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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    2,704

    Question online job application?

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    I'm applying for a new job (gulp!) with a large company that uses an online application and submission tool. I'm not that old, but old enough and in my current job long enough that I've never had to use one of these tools. So I have questions...

    1) How does one address and format (hard copy vs. email) a cover letter in this situation? I don't have a hiring manager's name, just a company name and the specific location they're hiring for. It looks like they're expecting a cover letter as part of the "attachments" section.

    2) Am I supposed to attach references and even a transcript at this stage? Seems like jumping the gun to me, but again, I'm new to this type of hiring process.

    Any other bits of advice? If past experience is any indicator, this job will be posted for another day or two, so I need to get cracking! Many thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Denver Metro
    Posts
    834
    Read the job posting carefully! They pull resumes through a computer system and you have to match up a certain amount of words in your resume/cover letter with what they have posted normally.

    This means tailoring your resume to their posting.

    Normally there is a spot for a cover letter- either put into a text field or an upload. No need to add transcripts, just attach/fill out what they ask for(again tailoring to what they have posted in the job description for best chances of your resume getting pulled)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,023
    Quote Originally Posted by ehirsch83 View Post
    Read the job posting carefully! They pull resumes through a computer system and you have to match up a certain amount of words in your resume/cover letter with what they have posted normally.
    Not necessarily. We use an online application system and yet every resume is reviewed by a person. Part of the reason a lot of companies do electronic submittals is not to remove the human touch, but to remove the human error and bias. If every single candidate is received electronically, there will be a trail. People can't 'accidentally' misplace resumes of people they don't like for one reason or another.

    Anyway, you can add a cover letter with additional details that are not in your resume. Just address it to "Recruiter" or "Whom it may concern". A Word or PDF letter format is generally the best and you can usually attach it to your profile/submittal.

    I wouldn't worry about references or a transcript unless you were a recent graduate with no work experience (or unless the posting specifically asks for it).

    It is a good idea to tailor your resume to the job you are applying for but I wouldn't make it too specific because a lot of times, someone may not like you for *that* job but may have other openings that might be a better fit. That would probably depend on how just how large the company of interest is...

    Good luck!
    Last edited by GLC1968; 10-17-2013 at 08:37 AM.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    No doubt some of us have done recruited staff and have had guidance from our HR advisors for our respective companies that we work for. Also some of us have had to apply for jobs over the past few years.

    Reputable employers who understand appropriate hiring practices, don't ask for references in advance, until initial screening/interviews. Educational transcripts from seasoned/experienced applicants tend to requested if you are selected for interviews. Alot of employers just don't want to deal with a glut of additional information from all applicants if they will eliminate some applicants from the interview screening list.

    I have been advised within the past 3 yrs. by employment advisors in Canada who have been hired by the Canadian federal govn't on providing advice to unemployed professionals. It is great (free) advice available in the big Canadian cities.

    I have noticed outside of North America, there are different hiring practices.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    486
    Regarding Professional References:

    I held my last job for a little over 10 years. While I was employed, we were instructed to NEVER provide references for another employee due to legal implications. HR would provide only the dates of employment. I can't remember if they said they would comment if we were eligible for rehire or on salary.

    Any references I had earlier than the last 10 years are not available.

    How do I provide references regarding my work?
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,704
    Quote Originally Posted by kajero View Post
    Regarding Professional References:

    I held my last job for a little over 10 years. While I was employed, we were instructed to NEVER provide references for another employee due to legal implications. HR would provide only the dates of employment. I can't remember if they said they would comment if we were eligible for rehire or on salary.

    Any references I had earlier than the last 10 years are not available.

    How do I provide references regarding my work?
    I'm running into a similar issue. I've lost touch with everyone from my last job and it was so long ago that none of them could really present an accurate picture of me as a professional now. Are there collegues (internal or external) who would offer you a reference?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    My DH is a director in a company that employs a lot of people world wide. They have the same policy on references. However, he does give references for certain people. I think this must be done informally by a lot of people.
    I just had lunch with my supervisor from my internship, as I am going to have to use her as a reference when I start looking for a new job in a month or two. I can't ask my current bosses, as they are being so nice to me, trying to think it will make me stay! They kind of know I am going to be paring down my caseload, so I don't want to cause any more stress.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,704
    Well, application submitted. It's a slightly confusing system, so I hope that I got it right. I was feeling super-nervous beforehand, but now that it's done, I'm excited. This has the potential to be really good for me.

    Thanks for all of your help!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    486
    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    I'm running into a similar issue. I've lost touch with everyone from my last job and it was so long ago that none of them could really present an accurate picture of me as a professional now. Are there collegues (internal or external) who would offer you a reference?
    Unfortunately, no.
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    Well, application submitted. It's a slightly confusing system, so I hope that I got it right. I was feeling super-nervous beforehand, but now that it's done, I'm excited. This has the potential to be really good for me.

    Thanks for all of your help!!

    Good luck!!

    Re: references and former colleagues, you might try looking for people on Linked In. I don't really use that site much, but I'm connected to a bunch of former coworkers there, and it's a fairly easy way to be able to reach people if you want to ask for a reference (or just say hi...).

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