The Best Ways to Apply for Jobs

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Take advantage of employment-related resources when applying for jobs.
Take advantage of employment-related resources when applying for jobs. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

If you're a young adult just starting out in working world, or an older person who recently left a long-time position, you may wonder what are the best ways to apply for jobs. Though the traditional methods of applications and face-to-face interviews are still practiced constructively, modern technology has brought forth a few more effective methods of landing that coveted position. Career advice and employment publications like Money-zine, Hound and JobDig recommend many techniques that can help you get a foot in the door when applying for your dream job.

Prepare a Resume

A resume is a neatly composed, printed account of your personal, educational and professional history. It's important to have a resume when applying for jobs because it is one of the first things that a potential employer will look at -- your first impression. Put together a brief, chronologically accurate summary of your educational background, achievements and employment history in a well-written format. Include specific dates, duties and responsibilities, contact information of former employers, salary information and all other relevant subject matter including your personal contact information. You should also compose a friendly cover letter that introduces yourself and states the nature of your query. The best practice is to keep your resume on a computer or external memory device for uploading to job boards and emailing to prospective employers, and also a printable version to mail or deliver personally.

Online Career Websites

Applying online through career websites is one of the best ways to promote yourself and your talents while you search for jobs at the same time. Websites like CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed and Simply Hired host thousands of job listings, with employers posting new openings daily. On many of these sites you can also create a public profile to network with other like-minded professionals, upload your resume for prospective employers to browse and apply for positions directly through the site. Some sites offer career tools resources such as resume building software, job search assistance, resume review services and informative career articles and salary statistics.

Apply Online Directly

You may have a bit of competition applying on employment networking websites. The best way to narrow your odds is to apply for the jobs you find online directly through company websites. Employers who post job openings on career websites get swarmed with applicants applying through the site. By applying through the website of the actual company, too -- or emailing your resume -- you'll separate yourself from the masses. Some companies bypass employment sites altogether -- to save the advertising expenses -- and post ads on their own websites instead. Search the sites of companies related to your field of work to find "hidden" opportunities.

Follow Up

Whether you've only filled out an application or have met with your potential new employer for an interview, it's best to follow up on your inquiry. Following up can serve a number of purposes that benefit you as a prospective employee. After submitting an application, if you haven't heard back for a week or so, calling or emailing to check the status of your application is a good way to show serious interest in the position and encourage the decision makers to look at your application before the pile of others. Following up after an interview with a thank you note or email is a good way to display courtesy and professionalism to your prospective new employer as well.

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