Applying for a job via
April 7, 2021 4:49 PM   Subscribe

Have you successfully gotten a job (or interview) via It's a standard form where you input your job and education experience, and then a separate page of specific questions from the place you're applying. I'm wondering if it's a good move to also upload a resume and cover letter, because my job history is unconventional and I feel like I could explain myself better in a way that a string of unrelated jobs does not. But do they look at these? Any advice for looking good via this system?

It's a library clerk position. I am predominately an artist but my income comes from jobs.
posted by misoramen to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a librarian and I've applied for a lot of jobs on I've gotten quite a few interviews but no job offers.

You should definitely upload a cover letter. Upload a resume if they ask for it, but if they don't... I figure they already have all your job and education experience. Because so many of the employers who post jobs on that site are local governments and everybody does things a little bit differently, I don't think I can say much that's helpful about the site as a whole. But with the jobs I applied for, the impression that I got was that they were first and foremost looking for positive answers to the page of specific questions - e.g., do you have X degree? Do you have X years of professional experience in libraries? - and they would prioritize people who made the cut with those questions before looking at any of the other application materials (cover letter, etc.) in depth.
posted by Jeanne at 5:14 PM on April 7

I think supplying a resume and cover letter won't hurt your chances.

My advice is put as many "keywords" that match up with what's the job description as you can to help you get picked for an interview. The more apparent that you possess the experience and knowledge of their ideal candidate, the better.

Also, in the web site form, do not put "See resume" for some questions. That could get your application tossed.
posted by Seboshin at 5:58 PM on April 7 [1 favorite]

I've gotten an interview but then didn't get the job (they did a lottery for it), and an interview and then got the job, and one where I haven't gotten any response at all. All of these are for temporary positions where several people were being hired. I didn't do a cover letter at first but then did, because I'm returning to the work force after years of raising my kids and I felt I had to express enthusiasm so people wouldn't hold that gap against me. Can't hurt, might help.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:50 PM on April 7

Public library hiring manager here...
This site is becoming standard for many municipalities and other orgs.

Be sure you follow the instructions— keep in mind that HR folks will be the first to review your application. If they ask you to input your job history then do so.

Answer the written questions completely — and highlight library work experience and customer service work experience. Emphasize if you have provided service to individuals, to children, to diverse customers.

I don’t know what you mean by a ‘complicated ‘ work history. If you have concurrent jobs or volunteer experience then lead with your library experience.
posted by calgirl at 6:57 PM on April 7

The city whose jobs I've applied for using specifically says _not_ to upload a resume, since they're going to base everything on what you tediously enter into the question boxes. Your governmental entity may (and hopefully does) vary.
posted by LadyOscar at 7:20 PM on April 7

Not a librarian, so take this with a grain of salt. I've gotten my current job thru government jobs, and also been on a hiring panel reviewing applications processed through the governmentjobs format. I imagine all agencies are different in how they use it, but HR (and not necessarily someone with the subject expertise) is likely to screen the first round of applicants, checking for any minimum requirements/ qualifications. So if you don't meet a minimum requirement explicitly stated in the job description, it may prevent you from getting past the initial cut. I second making sure you follow instructions carefully and yes, you unfortunately must go through the tedious effort of entering in the boxes, rather than completely rely on a resume (though do include/ upload the resume as backup documentation if allowed). Make sure you answer any and all questions directly with a clear focus on what is explicitly stated in the job requirements.
posted by ch3ch2oh at 11:45 PM on April 7

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