Read on to find out how to give yourself an unfair advantage in applying on job search websites.
You need to approach a job search website not from point of view of someone who wants a job, but from point of view of person who has to handle hundreds of applications.
Ultimately, it's that person's hopes and dreams for getting through mass of applications that matters, not your hopes and dreams vis-a-vis your career.
Here's how you can make that person's dreams come true:
• KISS--keep it simple and short.
• Provide everything asked for in application. Someone who has to sort through a hundred applications a day doesn't necessarily have time to visit your website, or ask you again for required writing sample, or even clarify any part of job advertisement.
• Make sure very first sentence of your cover letter specifically references job in question in a way that makes it clear this is not a form letter (even if it is a form cover letter after first line). Even something fawningly polite--no, especially something fawningly polite--such as "Thank you for allowing me opportunity to apply for your..." will greatly increase your chances of ending up in recycling bin.
Job Search Websites: Advanced Users' Cheat Sheet
1. After applying online, work your network to try to make a human connection at company. The person who posted job has probably already turned phone off for fear of going deaf from job applicants' calls. But if you can somehow get within a few degrees of separation of that person's assistant, or even a co-worker, you may be able to get face time you need to jump out of resume slush pile.
2. Try snail-mailing and/or faxing an additional copy of your materials, with a note that you just wanted to make sure person got your application. The note should also have a relevant P.S., such as, "congratulations on winning second-place at Widgets Convention new product awards." Does this method have potential to annoy? Yes. Does it give you an effective edge? Usually not--just often enough to make it worthwhile. Ultimately, if you’re serious about getting a job, you need to make sure your application actually makes it front of a pair of human eyes.