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Job Application Checklist: Top 5 Things to Do Before You Apply

By Jordan Joines


When you are applying for a new job, make sure that you put forth your best effort before you hit that “submit” button. Remember, your job application is one of many and you want it to catch the recruiter’s attention. Here are some helpful tips for how to prepare before you begin your job application process.

  1. Keep a running list of your previous employment sites on hand to reference during an application.
    As you know, most applications require that you enter your previous jobs including the employer’s address and phone number, supervisor name and contact information, as well as your dates of employment with company. By keeping a saved document of this information, it will save you time to plug in the information more quickly rather than having to use Google to fill in this section for each application.
  1. Make sure you have the correct password for the email address you use.
    Double check your access to your email account prior to applying to that new position. Many recruiters and hiring managers connect via email for those first interactions, so you want to make sure that you can get in your email. I would recommend saving the password on your personal computer or storing your login information somewhere secure for you to use if needed.
  1. Do your research on the position you’re applying for.
    Always do your research! Look into the company as well as the position you are applying for. You want to make sure you are focusing your time and efforts on positions you feel are a good fit for you. You can do this by checking out the company website to learn more as well as checking out Indeed, Glassdoor.com and other online sources.
  1. Set aside time to complete each application.
    When you are applying for any position, you don’t want to be rushed. If you see a job that strikes your interest, don’t fill out an application quickly just to get it in. Plan to sit down and complete it when you have time to focus. You can often miss important details and even leave sections incomplete when you rush through. I recommend checking if the application has a closing date and plan around that.
  1. Tweak your resume and triple check before you submit!
    For each new application, you want to tailor your resume to fit the position you’re applying for. This can be making minor adjustments to change the phrasing of bullet points, or it could be a full re-write. You want to make sure that your resume connects with what each new job entails. Once you have made your edits, do a read-through and then do it a few more times! You want your best resume being received when you hit that submit button. Don’t let any typos, mixed fonts, or unfinished bullet points be present.

These are just a few tips to help you on your application journey. Hopefully these job application tips will bring some structure to the sometimes stressful and tedious process of filling out job applications.

Jordan Joines is the employment services manager at Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina’s Workforce Development Center in Iredell County.