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Online Job Applications

Many employers expect job seekers to apply for jobs online.

You may need to apply for a job on the employer's website or on an online job board, like Monster.com or CareerBuilder. Do not e-mail your resume to an employer unless the job ad asks for this. To apply online, you will need access to the Internet and an e-mail account.

If You Don't Have a Computer

Free Internet access is available at public libraries and Minnesota WorkForce Centers. Make sure you have a USB drive (sometimes called a flash drive or thumbnail drive). This will allow you to bring or save your resume information. These drives are small and inexpensive. You can purchase them at many retail stores.

If you also need an e-mail address, many sites offer free e-mail. Visit EmailAddresses.com for a list of free web-based e-mail. Popular free services include Gmail from Google and YahooMail. Use a simple e-mail address with your name or initials. Do not use e-mails like SuperHotGuy@hottie.com. This type of e-mail address is not considered professional.

If you need to create a resume, a free option is Google Docs. It has an online word processor. You can save your files online and export them as PDF files.

How to Complete an Online Application

Before you can apply online, you first need to register with the job website. This simply means that you need to create an account. To do this, you will need to choose a username and a password. Many websites will use your e-mail address as your login. You will have to register separately for each job website.

Once you have account, you can add the information from your resume. Below are the three most common ways to do this:

  • Attach a file of your resume. Many applications allow you to browse for a file on your computer or USB drive. They often ask for a PDF, text, or Microsoft Word file. Select your file, and click "OK" or "Insert." It's just like attaching a file to an e-mail message. The online application often indicates if the file has been successfully uploaded.

  • Copy and paste your entire resume into the online application. Open your resume file. Highlight all of the text using the mouse. Select "Copy" from the menu or by right clicking. Go to the online application to insert your resume. Select "Paste" from the menu or by right clicking. Make sure you check the formatting of your resume. You can add your resume to an e-mail message using the same method.

  • Enter your work history manually one field at a time. Some online applications have different fields for different information. For example, you enter a past employer's name in one field, your dates of employment in another, and your duties in yet another. This type of application can be very time-consuming to complete. To save time and reduce errors, cut and paste text from your resume using the method above.

If you're having trouble completing the application, look for a "Help" button or link.