Those Stupid Online Forms

I recently had a casual conversation with a job seeker, someone that could be described as serially unemployed. I was introduced to him in a social setting but was immediately told "he needs help finding a job". I asked him the same question I have asked many job seekers: "Tell me about your job search." Yes, I realize that's not a question, but it always gets a response.

He said it was "terrible" and that he had become quite frustrated after looking for several months and had very few interviews. When I asked about his job search process he said he "just goes on job boards" and applies. He used to apply for jobs he wanted but now, after so many rejections, he just applies for anything.

Not everything. Anything.

He does not apply for jobs that have "those stupid online forms".

What he meant was that some forms are easy to complete and he has no problem filling them out. Others are long, tedious and take too long. After all, who wants to take all the time to complete a form only to be rejected?

It can be disheartening, but with a few simple steps, those long forms will be a snap!

  1. Give yourself the time to apply for a job. Don't rush yourself.
  2. Keep an electronic and unformatted copy of your resume and sample cover letter in a basic text editor. Save the answers to the questions in the same file - you may want to use the same text on another form.
  3. Spell check offline! Even if the form you are completing has the function, do a spell check on the file from the previous step.
  4. Complete every field. Include a cover letter if there is an option to do so.

A strong job search employs many different tactics. In addition to applying for open jobs, you should also be proactively looking for opportunities. I previously wrote about how to do that here - Skate To Where The Puck Is Going..., 9/24/12.

There are jobs out there, and other people will get them. Might as well give yourself a chance.

Remember, no one got a job for which he never applied.