How to apply for jobs online

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Many employers, like McDonald’s, let you look through vacancies and apply online through their website. You can also apply for vacancies on job sites. Use these tips to help you apply for jobs online with confidence.

What 3 things do you need before you apply for a job online?

  • Working internet connection
  • Professional email address (e.g.
  • Up-to-date-CV

See a job you like? Read the job description carefully.

Any job vacancy advertised online will have a job description. It gives you an idea of what kind of work you would be doing, where you’d be working and what the hours and salary would be like. It will also say if there are any qualifications or skills you might need for the job.

Read the job description carefully so you feel like you understand what the job is about and if it’s a good fit for you.

Follow all the instructions

If you’re asked to write a cover letter, write one. If you’re asked to email a specific person, email them with the address given and address them by name in your email. Double-check the instructions to make sure you’ve followed them to the letter.

Make sure your contact details are correct

If there are any typos or if the details are out of date, the employer can’t contact you about your application.

Check your CV details are up to date

You might be asked to upload your CV for a job. Make sure your CV is up to date and has no spelling mistakes in it.

If you’re about to write your first CV, or want to check your CV is as good as you can make it, see our CV writing tips.

If you sign up to a jobs board, you may be asked to fill in your CV details as an online form when you register. If you’ve already made a standard CV, you will find it easier to copy and paste in the details as needed.

What happens if you’re asked to write an online cover letter for a job?

Not every job asks you to write a cover letter. If you are asked to write a cover letter, make sure you do – don’t just email them your CV. Show the employer you can understand and follow instructions to the letter.

A cover letter is your chance to stand out from the crowd. Don’t just copy and paste the same cover letter to all the jobs you apply for. Write a fresh new cover letter for each one, to make sure it really feels like the job you are applying for is one you genuinely care about.

Talk about the skills mentioned in the job description, say that you have these skills and show how you have used them in past work and/or life experience. Use the cover letter as your chance to show the employer you would really like to work for that company and feel you would be a good fit for the job (say why).

TOP TIP: Use the same language you see in the job description. If it talks about ‘good timekeeping’, mention your good timekeeping in your cover letter. If it talks about enthusiam or willingness to learn, talk about your enthusiasm and willingness to learn.

Use a professional greeting

Avoid starting your cover letter with casual greetings like ‘Hi’ or ‘Hey there’. Start off with ‘Dear…’ and add the correct name for the person you have been told to contact. Make sure you get the name right with no spelling mistakes.

If no person is mentioned, you can always write ‘Dear team’. Never put ‘Dear Sir’, because the person reading your online application might not be a man.

When signing off your cover letter, avoid casual sign-offs like ‘Bye’ or ‘Cheers’, and definitely don’t sign off with casual kisses!

Some professional ways to sign off include:

  • Thank you for taking the time to read my application.
  • I hope you’ll consider my application a good fit for the job and looking forward to hearing from you.
  • Best wishes
  • Regards

Check for spelling, content and grammar

Once you click ‘apply’, you can’t go back and make any changes to your job application. Make sure you’re totally happy with it before you send it on its way!

Check for spelling mistakes, the name of the person you address your cover letter to, and check you are not being too casual in the language you use.

When you are applying for jobs online, a little bit of attention to detail goes a long way to impress the recruiter reading your application. They will see the care you have taken to make a good impression.

Get someone else to double-check your job application

Sometimes we can’t spot the most obvious mistakes. Ask someone you know to check over your application before you submit it. They can check for things like spelling and grammar. They can also check the content to make sure you are selling yourself and have mentioned all your strengths and skills that could get you a job interview!

If in doubt, ask someone you know to look over your application before you submit it.

If you can, create an account on the website you are using to apply for a job.

Some job sites will let you register and make an account. It’s worth doing this because it will save you time if you use the website again to apply for other jobs. You will already have your CV and contact details uploaded to the site.

After you have applied for a job online…

Check your email often to see if your employer has replied
Check your spam folder to make sure important emails haven’t got lost there
Return any missed calls on your phone
Wait a few weeks before contacting to ask about the progress of your application and if they have made a decision.

Get more tips on interviews and heading into the world of work

Download A Handy Guide to Interviews