Online job applications more than a few clicks

Kel Reed is a career advisor for the Career Services office in the College of Business Administration at Kent State. 

Dylan Bowers Reporter

Applying for jobs online embodies the process of finding a job in the year 2020. As student tenure winds down at Kent State, getting a job quickly jumps to the top of the list of priorities.

Job applications routinely comprise of basic information like name, address, social security number and the more notable documents, resumes and references. 

Kel Reed, a career advisor for the Career Services Office in the College of Business Administration at Kent State, thinks students should tailor their resume toward a specific opportunity.

“Since a lot of companies use applicant tracking systems, a lot of times human eyes aren’t even looking at the resume,” Reed said.

With applicant tracking systems, employers are able to have a system assist them in the handling of recruitment and hiring needs. 

Students should put anything relevant towards the opportunity on their resume. This includes class projects, internships, accomplishments or achievements they are incredibly proud of, Reed said.

“It doesn’t matter if the students worked at McDonald’s or they were a server somewhere,” said Reed. “They all require transferable skills that are relevant towards the next position they’re going for.”

Handshake, an early talent recruiter used by more than 900 colleges, including Kent State, allows recruiters to find college students looking for jobs.

“It has a LinkedIn feel, but then it also has a glass door component,” said Reed. “Meaning that a student can go and click on a company and then get perspectives from other students about what the interview looked like, what their internship looked like, what their job looked like, so it gives that insight.”

Erin Fairman, director of the Career Services Office in the College of Business Administration, recommends students use simple Word documents for their resumes and references, as well as follow directions for the application closely.

“Make sure that they’re using keywords from the job description and from research that they’ve done on the company in order to make sure that when an ATS system scans their resume, it’s finding the keywords that will make their resume go to the yes pile,” Fairman said.

Fairman suggests students reach out to their references via email to let their reference know they would like to use them.

“I would suggest having a minimum of three, maybe around five, said Fairman. “Give them some ideas of what you want them to talk about to really help them be a good reference.”

Fairman, like Reed, believes students tailoring their documents impacts the outcome of the job process.

“Tailoring your documents for those keywords is very important if you’re just applying online,” Fairman said. 

As a hypothetical recruiter, Fairman painted a scenario where students can see the difference that face to face interactions can make in the application process.

“I have 10 resumes and I have five resumes of students that I met on campus and I had a good interaction with them,” Fairman said. “I have five resumes of students who I’ve never talked to before, but two of those are resumes where I’m interested in a follow up conversation. That makes a big difference.”

Dylan Bowers covers tech. He can be reached at [email protected]