How do I apply for a job by email or online?

To apply for a job online or by email, you need some basic internet tools and skills.

If you want to post your résumé onto a job listing site or email it to someone, you need to know about:

  • Email attachments and viruses
  • Résumé formats
  • How to use online application forms

Email Attachments and Viruses

You should have a plain text version of your résumé to email to an employer. Many employment counsellors suggest that you copy and paste your résumé and cover letter into the body of your email message. This way, it is easier for the employer to read because they do not have to open an attachment. Also, you do not have to worry about sending a virus with your attachment.

Send an attached file if the employer asks for it. Check any files for viruses before you attach them to your email messages.

Résumé Formats

It is useful to have your résumé ready in different formats, so that you can use the format that the employer wants.

  • Plain text - This is the format you use to paste your résumé into online forms or in the body of your email message.
  • Scannable - If the company uses scanning software to automatically sort résumés, this format is useful.
  • Regular word-processed format - This could be Word or another word processor. Some employers ask specifically for .doc, .rtf or .pdf files. You can attach these to your email to the employer.
  • HTML - Some people have a "webbed" or online résumé. This could be especially useful if you have a portfolio of work that you want employers to see.

Applying Online

Many companies have online job application forms. You use these forms to give them your résumé and cover letter. To use these forms, you need to copy and paste information from your word processor (such as Word) to your web browser (such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari).

When you copy and paste your résumé, the formatting of your résumé might change. Many online forms let you "preview" your résumé before you submit it. This lets you check your résumé before you send it.

Some online forms require that you use a specific type of résumé (for example, a chronological résumé).

What does the employer want?

It is very important to send your résumé in the format the employer wants and to follow instructions in the job posting.

Find more tips about how to prepare your résumé for email and online posting.

Get Help

It is a good idea to have someone look over your résumé and cover letter before you apply. Many community agencies can help you with your résumé and cover letter. To find help, go to Services Near Me and search for "employment services" in your area.

For More Information

  • Prepare Your Résumé for Email and Online Posting - Information about how to create an internet-ready résumé and how to protect your personal information with online résumés.
  • JVS Career Voice - This blog for job seekers has information about career choices, finding a job, marketing yourself and more. You can submit questions. The blog posts are written by experts in employment.
Last updated: November 8, 2016 4001075