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Why You Need to Apply Online

By Morgan Miller, AgCareers.com Intern

 

There are many aspects of the job search that continue to change as technology advances and the priorities of companies shift. Many jobs you would have once applied for in-person have likely shifted to online applications. This can be uncomfortable or upsetting if you’ve never filled out an online application; there is less opportunity for personal interaction with employers and that may feel like a disadvantage. It is important, however, to understand why many employers prefer this method so you can put your best foot forward in the application process.

Depending on the position, the number of applications a company will receive can be through the roof. For skill and trade jobs, there always seems to be a high demand for workers, but the continual increase of interest in these jobs means more people may be applying. It is beneficial for employers to only thoroughly review the applications of people who are qualified. Applying online allows employers to use resources like an applicant tracking system to filter through hundreds or thousands of applications in no time at all. According to Lexie Lee, Lead Counselor at Texas Tech University Career Center, employers require online applications to save time and sort out who would be the best fit for their company. This process can be a benefit for you as the applicant as well because if the application review process takes less time, you will be notified sooner of your progress.

Aside from the ease of applicant sorting, there are a few more reasons employers require you to apply online that may be mutually beneficial.

 

  1. Applications that once had to be delivered by hand during business hours can be submitted at any time of the day. This is useful for both busy employers and busy applicants because it allows more people to apply and offers employers the relief that fewer applications will flood in all at one time.
  2. Online applications can be a money saver for both employers and applicants alike.
  3. Employers can sort resumes more efficiently to determine if any of the candidates for one position may also meet the requirements for others within the company. As an applicant, this can improve your chances of gaining employment with no additional work.
  4. An online application may attract a wider range of applicants that may not have been reached otherwise. As a job seeker, online applications will provide you more opportunities to relocate or branch out in your chosen field.
  5. In highly unusual times like the COVID-19 pandemic, online applications allow employers to fill positions and job seekers to find employment when they may need it most.

Now, you may wonder how to make sure your application is one that does not get weeded out before it ever makes it to an actual person; the key is in the keywords. Make sure you look at the company website before applying and use the exact words from the job description on your resume. Treat an online application just like you would treat an in-person one; take it seriously. Tailor your resume and answers to the job you are applying for, fill out every section, and don’t be lazy just because you get to hide behind a computer screen. Your online application should speak to your abilities and strengths when you can’t speak to them in person.

Applying online may not be what you want, but as a job seeker, what the employer wants is most important. Efficiency, profitability, and flexibility are ideal in the hiring process and sometimes, online applications make this easier. No field is exempt from the progression of the application process and the influences of technology. Understanding what employers gain from the online application can help you build yours to stand out despite any reservations you may have.