What to do after Applying for a Job Online

After you press Submit on Ladders site, your resume is on its way, but you’re not done yet. There are steps you must take to improve the odds your application will result in a job.

The job posting read like a perfect match for your skills. You fixed the summary on your resume to make it an even better fit. And you pressed Submit. Now the application is out sight, and the process is mostly out of your hands. Or is it?

Even after you’ve submitted your application, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of landing an interview.

1. Check the original job posting and your resume.

Once submitted, your resume will be scanned and stored by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), a software program that will categorize and store your resume for retrieval by a recruiter. The ATS will decide whether or not the recruiter sees your resume based on how close a match it is to the original job posting. Make sure your resume is a match. If not, you can fix the resume and resubmit, but keep in mind the ATS will alert the recruiter to multiple copies; don’t change too much, and never lie.

What to look for:

  • Make sure your resume mentions every qualification as listed in the job posting and use the same language as the post itself. For example, if it says “B.A.,” don’t say “Degree in Economics.”
  • Make sure your resume uses the keywords associated with your industry and position.
  • Don’t submit files, images and graphics that could confuse the ATS software.

Read more about how to optimize your resume for ATS software.

2. Have your phone on and ready to answer or leave a clear voicemail message.

Recruiters advise job seekers that answering the phone is the best option, and you should make every effort to do so.

3. Have a copy of the resume and cover letter you submitted.

If you changed information based on which positions you applied to, be prepared to reference the same resume version that the recruiter received.

4. Remember the companies to which you applied.

Don’t be caught off guard when a recruiter or hiring manager calls, and be prepared to talk about the company, the industry and the position.

5. Follow up with the recruiter.

Your cover letter should let the recruiter know that you will be calling within a week to follow up on the position. You should use the Contact Recruiter function on Ladders or contact the recruiter directly.

6. Keep applying to the company.

Other jobs may be a better match for your career, or it might receive fewer applicants. (The ATS software will track all your submissions by name and contact info, so don’t try to apply using contradictory career info or credentials.)

7. Be aware about what is happening at the company.

There are forces at work greater than your application that can affect the company’s fortunes and alter the availability of the position for which you applied. Follow the situation at the company and the market and be prepared to apply again or hear from the recruiter if the situation changes.

8. Are you applying to the right jobs?

In this employers’ market, missing even one minor qualification can disqualify you. Be certain your resume mentions every qualification on the job postings, or find jobs that you can match on your resume.

9. Is the industry right for you?

Recruiters generally prefer to hire candidates with industry experience. If you are trying to switch industries, there are steps you should take to improve your chances. Click here to read more.

10. How do I find success?

Read our Success Story profiles to find job seekers in your industry, in your state and in your shoes who used techniques you hadn’t considered or tried one you were afraid to use. Browse dozens of success stories until you find one similar to your own story. Or use the Search function to find stories that can serve as an example to your industry or situation.