Question: I’m looking to return to work. I've noticed that some companies have online applications. Do I need to fill these out, or can I just mail my resume and cover letter to their HR department? These online forms take so much time...UGH!!
Answer: This is a question that someone recently asked in one of my workshops. As a mom returning to the workforce, you’re probably going to be visiting a variety of job sites and company websites. Often, there will be an online application of some sort that needs to be submitted.
Yes, I agree -- these can take a significant amount of time and the frustration factor is sizable!!
You’ll want to follow the company’s procedures for applicants, though. While online applications are sometimes cumbersome, unwieldy, and time consuming, circumventing the official procedures can result in your resume getting tossed. Once you’ve done what is required, you can always send a well-done cover letter and resume via snail mail or email, referring to your online application. One major caveat...ensure that you are submitting your information to a reputable and bona fide employer before proceeding (see link to Boston Globe's slide deck below).
Tip for on ramping: To make online applications a bit easier, create a reference sheet with commonly requested information already detailed (past jobs, responsibilities, dates, degrees, certificates, references, etc.). This way, all you’ll need to do is refer to the sheet for much of the application. No need to keep recreating the wheel! The Boston Globe's Tips for Completing Online Applications slide show is filled with great information and worth the site visit!
All the best,