Applying For A Job Online (With 5 Examples)

Applying For A Job Online

Here’s the situation. You’re applying for a job online. You send the CV with a proper cover letter, and… nothing happens.

20 CVs sent later, still nothing. 

You check one of the ads. It’s closed. 

The other job ad you applied for? You visit your LinkedIn and notice one of your connections got it. 

Finally, an email in your inbox:

Headline: You got a new message from your employer!

Thank you for applying, but we went with somoene else.

Cheers,

Not your employer

What is going on? (they can’t even spell “someone” right)

Sometimes though,

you do get to the interview stage, show them who you are, and talk with the owner, but most times, this is the last stage for you. End of the road.

What is going on?

The short answer? It’s not just you and never has been (don’t believe your ex!)

You have the experience. 

You have the skills.

What’s missing? Why can’t you get the job?

Table Of Contents
  1. The Truth About Responding To Job Ads
  2. How To Get A Response When Applying For A Job Online
  3. How To Apply To Job Ads: Short Version
  4. The 5 Step Approach To Get A Remote Job
  5. Applying For A Job Online: Real-Time Examples
  6. General Step By Step Guide To Get An Interview
  7. FAQ
  8. Last Words.

The Truth About Responding To Job Ads

In the employer’s eyes, you’re the same as the other 50 applicants. 

You’re one of the many that applied. 

Why Doesn’t My Job Ad Application Stand Out? 

The problem is bi-fold:

  • Your approach is the same as everyone else
  • Your employer is overwhelmed with work 

Let’s go deeper into each one.

First off, you complied with his job ad and sent the application just as he requested it. 

That’s great but remember that the employer will probably receive 50+ applications with the same structure and approach. 

Trust me; it gets overwhelming and tiresome to go through all 50+ applications. 

Your employer is probably heading towards a mild mental breakdown, having to deal with all new client requests, internal processes, finances, and team member KPI’s.

Now he has to deal with 50+ CVS. He won’t. He has no time. 

He needs to be smart and choose wisely. 

To add to that, if you’re not the first who applies, your chances are slim to none.

So, the question is, how to stand out in the ocean of “rockstar remote workers”?

The short answer is that there’s one solution to this bi-fold problem.

How To Get A Response When Applying For A Job Online

If you want to get responses like these (Got all of these in just 24 hours):

You need to read on.

I feel as if you have been working for me and know me for the last ten years.

This is the feedback you want to get from your employer when you apply. This is the feedback that gets you that job.

Employers, like your girlfriend, want someone who understands them, their current state of being, and their business. 

They want someone to feel comfortable giving a piece of their hard-earned money without worrying that you will mess it up. 

They want someone that will immediately jump on board and run his piece of the business independently.

They want a rockstar. 

You submitting a “to whom it may concern” cover letter will not serve the purpose. 

So, how do you make your future employer say stuff like in the screenshots?

How To Apply To Job Ads: Short Version

You need to do two things.

First, understand your employer. 

  1. Get to know your potential employers business
  2. Understand their current state of mind (IMPORTANT)
  3. Understand them as a person 

Second, know how to present yourself and your skills.

  1. Show him that you want to be in his company and present yourself as if you’re already working there.

Easy.

It takes time to get into the process and learn this approach, but since you have time on your hands (being unemployed and all), that’s not a problem right now.

Let’s see the longer version. 

The 5 Step Approach To Get A Remote Job

First, Your Mindset Needs To Be Right.

Outstretch your knowledge

You have to pitch a bit more than what your current skills are – Why? 

If, for example, the job ad asks you to have experience with Coda, but you only have experience with Asana – don’t tell them that. Instead, open an account on Coda, look around, do a quick guide and learn the ropes. 

It’s just a tool that you can learn overnight. You can’t let a tool stop you from getting your dream job. Even if you don’t get the job, now you know another tool. Boom.

Strategic and operational thinking

The job ad is there to look for someone that will fill a particular role in the company. But every employer is looking for something more than that.

The employer is looking for someone with a shared vision, objectives, and goals. 

So why not talk to him about that vision and tell him that besides what he is looking for, you can also help him realize that vision.

Then, You Do The Research To Get To Know Your Employer

CV resume and cover letter show what you HAVE DONE. That’s in the past. You want to show them what YOU can DO FOR THEM.

How? 

You have to get in the shoes of the owner of the company. This will help you figure out the first part, which is:

  1. Get to know your potential employers business
  2. Understand their current state of mind (IMPORTANT)
  3. Understand them as a person 

Get To Know Your Potential Employers Business

How to get to know them?

  1. Visit their company website
  2. Visit their social media profiles

Look around their tool or software (whichever they are selling or own). Use it and play with it.

See what they’re posting if they’re posting, where they’re posting.

Understand Their Current Position (IMPORTANT)

You need to understand the position your employer finds himself in currently. This step is important because the employer has a vision for his company that has been brewing for a while, and he plans to do everything he can to realize it. 

You can’t know why he does that (it’s personal), but you can show him that you can help him build that vision with him and make his wishes come true, faster, and easier.

Like I said before, your employer is busy, or he wouldn’t have been posting job ads to hire people. 

He is currently bogged down with:

  • Team management
    • Keeping the team motivated, making sure the KPI’s are met and surpassed
  • Process management 
    • Improving current processes, shedding out what doesn’t work, and replacing that with what works.
    • Overseeing the process and making sure that it doesn’t fail at any step along the way
  • Finances 
  • Clients

Your job is to save the client, help him get unblocked, take the rudder, and steer his ship towards the promised land.  

So, think of yourself as the messiah – but don’t get cocky. 

You’re there to take away the workload that you can do better than him so that he can do the workload that he is better at than you – and then give you some more work that you’re better at than him. 

Knowing what he is going through will help you craft a message that will better resonate with them. 

Understand Them As A Person

Why is this important? You’re not marrying them, right?

Your future employer has his way of communicating with the world around him (virtually and physically). 

He talks a certain way, walks a certain way, and deals with people a certain way. 

He could be an introvert, extrovert, loud, expressive, emotional… 

From a psychological point of view, this is profiling and very important because it will help you understand who he is.

I’m not saying you should do a 16 personality profile of who he is. 

(a meme that says that you should)

What you should do:

  • Go to his personal LinkedIn profile – read through some of his posts:
    • Understand the way he writes things
    • Figure out what he writes/engages with the most
  • Go to his Instagram/Facebook (or any other social media channel he is in)
    • See if you have something in common
    • Figure out his passions, hobbies, daily rituals

Write down the things you notice. Keep a short bulleted list – you’ll need this when crafting your Job Ad application.

Some say that this step is a bit sneaky. No. 

Personally, if I post a job ad, and you include in the application things that I like, such as kickboxing, hiking, cooking – I’d give you preference over the “to-whom-it-may-concern-type of an applicant.” 

It shows that you put effort into trying to get to know me.

Also, this step will help you figure out IF you want to work for someone based on his way of communicating and his personality. 

Why would you want to work with someone that doesn’t share at least a few of your principles and some interests? 

Would You Marry for Money?
Because of the money, maybe?

Ultimately, you want to work with good-hearted people who know what they’re doing and doing something that makes a difference in the world.

Afterward, Present Yourself And Your Skills

Now that you know who your employer is and what he reads when he goes to the loo, it’s time to use that knowledge and prepare your application.

What to avoid

Due to fear of saying something stupid or looking stupid, we tend to stick with what worked in the 90s and send out an outdated-looking CV, unreadable cover letter, and press apply. 

Don’t be that applicant. 

What you fear most is what you need to do. Trust me, seeing a personal email a few paragraphs short instead of going through a Curriculum Vitaever is a breath of fresh air. 

The Outdated Mold The Job Ad Process creates

To avoid spending hours and hours evaluating applicants, companies implement a standardized process of qualifying people, usually including generic questions, and little to no room for the applicant to stand out.

It kills your creativity – the driving force behind any discovery made in the last millennia.

But this is an opportunity for you to get out of the mold and find a way to pitch yourself differently, other than the one they were asking you to follow in the first place.

What to include

Focus on what the job ad is looking for, what you found out about the employer, and what you know personally to help that company reach its goals.

Leverage your Current Skills

Sometimes, you’ll lack specific skills that the ad asks for, and that’s fine. Every business has its process of creating its products, and that process sometimes includes skills for a specific role that other roles in different companies don’t require. 

But, you do have other skills that you can make up for, and you should find a way to show your employer that those skills are more than enough to offset the lack of skills they want. More on this in the live examples below.

You’re Already Working There

Pretend you’re part of his company already. Adopt the company culture, way of work, immerse yourself in the vision and goals. 

Show him you have a plan for his company, and that plan is more or less the same that he has. What does this mean?

Depending on the type of industry, each company will have its own goals, systems, ways of communicating and getting things done. 

Most times, a job ad will also include daily tasks. So, why don’t you do those daily tasks, record them and share that video with your future employer?

They are looking for someone to fill in the human gap that the influx of work brought – you showing them that you can do the tasks will put you on the top of the “to be considered” list. 

Then, Do The Pitch (apply)

I’ll keep this short because I want to show you real-time examples of how this process works. 

You will naturally apply at the job platform first. That is a must. 

Should you stop there? No.

What you need to do is the following:

  • Follow the company on social media
  • If it’s a small company
    • Add the owner on LinkedIn – he will be the one responsible for hiring
  • If it’s a bigger company
    • Add the owner plus a few more people in it but always try to get the HR person as well

When connecting, send each person a personalized message letting them know who you are and that you’re reaching out because of the job ad. When they accept, you can start a conversation.

Why LinkedIn?

It’s a social platform, and you can live chat with your employer. So it gives you a way to communicate with him directly and immediately.

What If They’re Not On LinkedIn? 

Use hunter.io to find their email through the website. Email them. If they don’t have an email, find out if they have a number. Call it.

If no number, use the contact form on their website. 

Lastly, Follow Up When Applying For A Job Online

Job hunting is, in a way, a results-based pay sales job. Your sale is the job you get.

Follow-up is as essential as any of the previous steps (if not the most important one). Why? 

Your employer is busy. When he opens the email where all you lot applied, he will probably see an email per person – meaning each person will likely just apply and do nothing else. 

But he will also notice you, with ten different emails sent his way (maybe not ten emails, but 2-3). So this is how you stand out. 

If the email doesn’t work, go on Linkedin and follow up with the owner there. 

No Linkedin? No problem, Facebook or Twitter. 

Okay, so to summarize: right mindset, in-depth research, you and your approach, relentless, confident pitch, AND the follow-up.

Let’s see some real-time examples now.

Applying For A Job Online: Real-Time Examples

If you’re a designer and the job is about a rockstar designer – design your application.

If you’re a video editor, do a trailer of you.

If you’re a data analyst, not sure if I can help you. 

I’ve compiled pitches for a few positions, and you can find them below. Can’t see a pitch that fits your job ad? Let me know in the comments.

1 Looking For A Photo Editor Virtual Assistant

Link To Job

Who They Are

Ginger Square Media provides services to estate agents selling and renting houses. They provide them with photos, video, drone footage, 360 virtual tours, and floor plans for their marketing properties; they provide everything they need from a visual marketing perspective.

What They Want You To Help Them With (primary responsibilities):

  1. Editing photos, 360 virtual tours, and quality control
  2. Putting together content for social media
  3. Other admin tasks as required

How To Approach:

Get one of their current clients and:

  • Edit photos from their business
  • Create a content plan for their social media and how to promote this plan (3-month plan)
    • Use Buffer, Asana, sheets to show them – it’s essential to SHOW them how you do it.

Record a zoom video of how you do things.

For example, take https://thomasmurrayagri.co.uk/ 

  • They sell agricultural equipment and provide sales services. Get the raw photos they have on their site and edit them. 
  • Put together a content plan in a simple sheet that will show them when and what will be posted – where.  

Then, check out the job ad owner: Phil. Phil is a ginger, therefore the name of the company and the brand color. And he is Scottish. 

He has been in the business since 2000 and knows how to build websites and do photoshoots. He is very well known and has established a good network for himself. Phil doesn’t fuck around.

He seems like a pleasant guy, formal and approachable.

He is a bit geeky and probably introverted. He has done several jobs, including being a driver, MD, then owner a few times (trial and error), so he has that entrepreneurial spirit.

Knowing this, what would your pitch be like?

Hey, Phil 

I’m so excited to apply for this role! My experience is XYZ, and I have been involved with XYZ achieving x result zzzzzz…. 

Or

Hi Phil

I’m applying for the role, and I wanted to show you a six-month content plan I did for Thomas Murray. There are four stages to the procedure starting from Tuesday Next week until x date. 

Let me know if you like this.

See the difference? 

The latter one is straight to the point (as any entrepreneur would), using video (as any video editor would) to showcase yourself, using a process with clearly established start dates and end dates (as any owner would do).

Looking For A Rockstar Link Builder

Say the ad is looking for a rockstar link-building champion. The greatest that has ever existed (as if you’d work at all if you were a rockstar link building champion)

The owner wants you to help him manage his link-building campaigns and ensure a set amount of links every month.

This is how you’d approach.

Who They Are: https://sellerinteractive.com/ 

Type of clients they work for: Brands that sell products through Amazon.

Industry and target: Marketplace owners, founders | Health, Pets, etc…

What They Want You To Have:

The first few sentences are crucial:

We are looking for a full-time SEO Specialist. You will manage all SEO activities such as content strategy, link building, and keyword strategy to increase rankings on all major search networks.

In other words – An SEO project manager.

How To Approach:

Your most significant selling point: use your experience to show them how you’d run the campaign, don’t tell them with your current knowledge.

Use a tool to create a simple project tracking planner. I use Sheets. 

You will check the following job requirements in the sheet (these are things they ask you to have):

  • Proven SEO experience
  • Solid understanding of marketing, conversion, and customer acquisition
  • Experience with website analytics (e.g., Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console)
  • Experience with PBN (Private Blog Network)
  • Experience with A/B and multivariate experiments
  • Well-versed in On-Page and Technical SEO.
  • Has strong background in Link Building (Guest Post Outreach, Broken Link Building, and other white-hat strategies)

And include the following:

  • Execute tests, collect & analyze data & results, identify trends and insights to achieve maximum ROI in paid search campaigns
  • Website analytics and PPC initiatives and campaigns
  • Manage expenses, budget, monthly costs, & reconciling discrepancies.

Start by first showing them you can manage a process – by creating one.  

Here’s how to do that: (This is a fast-forwarded video of me creating a production process based on what they ask in the brief.)

This process setup is the most basic one you can have. However, it’s flexible and allows you to manage any type of project.

The most important thing to note is that the process starts at column A and ends at column AF. Therefore, you will drive each process from A to AF. 

Here’s the project sheet from the video.

What did you accomplish by sending this sheet? I’ll bold the things they asked so that it’s clear.

  • Execute tests, collect and analyze data and results, identify trends and insights to achieve maximum ROI in paid search campaigns
  • Track, report, and analyze website analytics and PPC initiatives and campaigns
  • Manage campaign expenses, staying on budget, estimating monthly costs, and reconciling discrepancies.
  • Optimize copy and landing pages for search engine marketing
  • Perform ongoing keyword discovery, expansion, and optimization
  • Research and implement search engine optimization recommendations
  • Research and analyze competitor advertising links
  • Develop and implement link building strategy
  • Work with the development team to ensure SEO best practices are properly implemented on newly developed code.
  • Work with editorial and marketing teams to drive SEO in content creation and content programming.
  • Recommend changes to website architecture, content, linking, and other factors to improve SEO positions for target keywords.

Also:

You will manage all SEO activities such as content strategy, link building, and keyword strategy to increase rankings on all major search networks.

And:

  • Proven SEO experience
  • Understanding of performance marketing, conversion, and customer acquisition
  • Experience with website analytics (e.g., Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console)
  • Experience with PBN (Private Blog Network)
  • Experience with A/B and multivariate experiments
  • Well-versed in On-Page and Technical SEO.

What you need to do now is to bold out the other ones to show them how you would do 50% of the requirements (You don’t want to give out too much, so 50% is enough). 

Most of the things they ask for are added to the sheet as steps to fill in.

I’d do the following: Take an existing landing page from ferapetorganics.com and push it through the process in the sheet – make it pass each column from A down to AF. Along the way, you will bold out about 50% of the things they ask.

Do you need a slightly different sheet than the one I used?

If you don’t get a response, but you’re desperate?

You use the same approach. Just change the names and variables to fit the job ads of other companies.

2 Blitz Applications

UX/UI God

Their site: https://lx-group.com.au/ 

Key People: 

What you could do: Take one of their products, for example, https://lx-group.com.au/portfolio/actron-que/ and ​​​​https://www.actronair.com.au/controls/que/ 

And show them as a front-end developer what you could do to improve the UI/UX of the software. I realize you don’t have access to it, but you do have screenshots showing you how the software looks, which is more than enough in the hands of a god. 

Even if you do make a mistake, it’s okay. However, you would have gone the extra mile and shown them how you work, what your skillset is, and how interested you’re in the position.

Looking For The Next Jeff Bezos

This job ad is just too easy. They’ve already told you what they want:

Develop their voice and brand to take offerings into different verticals by building our customer contact and marketing strategies to help drive our growth. 

In other words: We want to expand into other industries.

Their websites have many areas ripe for improvement. Just getting started on SEO, Email Marketing, & PPC, so you’ll come in, rapidly understand our business, and define and implement 30, 60, and 90-day plans to get things moving fast.

In other words: we don’t know much about SEO, Email Marketing, & PPC, so you will be our messiah and show us the way forward. 

primary responsibilities as our Marketing Manager will include:

  • Initial focus on the homeessentialsdirect.com site; 
  • Run an email marketing strategy to leverage the 50k customers we have on the email list.
  • Use and analyze data to drive rapid decisions.
  • The 2nd focus will be on running an SEO strategy.
  • Review sites and implement them changes.
  • Taking the lead on all marketing activities, defining, doing, and measuring (Deliver on our marketing performance metrics)
  • Build a strong marketing team of experts that can think fast, analyze data, and implement great marketing strategies (Find, hire, and manage freelance and other creative professionals to develop content and assets for multi-channel distribution)
  • Create detailed content plans for multi-channel marketing and branding initiatives (website, SEO, socials, ads, and emails)

In other words, build us a 60-day strategy to help homeessentialsdirect.com rank higher, grow traffic, and grow sales. Then, use Google Analytics, Google Adwords, AHREFS, SEMRush, or similar SEO tools, Klaviyo or similar for email marketing to analyze the site and its competitors and propose the strategy. 

Use Asana to create some initial tasks in a dummy workspace and use sheets to create a process to grow the site (similar approach as the one I did for the link builder job).

Spend a few hours analyzing, then use one of the following presentations to use the findings and build your job ad:

  1. Ecommerce Deck
  2. Retail deck

Record yourself doing a walkthrough of the presentation and send it.

General Step By Step Guide To Get An Interview

There are thousands of different job ads, hundreds of job boards. The following process should help you apply to most of them. It’s general enough to fit in any industry and specific enough to help you mold your application to the job at hand.

First: You apply for the job.

Send a cv.

Write out a concise and specific cover letter outlining:

  • who you are
  • What you do

Develop your proposal for them.

Second: Add the person who created the job and/or the owner on LinkedIn. 

Don’t overdo it and go adding them on all social media.

Connection message:

Hi {name},

I saw your {job platform} job ad about {position}. I’m the person for that, and I’d love to show you why.

Let me know if we can connect and chat more. I also applied there.

Thanks!

{your name}

PRO TIP: Add a short video introing yourself and showing him what you can do in the connection message. 

Hi {name},

I saw your {job platform} job ad about {position}. I’m the person for that – here’s a short 5-minute video (summarize what you will show him in a few words. For example, if you were pitching for a link building position from previously: showing you how I’d run a link building campaign for {an existing client})

Let me know if we can connect and chat more. I applied over at {job platform} as well.

Thanks!

{your name}

Third: Follow Up

Any self-respecting employer will get back to you in a few days. If they don’t, you need to try to follow up through the Job Ad Post. If that’s impossible, send a follow-up message through Linkedin.

If there’s no response from the job ad itself or Linkedin, what you do is you go and pay a visit to their inbox. 

Find their email (you can usually find it through LinkedIn or just by using hunter.io 

Write an email that is similar to this one (SIMILAR, not the same):

Hi {name},

I’m {your name} and I saw your application for a {job position} on {job board}. I’m the right person for the job and here’s why: {video from you} 

The video shows what I can do for you and your current client {client name}. 

Let me know what you think. I already applied through the job board but haven’t heard anything back in {x period}. Probably because you’re too swamped with work 🙂 (work that you would delegate to me if we’d have worked together 🙁 ) 

Anyways, I’d love to have a call and talk with you more about the position.

Thanks.

Concern applicants have: Is this following-up procedure too pushy?

No. You want to know where you stand, and you don’t want to waste time waiting on someone to let you know what their decision is.

What if they don’t respond at all?

You have a set amount of weeks to live on this earth. So why would you spend a week waiting for someone when you can find someone else that would respect your time? 

Pro Tip: Keep the templates. You might need them for a different job interview.

Fourth: Prepare for the call.

Okay, so he was impressed by you and wants to do an intro call to see if what he saw through the video is the same as in real life.

Sidenote: You noticed that we got from applying to the job ad directly to the call. This means we are dealing with a smaller company where the owner usually wants to do the calls early. Other companies do few more steps, and this guide here doesn’t explain how to navigate them. Why? They vary from industry to industry and what these steps do is ask you for more information – paid tests and similar. 

This guide here will help you get noticed and impress the owner over the call. Anything in between, I’d be happy to help out. Reach out here.

Now, let’s get back to the call.

What you want to do is, take charge and ownership of that call. Your employer wants to see a leader in you so that he will rest assured you can take control of part of his business. 

How?

Scenario

  • Small talk (avoid the weather as you avoid your ex. Talk about news in the niche he is in. something you heard here, for example)
  • Set the agenda and take control
    • Is it okay if I tell you more about myself and then ask you a few questions about you and how you’re currently organized? It will give me an overview of your current situation and how I can help you out in the best possible way.
  • Tell him about you in brief.
  • Show him examples as to how you could work for him. 
    • Paint a picture of both of you working together
    • Answer some of the questions he had in the application with specific examples
  • Ask questions about him.
  • Let him know what the next steps could be like

Pro Tip: Don’t be the one who talks all the time. After all, this is THEIR interview. So let them talk as much as possible.

FAQ

What if the job ad is very strict and won’t allow me to use your approach? 

There’s always a way to sneak in a video recording of you making his company better, faster, stronger. Whether it’s in the application form, message, or just by sending them a LinkedIn message, you need to find a way to show them who you are.

Isn’t this wasting time? 

No. If you were applying to a job I had posted and applied generically, I’d delete you. 

It would be best to try to understand my business and show me you know it before letting you in.

Who Can Use This Approach Other Than Job Seekers?

Small agencies

What? What do you mean by small agencies? Wasn’t this a guide for remote workers? Yes.

The same approach works – I’ve built mine the same way. Reach out to find out how.

Freelancers Who Want To Build A Business Around Their Skillset

Yeah, it’s possible to use this same approach and build a business around it. I did and will share the secrets of scaling a business from job boards, from 1 client to 10 clients in a year. 

  • What are you showing your future employers with this approach? You don’t need a lengthy onboarding process that might or might not succeed. 
  • You get things and how they work and operate and can quickly jump into them.
  • You’re a doer. 

Last Words.

Imagine putting yourself in the shoes of the person who reviews applications for a specific job opening. 

You received about 50 applications.

Most applications start with what you asked them to begin with:

I AM YOUR ROCKSTAR DESIGNER.

The rest don’t even have a cover letter.

Then all of a sudden, music stops, light changes, everything freezes – you get an invite on LinkedIn and Facebook from someone, with this message:

Hey John,

I noticed that you’re looking for a ROCKSTAR DESIGNER through the Z job board. I’m not a rockstar, but I’m damn good at what I do. I would love to talk more about the position.

Btw, I filled out the job application. You can find it under my name.

Thanks,

Alexander

Who would catch your attention?

Viktor
An empty mind, a full heart, and a busy body.

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