Applying Online

How To Stand Out To Employers When Applying Online


In this day and age, it’s crucial to stand out during your job search. Otherwise, your resume gets buried – unread and unnoticed.

This is a common problem for job seekers. So, how can you stand out from the competition when applying online?

How To Stand Out When Applying Online

Here’s what our career experts had to say:

Research The Company

“Learn everything you can about the company,” says Bud Bilanich, author of Climbing The Corporate Ladder. “Tailor your resume to show what you know about them and their industry. And, more importantly, use key words in your resume that will catch the recruiter’s attention.”

For example, if the ad says they are looking for a “self-starter,” make sure you put the words self-starter somewhere near the top of your resume.

“Sounds corny,” he says, “but it works.”

Create An Online Presence

Rachel Dotson of Zip Recruiter suggests creating an profile, complete with links to your various social and professional profiles online. Include the link in your resume alongside your name and contact information, and also use include under your signature in your cover letter.

“Because your resume will likely be viewed on the computer,” she says, “it will be easy for the hiring to click through to your page, where she can then browse your online presence.”

Beat The ATS

“Before you can stand out to the employer, you have to stand out to the applicant tracking software,” says Kristin Johnson of Profession Direction. “There’s a real art to getting your resume noticed in today’s technological job hunt.”

Johnson says you MUST read the job description and include key terms in your resume. The resume needs to be in a format that the software can read, too.

“It takes some time, but that’s the way the system works,” she says. “If your resume doesn’t show you’re a match for the job to the ATS, you’re not going to get a call because you won’t stand out to the employer.”

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Ariella Coombs

Ariella is the Content Manager for CAREEREALISM. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in journalism. Follow her @AriellaCoombs or find her on Google+.


  1. Audition, never apply
    All of the jobs – every last one of them; was because I auditioned to key leaders in a face to face setting – I have NEVER had any luck with resumes; with 5 years of trying to get a job in the field of Health Care (with a Masters in Health Care and having READ and UNDERSTAND the ObamaCare legislation ) NOBODY would call me back. I skyped to a medical company overseas that needed medical billing, and customer relationship management system – I was hired. It is the broken American System. When America, can’t, won’t or hasn’t called you back – do not be afraid to travel overseas.
    PS your first 75K is tax free. Sooner or later – America will get the message. Until then – spin the globe – look for success where you land.

  2. I am very good with customer service and always on time and love to work as team .I have applied for the store off of los coches but i went to the wrong store I had a second inter view. So when i applied i was a lujan but now I am a proano thank you so much for your time.

  3. I am studing to become a medical assistant and will be searching for a job soon I hope to gain great knowlwedge from this site and great school training.

  4. @ Patrick, I understand this acticle as: some of the key words stated in the job post should appear or be found on your resume, and thats the meaning.

  5. Networking….getting to know people within your industry, so when appropriate positions open up at companies you want to work for come up….you have a REAL PERSON to send a resume to….and it WILL get looked at.

  6. That’s all well and fine…. However, the key phrases don’t work. You can have most of the key phrases and never get called… You need a résumé for every application you apply for. 20 different resumes for 20 different companies and applications… What would help is what key words are everyone looking for… I was told that by putting “self starter” on the résumé human resources people who actually look at the résumé trash it because that is what everyone already is.. It doesn’t put you above the rest of the applicants…I (as a prospective applicant and candidate) would like to know WHAT the key word/ phrases really are… They seem to be a secret to us and only known to human resources recruiters career coaches who are linked to specific corporations… As perspective candidates or applicants

  7. You referenced K. Johnson in your informative article. I have a question about ‘The resume needs to be in a format that the software can read, too.’ How is that done? What is the format?

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