Why do I need to do them?Employers require itWith out it, many will not even consider youThey want to know about youIf you skip parts, or just do the minimum, you will appear lazy, or like you don’t careHelps sell who you are and what you can doWhy not try and show them more about you and why you are the best fit?A fair way to compare applicantsThe person who takes the time to fill in an app error free, neat and complete will be easily noticed, and remembered
The employer uses the application to “screen out” applicants to limit the number of people called in for an interview.The employer uses the application to pass through applicants who best meet the job description and “wish list” of the employerLooking for RED FLAGS
Dress to impress – you never know who you will meet when you walk in. boss, receptionist, but first impressions travel a long way – make it countTake your time – don’t seem rushed. Have enough time to pick up the application and ask some questions if they come to mind. Show them you are serious about the opportunity.Be prepared – some will want you to fill out the application on the spot – be prepared to do so. Bring a cover letter and resume with you – personal data sheet (back of hand out). Personal Data Sheet: preparation for completing a great application begins at home. Take the time to gather and organize all of the information you need (including education, employment history, clear and concise descriptions of previous job duties, a list of significant skills, reference information). Keep this data sheet with you whenever you contact an employer. You never know when you will need it. Ask for 2 – ask for an extra copy. It needs to be error free when you turn it in. Return it quickly – efficiency is desirable. The sooner you return it the few other people who have been reviewed. Deliver in person – if possible, deliver in person. Adds a personal touch and makes it easier to ask more questions
Read and follow instructions - take a few minutes to review the entire application. this is your first test in following instructions – if it says “do not write below” then do not write below! But do read those sections – they may give you insight into the evaluation process. Presentation is crucial - remember how important handwriting was in school – neatness and legibility count – the application is a reflection of you consider typing it avoid abbreviations, use black ink . Use the same pen throughout the application. Never write… see resume. They expect you to complete it from start to finish. Don’t try to cut corners or save time. Give them what they want, because that is exactly what they are looking for. Tailor - tailor your answers to the job you are seeking – just like your resume and cover letter. Do research and look for ways to target your qualifications to the specific requirements of the job. It is also useful to target the work philosophy and culture of the organization. avoid framing your experiences in terms of mere duties and responsibilities -- show why you are more qualified than other applicants -- examples: can type 75 words per minute, familiar with microsoft word, special awards or recognition, good with numbers, pleasant, careful, etc. Don’t leave blanks - Describe your skills as they relate to the job opening. Many employers say this is an under-utilized section and one that can very well lead to an interview! If something doesn’t apply to you respond with “not applicable” or “n/a” No negatives – never offer negative information – your goal with the application is to get an interview. Providing negative information (such as being fired) just give the employer a reason not to interview you. Look for ways to show you are the right person for the job. Thank about what would you look for in an employee. Be honest - the fastest way for an application to hit the trash can is to have a lie on it - if you were fired or downsized, you should try to be as positive as possible and leave longer explanations for the interview - some recommend writing “job ended” as the reason you left your last job. False information can be a basis for dismissal or not being considered. However, do not volunteer more information than the employer is seeking or is necessary to sell your qualifications. Save the $ talk for later – you don’t want to give them too much too soon. Best to say “open” or “negotiable” References – employers want to see that there are people who will provide objective information about you to them. Pick references carefully – make sure you ask before listing them. Consistency is key - make sure all names, dates, titles, etc. on your application coincide with the information on your resume. Proofread – take a break and come back. Have others proofread it.
Bold – usually every application will ask these thingsNot bold – may include these sections Personal info: full legal name (no nicknames), address, phone number, ssn, dl #Position applying for: be sure to write down the correct job title – do research if you have to – don’t put “open” or “any” – they won’t try to figure out what position you want. At minimum put a department you want to work in. Wage/availability – usually put “open” and “immediately” Education: complete accurately – names of schools, city, state, dates of attendance, degrees or certifications you receivedEmployment experience: probably the most important section to an employer – be accurate and take your time – write down the company name, address, phone number, job title, name of supervisor (first name if you can’t remember their full name), describe major job responsibilities and skills and try to tie them to the position for which you are applying – wage received and reason for leaving – keep responses positive Additional Info: use this area!!!References: names, occupation, full address, phone number, time frame that you have known the individual – standard rule is to list 3 or as many as it asks for – look for professional references.Choose with care. Someone who is influential in the community or business may be and effective reference, but shouldn’t be selected for this reason alone. Look for people who honestly know you and will speak objectively. Avoid references where the potential employer may assume a bias in the relationship, such as your spouse. Avoid references that may be controversial or may concern the employer. (clergy, counselors, social workers). You can use different references for different positions. References Tips: Always get permission first, tell them about your job search and the types of job opportunities you’re seeking. Coach them so they will be prepared to present you as an ideal candidate. Find out where they would prefer to be contacted (work, home). Be prepared to provide the reference’s occupation, phone number, length of time you have known them, and the nature of the relationship. Send your references a thank you not when you know they have given you a reference.Types of References : Work, Professional, Academic, PersonalWork: Past employers, coworkers, subordinates, clients, people for whom you have performed volunteer activities, babysitting, lawn mowing, etc. Professional: may include contacts from business and sales, 4-h clubs or professional and community organizationsAcademic: instructors and vocational counselors who can speak about your academic endeavors (most appropriate for current or recent students)Personal: use only if you have no work related, professional or academic ones to offer. Friends and neighbors who know you personally and can describe your self-management skills can be used. Doctors, librarians, bankers, landlords may also be used as references. Training/licenses/certifications: other than listed in education, workshops, special trainings, licenses, certifications, on the job can countVolunteer: use organizations that you belong to that show the employer you have leadership qualities and that you are in good standing with the community Military experience: complete if it applies to you (accurate data such as branch of service, dates) – if not, write NA Illegal Questions: age, sex, disabilities, health, marital status, children, race – up to you how you respond. Generally, if the question does not raise a problem, answer it. If it does, you may want to us N/A or a dash – but beware, you may be screened out by too many non-responses.
See handout page 3 (answering reasons for leaving)Reasons for leaving – other options:Returned to School, Temporary Position, To Seek Better Employment, Seasonal Work, Company Downsized, Moved, Business Closed
Show my example….
Ever been convicted of a felony?Do not put “no” if you have been… but instead of “yes”…Will discuss in interviewComfort the employer – not job relatedOwn it – there was time in my life when I was making some poor choices… Positives – I thought a lot about where my life was going and decided I need to make some changes – what you have accomplished since then (education, treatment, previous employment, skills, etc.)Encourage the employer – I am a good working, I want to work, I just need an opportunity to prove my skills to an employer – I want this job!
ProsA great way to apply for jobsAllows for greater range in job searchEasy to correct/update informationAbility to be more descriptive Can avoid poor handwriting Able to save applications for reapplying sometimes
Legitimate or not? – verify that the company is legitimate before you start – research them and try to phone themKeep your personal info to yourself – no honest employer needs your bank account number, credit card info, mother’s maiden name, etc. Write down username & password – registration is required first. You need to write down your info – if you misplace it you may not be able to retrieve it. Update resume and cover letter – paste or attach. Be sure you are attaching the correct and most updated resume. Once you send it, you can’t get it back. Cover Letter – yes! Keep in mind, they are secretly evaluating your creativity and your writing skills from your cover letter. Make sure that your grammar is in tip top shape. Every word you use from now until you are hired is being evaluated.Electronic copy of resume and cover letter – you need to have an electronic version in order to upload or copy/paste – email, etc.
One hour – to complete it. Give yourself enough time. Some sites will not let you close out and come back later – in that case if you can’t complete it in one sitting it may be lost. Some pages time out… have a hard copy to work from to save time. There may be glitches – things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes sites have trouble or your resume will not open. Have a back up plan. word, and pdf versions of your resume for example. Be careful – don’t put anything on your resume or application that you would not want others to see. Keep it professional, not personal. Follow directions – if the application instructs you to fill out a a field, then make sure you do that. If you can’t follow simple instructions like this, how will you possibly follow them on the job? Or, will you disrespect authority once hired? Salary Information – avoid entering, unless it asks. SSN: if this is a required field, you don’t have a choice but to provide it – if you want to apply. If you are extremely reluctant to provide it you could try 000-00-0000 or 9s and see if the system barks back at you. But, entering an invalid ssn is not exactly following directions. So, I would avoid it. If you decide to enter your ssn, just make sure that the wesite is a) an actual company’s application b) an https site rather than an http and c) a company that you really want to work for enough to give them your ssn. Spell check –many apps have free form fields which allow you to type in a response. not all apps have a spell check feature – not only will spelling errors reflect poorly on you, but a misspelled word means a missed keyword matching opportunity . Best to copy/paste into word and back Keep track – follow up – where have you applied and follow up accordingly. No rule against mailing- do both! You will not be penalized for sending it in using two methods and you may actually gain points for creativity.
See last page of handout (quick technology tips to make life just a little bit easier)
Free – quick to set upMake sure it is appropriateCheck it!Write down the username and password
Flash drivePortable Ability to save multiple formatsPast accomplishments documents, or projectsMore you use it the better you will understand itA tool as only as good as the hand that holds it.Avoid floppy disks and CDs
Example of uploading a resume to mymn works site
Applications and technology
Another Application? Do I really need to fill another one of these out? No!..Just put “See YES!… Fill itresume!!” ALL out. Neat and Complete!
Plan ahead & prepareDon’t let your efforts back fire
• Why do I need to do them? – Employers require it – Helps sell who you are and what you can do
• Screen out• Find applicants who best meet the job description and “wish list”• They want to know about you• A fair way to compare applicants• Looking for red flags
Picking Up & Dropping Off An Application• Dress to impress • Ask for two• Take your time • Return it quickly• Be prepared • Deliver in person
• Read and follow instructions and take your time• Presentation is crucial• Never write…• Tailor• Don’t leave blanks• No negatives• Be honest• Save the $ talk for later• References• Consistency is key• Proofread
Job Listing ApplicationNurse Aid Rehab Work History: CNA: August 2000 – present Minneapolis Nursing/Rehab Center CNA: Jan 1997 – Aug 2000 Little Falls Nursing HomeNurse Aid: requires current MN CNA Education:license Degree/Certificate: CNA license, 2001Duties: assist patients with daily Skills:schedules, document patient care, work Caring, follow directions well, flexible,with LPN or RN, shift schedule willing to work evening and weekend shifts
•Visual appearance of the application•Language usage: grammar & spelling•Nature of work history •Skill levels, length of jobs, number of jobs, gaps•Reasons for leaving past employment •Fired, Quit•Restrictions & Injuries•Ever been convicted of a felony?
To Fax Or Not To Fax• What does fax say? • How does a fax look? – It could say.. – Prints on regular paper – Procrastinator – Only as good as the machine that prints it – Cheap – Unwanted lines, dates – Lazy (if you live in the and info same town)
• Who has filled one out?• How long did it take?• What did you like about it?• What did you not like about it?
Online ApplicationsPros• A great way to apply for jobs• Allows for greater range in job search• Easy to correct/update information• Ability to be more descriptive• Can avoid poor handwriting• Able to save applications for reapplying
Online ApplicationsCons• Takes away some of the personal aspects• Increase in competition• Easy to take for granted or slack on quality• Confirmation or rejection notices delayed or nonexistent• Spelling/punctuation errors are easily missed
What technology is available to help with job searching?• Internet – Job openings/postings – Post resume – Job search assistance – Information on careers and employers – Telephone numbers/addresses – Maps to locate employers – Tutorials – Samples – GOOGLE• Smart Phones – Everything on the internet – Plus apps!• Software – Resumes/cover letters/presentations/portfolios
•Important to have one•Be sure to check it at least once a week•Remember your address and password
Saving Materials• Be sure to use a .doc format and not .docx – File name should include YourNameResumeDatePosition.doc• Save documents in several different ways – File types (.doc or .pdf) – Multiple places• Saving allows for changes• Don’t misplace• Just say no to floppy disks and CDs
• Some applications will let you upload documents – www.minnesotaworks.net• Be careful not to send the wrong one!