Companies are increasingly relying on Internet applications to find employees. It saves a trip to the post office, but not the hassle of applying per se. In addition, new, very practical questions arise when filling out forms or drafting e-mails.
Large HR departments in particular have applicants fill out forms. Here you can stand out with individual style.
(Photo: Cornelia Menichelli)
Online applications are catching up with written applications: according to a survey, a slight majority of personnel managers now prefer applications via the Internet. The industry association Bitkom surveyed 1,500 managers; 41 percent of the companies relied on applications by e-mail or online form, 40 percent stick to the traditional folder. Application processes, especially at large companies, are now usually digital.
Applicants save postage and materials this way – but not necessarily effort. Because certain basic rules apply to every form of application.
Apply by mail
Online applications are often sent by e-mail. Applicants should first check their email address for suitability. Nicknames or fancy names are rather counterproductive. It is best to use a neutral e-mail address, such as "first name"[email protected]".
The subject line is the most important first impression with the employer and should contain both the keyword "Application as well as the job title and possibly the reference number of the job advertisement. The text of the email should usually only refer to the application and list attachments such as resume and references. It can also be used as a cover letter. At the end is the signature with name, address and phone number.
Companies often submit online applications using standardized forms. The fields to be filled in are the same for everyone. Applicants should therefore give careful thought to the formulations. Once the fields are filled in, the information should be saved or printed: If there is an interview, you can read everything again this way. It is particularly important to check the form for spelling and completeness before sending it. Missing information is often a C.O.-Criterion.
When it comes to attachments, less is more. In an e-mail, the applicant should only attach a cover letter, resume, references and possibly samples of work. If possible, the application photo should be integrated into the resume. In addition, the attachments should be clearly labeled with your own name and together should not exceed three to four megabytes in size. Online forms usually have a maximum file size of about two megabytes. It is important to use common file formats to ensure that the company can open the files. PDFs are best suited.
When applying by email, a less formal tone is now common, according to Bitkom. When applying via online form, however, the style and content should correspond to those of a written application. In the first free text field, a short greeting is recommended and at the end a greeting formula to break the anonymity of the forms.
In order to present themselves more individually, job seekers have the option of creating their own application homepage. The applicant can better emphasize personal strengths there. Applicants can create such a page themselves or commission an online service to do so. However, the homepage cannot replace an accurate and complete application and should only serve as a supplement.