Have you ever applied to a job posting you found online and received no response? Unfortunately, that is an all too common occurrence that causes a great deal of frustration and discouragement.

Before you apply for another job online, review these five tips for applying on Indeed, and other job boards, to increase your odds of success:

I’m focusing today on Indeed because it is one of the very best job sites – it is both a major job posting board and a robust job search engine – meaning it includes jobs from many sources, not just those that have been directly posted by employers on Indeed.

Indeed makes it very easy to apply, but there are some common mistakes I see all the time when I am reviewing resumes for business clients.

1) Be aware that the most recent job listed on your resume will come up immediately under your name when you apply.

For example, if you’re currently working on a cleaning crew as a fill-in job and list that on your resume, even though your desired position is financial analyst, the first thing the reviewer is going to see is:  John Smith – Cleaner

The reviewer’s first impression of you is that you are a cleaner. Potentially not the first impression you’re trying to make. They may or may not find working on a cleaning crew a desirable asset for a financial analyst.

There are several approaches to solve this:

  • Create another job on your resume that will come first – I’ve seen people list something like Financial Analyst, seeking opportunities.
  • Completely delete the Lifeguard job from the resume you’re uploading.
  • Create two separate sections for experience – at the top, put a Professional Experience section and then below you could include an Additional Work Experience section.

No matter which option you choose, I also recommend that you include a cover letter with your application explaining that you have been working on a cleaning crew as a bridge job, but your education and background is in financial analysis. Then go on to explain how you are a great fit for the requirements of the position.

2) Recognize that whatever is on the resume you have in Indeed’s system will show up on your application for every.single.job, whether your summary statement or objective matches the position or not.

Indeed makes it so easy to apply with one click, that it’s also easy to forget that the resume you loaded into their system might include a professional summary or objective statement that does not fit the specific position you are applying for.

You will probably be eliminated right off the bat if your statement says, “Looking for a sales position with a high-growth company” and the position you’re applying for is not a sales position.

My recommendation is to skip including an objective statement on your resume, but rather include a cover letter sharing that information, if your career goals are relevant to the position and the company.

3) Be aware that Indeed does not correct spelling or formatting.

 If you enter your name as “susie smith” – the reviewer will see that you did not take the time to capitalize Susie and Smith. A little thing, but when the ability to pay attention to details is an important skill in many jobs, that’s a detail that could quickly get you eliminated from consideration.

I encourage you to take your time to make sure your spelling, capitalization, and grammar are correct in every way. Have someone else take a look before you submit your application, so you’re not overlooking anything.

4) Realize that the job description is the “ideal” for the person who is hiring.

Most of the time resume reviewers will consider candidates even though they do not meet every single requirement listed in the job description.

If the job description says, “Must have two years experience,” I encourage you to still apply, if you fit the requirements in most other ways. BUT, you need to write a customized note, or cover letter, explaining how the experience you do have would be beneficial in meeting their requirements.

5) Appreciate that the resume reviewer, most of the time, will receive dozens and dozens – if not hundreds and hundreds – of applications to review.

You need to make it easy for him/her to see that you’re not a run-of-the-mill applicant – that you’re a candidate who goes the extra mile, fits the position, and would be an excellent employee.

Take the time to write a customized note/cover letter explaining your interest in the position and outlining why you would be an asset to the organization.

Almost always the reviewer will take the time to read that personalized note, but probably won’t read every single detail included on your resume, until they’ve determined you’re a good candidate.

Take the opportunity in that note to address the requirements of the position. For example, if the job description says you must be able to travel 50% of the time, share that you are more than willing to travel 50% of the time. That will really impress the reviewer and make it much more likely you will get a phone call to discuss further.

If you’re not getting calls or follow-up inquiries from your application, the problem most often lies in your application and resume/cover letter, not necessarily your skills, experience, or desirability as an employee.

Take a little extra time with your application to personalize it and make it as relevant as possible to the position, and you will start getting more calls and requests for interviews.

To your success –



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