroes! Plus, it saves you and the company a lot of time, if the job is no fit. Which companies do you think did have in my experience an empathic human application process? The ones with or without contact details?

Almost all companies use an online application process, be that over email or an application platform. But not all companies use parsing. Parsing is an artificial intelligence machine search algorithm looking for the exact match to the position. You usually don’t know, if machines have taken over the selection process for human job applicants. If there are contact details, you could ask.

Here’s one way to find out. There are approximately 300 applications for 1 position. How many applications can one HR person look at thoroughly in one day? Given, that they have other job responsibilities too… So what does it say to you, if you get a standard rejection email after one day or even the same day? And do you agree with the values the company is showing towards you? In my experience, this is not a corporate or not corporate phenomenon. That happens throughout all sizes and industries. Unfortunately, at this point, you have already submitted the application. But hey you know it for the next job opening at that company!

One thing upfront; there is no wrong or right! I had a short CV version first and got feedback, that they did not see additional qualifications (which weren’t in the job description). Then I added more and got the feedback, that it is too much. 🙈 To overtake that first AI hurdle, I now always go for the long online CV and one-page cover letter in any case.

There are already enough guides and opinions out there, what the perfect CV and cover letter should look like including templates. For parsing, AI computers can only read certain formats and fonts. So when setting up your documents, think like a computer. 🤖 Here are the specialties for online applications:

  • AI algorithms can not read JPGs or other picture formats, a rejection email is for sure —> best use MS Word format, if not possible use PDF

  • tables, diagrams, graphs and special characters can not be read by AI algorithms and a rejection email is for sure —> avoid them

  • use “web secure” fonts; Arial, Georgia, Courier New, Impact, Lucida Sans, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, Verdana, at least size 10, max. 2 fonts, title highlighted in bold / larger

  • many online tools take the information from the uploaded CV. To save time, use standard titles, e.g. education, work experience, etc.

  • mention keywords exactly according to the job advertisement, profession, industry in titles and texts (online search algorithms), use them several times

  • AI algorithms can not differentiate between colored and white text. Copy the job description or just the relevant keywords into the CV. Format it size 5 and in white. Invisible to the human eye, but the computer will read it.

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