applying for a job online

How to apply for a job online: a beginners guide

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How do you apply for a job online? I’m going to start with the basics. But let’s take a step back and introduce you to my brother Rodney.

When I was 12, my oldest brother was 16. He’s was practical. Riding horses, driving tractors, fixing machinery. He loved doing things with his hands, so like my dad, he wanted to do an apprenticeship.

This was 1983, pre-Internet, so every Saturday morning we’d drive 20 minutes into town to buy the newspaper. The employment section would be spread over the dining room table and dad and my brother would circle all the apprenticeship ads and then my brother would write letters of application and send them off by mail. My brother got an apprenticeship with the State Rail Authority as a fitter and turner.

Today, thirty-six years later, applying for a job is totally different. I’m writing this with my brother in mind, as if he’s woken up and has to apply for a job online. Back to basics. If this is way too simplified, flick to these other posts like what not to do when applying for a job and how to write a resume when you have no experience.

What do I need to apply for a job online?

Internet access

One in eight Australians don’t have internet access. If this is you, you’ll need to go to your local library or employment services provider to be able to look for work online.

Email address and phone number

You must have your own email address to apply for jobs online. This is generally the first and only way an employer will get in touch. The good news is places like Gmail, Outlook, Zoho, Mail.com, Yahoo Mail and ProtonMail all offer free email services.

Your email address should be professional. A good standard is yourfirstname.yourlastname@zyx.com (or some variation of this if you have a common name). It doesn’t make a good first impression to be using deadly.raptor00_00@gmail.com. Check your email at least once a day for messages.

Resume

Create a resume on a computer using Microsoft Word or similar word processing software. Save it as .docx or .pdf as this is the format used by most online jobs sites. You will need to upload your resume to an online jobs board.

Remember to put your phone number and email address on your resume, but avoid using your home or postal address.

Where do I go to find a job?

For this article, we’re going to focus on jobactive.gov.au – it’s a website run by the Australian Government that pulls together jobs from all across Australia. It also brings together jobs from places like Adzuna, CareerOne, Jora, SpotJobs and more. SEEK.com.au is the website with the most jobs in Australia.

How do I find a job online?

Step 1. Go to jobactive.gov.au

Step 2. Search for a job. Simply type in the kind of job you’re looking for, select the area you want to work and click the blue Search button. The website will show you a list of jobs available.

search for a job online

Step 3. Refine your search. My search for labourers on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales showed zero results. This means there were no advertised labourer jobs on the website.

I had to use the filters to change my search to another location – or to a different occupation. When I searched for labourer jobs on the Gold Coast, there were 64 jobs available. I can then filter more by things like tenancy – which means part time or full time work.

How do I apply for a job online?

Once you’ve found a job that’s right for you, just click Apply Now or the View more detail/apply link in the job description. You’ll need to upload your resume, and sometimes a cover letter, too. To apply for some jobs, you’ll need to sign in through myGov.

Remember! Always customise your resume using keywords in the job ad. One last thing – don’t provide personal details like your date of birth or bank account details. Generally, only scammers ask for this information.

Now its time to try it yourself. Go to jobactive.gov.au and see what jobs you can find and apply for today.

Images: jobactive.gov.au, istock

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