One-Stop Career Center staff from the North Central Career Center in Leominster and the Workforce Central Career Center in Southbridge offer these tips for completing online employment applications.

  • Keep your personal information close to the vest. No credible employer will ask for - and you shouldn't offer - personal information such as bank account or credit numbers, mother's maiden name, or identifying characteristics such as eye color.

  • Verify the legitimacy of a company or recruiter before completing an online application. Speak with industry groups or do an online search about the prospective firms of interest to learn about their reputation as an employer.

  • Update your resume. You may be applying for the same type of job but in different industries. Your resume should include up-to-date information that is tailored to that particular company and industry.

  • Have an online version of your resume and cover letter readily available. You can "cut and paste" from the company's own documents to the on-line application as needed.

  • Keep a copy of your resume, the actual job description and any other company information. You will have easier reference to customize responses and for follow-up.

  • Think about your salary expectations. When entering a desired salary, you should include a range over any one fast and hard figure. If you're asked to provide your salary expectations and you are not allowed to enter "Open" or "Negotiable", it is considered acceptable to enter all zeros in that field before submitting.

  • Attach a cover letter with your resume if the application allows it.

  • Reread your completed application--before hitting "SEND." Be sure to proofread your online application to ensure it is completed correctly before submitting. You may not be allowed to reapply or have a time constraint for reapplying. Typos aren't any more acceptable online than they are on paper.

  • Prepare for technical glitches. Save a completed online application for your files or print off before submitting in the event you need to start over, re-enter data or resubmit.

  • Consistency counts. Job seekers should realize the information provided in the on-line application must match any other information provided as this information may be used when conducting background checks. Any data inconsistencies, inaccuracies or misrepresentations may be used to decline an interview in the first place or in the event you are hired, be used as legal grounds for potential disciplinary action.

  • Understand the risks involved in posting a resume in a database. Sites cannot control your resume after an employer or recruiter has downloaded it. When it comes to resume databases, job seekers should know the risks of posting their resume in a database.

  • Keep a record of where you have posted your resume. Delete resumes from the sites where you have posted it after you've finished your job search.

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