How to Get Through the Online Application

Today it is likely that one of your dream university jobs will be posted on the web, and you will have to complete an online application in order to apply. Below are some tips that will increase your chances of launching your academic careers:

  • Do check your spelling and punctuation. Avoid “text” speak or all lower case letters.
  • Do complete each section, including the Previous Employment History section. Copy and paste text from your resume into the “Job Duties” section, but don’t leave it blank or type “see resume.” The employer does not want to have to go to another document to get essential information about you.
  • Do explain gaps in employment in the Previous Employment History section. In place of Job Title, say, “Unemployed Due to Layoff” or “Family Illness” or “Relocation” or whatever innocuous reason you can give. In the Job Duties section, list any professional activities from that time period: “Kept skills fresh by doing research on the spread of mold. Published results in blog, attracting more than 6000 followers.”
  • Do not blow off the screening questions. As a hiring manager I can tell you that they are the first things I look at because I can instantly if the candidate has what I need. If you don’t have the specific experience asked for, describe any related experience. For instance, in response to “Do you have any payroll experience?” you could respond with, “I have five years of experience in reviewing and approving time sheets and am familiar with laws regarding hourly wages.”

If you complete your online application with as much attention to detail that you devote to your resume, you greatly improve your odds of making it to the next stage of the hiring process.

Dindy Robinson is Director of Compensation at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas.

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