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Why You Should Use Personalized Job Applications Instead of Universal Job Applications

Personalized Job Applications (6)-min

The whole point of a personalized job application is to help the jobseeker stand out from the herd. Jobseekers applying for remote jobs must understand what differentiates them from other candidates. They must also determine how to best demonstrate those skills and characteristics to potential employers. Not only that, but with many mid-career professionals entering the remote job workforce, they’re also bringing along skills that fit a bevy of job descriptions. In this case, the jobseeker must create unique workforce documents and portfolios to solidify their professional brand. The solution to this is personalized job applications.

Although other job boards and employers may use universal applications to streamline the hiring process, quantity does not trump quality. Employers have a rich pool of candidates to choose from these days, both from long-time remote workers and new telecommuters who have recently discovered that they thrive and are more productive working from home. As a result, personalized job applications do one major thing: get you hired.

 

Similarities Between an Onsite Job Search and a Remote Job Search

Online job applications

Searching for a remote job and an onsite job is not that different. Resumes are the starting point for both on-site and remote jobs. Since recruiters spend an average of six to seven seconds on a resume, jobseekers must make a positive first impression. To this effect, the resume should be error-free and highlight specific experiences and skill sets that apply to a particular position. Both soft and hard skills should be referenced, and keywords relevant to the job or industry should be thoughtfully included. Resumes for remote jobs should also focus on collaboration tools and digital technologies that demonstrate a readiness and proficiency to work from home.

Just like searching for onsite jobs, remote jobseekers should incorporate networking into their active search to-do list. And just like a traditional job search, networking for a remote job takes time. Using tools like LinkedIn or attending industry conferences are beneficial for finding peers to expand a professional network. Establishing a genuine rapport is essential, and seeming desperate, predatory, or opportunistic is counterproductive. Stay calm, stay cool, and stay collected.

Actionable Item: If you decide to network by sending a personalized note via LinkedIn, do some research on the person you want to connect with. In addition, look to make a genuine professional connection. And remember to keep things professional even if their profile or image is not.

 

What Am I Worth?

Job Value

Patience is critical in the pursuit of a remote job. Yet even the most dedicated jobseeker may find the pursuit of patience difficult. Hubris can sneak into the picture, especially when a jobseeker meets or exceeds each portion of a job description. They sit back and wait for the interview or acceptance call/email. The only problem is that waiting is not an effective job search strategy. Most certainly, it’s a poor strategy during a competitive job market. Waiting for an employer to respond to a submitted job application before applying to another will guarantee nothing but a much longer job hunt. That’s why an assertive approach to applying and following up is integral.

Jobseekers must also know what they are worth. Both onsite and remote job seekers need to do their due diligence on the different salary ranges for the type of positions they apply to. Negotiation is a vital component of the job search, and preparation is key for a successful strategy.

Actionable Item: Remember to consider your education level, work experience, and even location when determining your acceptable salary range. Keep in mind that for both remote and onsite work, a professional in the Midwest will not earn a salary comparable to those offered to applicants in Silicon Valley or New York.

 

Managing Unrealistic Expectations

Myths abound in the world of remote work. Among those is the idea that searching for a remote job is faster than a traditional onsite job. This mentality is detrimental for jobseekers because it sets them up for disappointment. Some jobseekers seem attached to the idea that the remote job search is as easy as hitting the submit button on the application form. And while finding freelance work on gig marketplaces is possible, it doesn’t translate to success in the remote job search process.

Because of this, managing your expectations is necessary to ensure your journey to a new remote career is not overwhelming. Even though telecommuting is on the rise (and currently the norm due to global events), the number of remote jobs is still fewer than the number of jobseekers.

Competition for remote jobs is high, especially with 100% virtual companies open to hiring from an international talent pool. With the sheer number of applicants to every job, jobseekers may not hear from hiring managers or recruiters right away. Just like applying to onsite employment, communication can take several weeks from the initial job application submission to the interview, and from there, the job offer.

Actionable Item: Realize that the job search process is a marathon, not a sprint. Expecting to find a remote job and getting hired immediately after applying is unrealistic. Sure, there are exceptions to every job search story. But those are the exceptions, not the rule.

 

How Long Does A Job Application Really Take?

Depending on the employer’s unique needs, a well filled-out job application can take a long time to complete. Or, it can involve something as simple as filling out basic contact information and clicking submit. With more employers relying on applicant tracking systems (ATS) and custom online forms for their hiring needs, job applications are becoming more complex. Not only must applicants submit their resumes, but they may also be asked to provide tailored cover letters, specific questions and exercises, skill assessments, personality quiz results, portfolio links, work samples, and even small projects.

Much like shopping cart abandonment is a constant plague in the e-commerce industry, job application abandonment is an issue in the employment sector. According to a CareerBuilder study referenced by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),  60 percent of applicants stop filling out their online job applications right in the middle of the process. This is primarily due to the complexities or work involved. Furthermore, half of the employers surveyed mentioned that they considered lengthy application processes a positive thing because it helps “weed out” apathetic or undedicated applicants.

Actionable Item: Don’t give up or lose patience. With 60% of applications unfinished, you a higher chance of success. If required, put up an inspirational poster or encouraging post-it note on your computer.

 

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Although long or personalized job applications are tedious, you want to take the time to put your best foot forward. The job market is saturated with qualified individuals recently laid-off, furloughed, or made redundant by current global events. Thus, perseverance is crucial.

Actionable Item: Take a moment and think about your job application submission. Who is the hiring manager going to call in for an interview? Is it the candidate who did the bare minimum on their application? Or the candidate who submitted a personalized job application and other work documents to highlight their skills and experience to match the employer’s requirements? The devil is in the details, and during competitive times, the details matter.

How Virtual Vocations Helps the Remote Job Seeker

In a competitive job market, a generic or universal application does not help the jobseeker distinguish themselves from all the other job applicants. This is where Virtual Vocations provides exceptional value to the remote jobseeker. Job applicants can upload different versions of their resumes and other workforce documents into their accounts. Plus, they can also create and save a variety of custom profiles specifically tailored to the industries of their preference.

Actionable Item: Sign up for a premium membership and take advantage of all the benefits and tools available for remote jobseekers. With three subscription options available, you will be ready to start applying to your new remote job.

 

Sign Up for Virtual Vocations Today

Virtual Vocations specializes in telecommute-friendly jobs and is dedicated to helping jobseekers find the newest and best job leads available. Instead of wasting time wading through industry and specialty job boards, social media streams, employer websites, and blogs or attempting to filter out bogus job leads, Virtual Vocations helps jobseekers save time and energy so that they can focus on the most important thing—finding and applying for their remote dream job.

 

Have you used personalized job applications before? Were you successful in your remote job hunt? Connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to share your story. We’d love to hear from you!

iStock Image: Rawpixel, PeskyMonkey

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