For better or worse, online job applications are the new normal when it comes to applying for your next data entry position. You find jobs on line, fill out extensive applications, and move on to the next one. But when you don’t get a call back, it can feel frustrating and your first instinct might be to blame it on the application process. While these online applications are far from perfect, there may be one small thing you’re doing that prevents you from being contacted. Before you fill out your next one, keep this tip in mind and learn what you can do about it.

You’re Not Filling Out Every Field

We’ve all done it. You’re in the middle of an online application and, when you come across a field that doesn’t apply to you or you don’t know the answer for, you skip right over it. This can happen even more frequently with mobile apps since expediency may be your primary goal. But this is a big mistake, and there’s a reason why.

When these applications are imported to the company, they’re automatically populated in their applicant tracking system. The job of this system is to sort out the applications at an extremely high level to present the best to the hiring manager. This isn’t a human process, it is entirely automated. And one of the criteria is completion.

What To Do Now?

Take Time with Each Application

When you are applying online for a new opportunity, take time to fill out every field. Even if you’re not quite sure of the answer, say something. This will make sure the field is populated once it is imported and it won’t be scanned over and discarded. While you don’t want to say something inappropriate, you want to have something so the computer recognizes it’s complete.

Fill in “Not Applicable” or NA

If you really don’t have an answer for a field, it is perfectly acceptable to fill it in with “Not Applicable” or just NA. Again, the computer isn’t sorting for specific answers, it’s just ensuring the application is complete. And if you’re thorough with the answers that do apply to you, the hiring manager is more likely to overlook one or two incomplete answers.

Follow Up

It can be tricky to follow up with an online application. Who do you contact? What do you say? This is where old-fashioned networking meets new-fashioned technology can really help. Find out the hiring manager or HR department information. The best way to do this is through LinkedIn. Send a LinkedIn request, but be sure to include a message. This can read, “I recently applied for your open position and I am eager to discuss my background with you.” If they accept the connection, you may have another avenue to discuss your background with the company.

Do you want to know more insight on local jobs or getting hired? Contact Harvard Resource Solutions, now hiring for jobs in Detroit MI, to learn more today.