Looking for a job on the internet and online applications are becoming more and more popular and common, therefore, knowing how to search and apply for a job is necessary to succeed in the current labor market. However, not all the websites are already perfectly deigned to be accessible for VIP. Here, we will try to give you some indications about how to search and apply for jobs online and how to overcome possible difficulties.
Useful websites and how to search through them
First of all, you should familiarize with some specific terms that refer to online job search, so that you know what to expect from websites listing open positions. The two principal types are job board and search engines, even if many of the most popular websites work as both.
Job boards are websites where you can find a series of available positions that are collected directly from employers and companies. In general, you can directly apply through the website or send your candidature to the address that is specifically stated. In most cases, job boards allow you to register and create a profile where you can post your CV so that employers can see it. On the contrary, job search engines, also called “job aggregators”, show (or link you to) job offers that were previously offered in other websites.
Both types of websites can be generalist or specific (also called “niche job sites”). The first ones collect a wide range of employment opportunities in different fields and that require various kind of education. Instead, the second ones are dedicated to a specific profession or a specific category of people. There are for example websites with job offers for people with disabilities, such as www.wheelit.be in Belgium, www.jobmetoo.com in Italy and www.portalento.es in Spain where you may find opportunities for VIP.
Instead, some generalist websites are:
- Google for Jobs
Furthermore, you can extend your research to other websites, such as:
- University websites: if you have recently graduated, universities usually have a section dedicated to employment and placement with job offers for young people with no much experience;
- Employment agencies: even if a registration is usually required, they often post their offers online;
- Companies websites: you can create a list of companies that interest you and search in the section “work with us” of their website if they have open positions available or if it is possible to send your candidature.
At this point it should be clear that there is a huge variety of websites that can help you, however we would like to provide you with some suggestions that can facilitate your search.
First, try to define where you will find it easier to find offers that best suit your profile. Do not limit your search to generalist websites, but try to expand it to others more specific in the sector where you would like to work and that look for people with your qualification and experience. Once you have identified some websites, set some parameters that can facilitate your search. For example, in many websites it is possible to limit it to a city or a sector. Finally, most of the websites ask you to register if you want to apply for a position. Therefore, be careful when providing your personal data and when you agree to receive notifications. In fact, even if it may seem appealing receiving mails with new offered positions, you can easily turn into being overwhelmed by spam and other ads.
How to fill an online application
As soon as you start answering to
job offers, you’ll easily realize that many websites, both job boards and
employers websites, ask you to fill an online application form. In order to make this task simpler, you
should gather beforehand some documents and information that you are required
to provide. The most common are: contact information and information about your
education, your CV, a cover letter, your employment history and sometimes
reference letters from previous employers or other people that can provide
evidence of your capacities.
We have already seen in the
previous modules how to write a CV and a cover letter. You should always make
sure that they are up-to-date and in the required file format. It can be Word, PDF or you may be asked to copy and paste the content directly in a dedicated
box. We suggest you to save them reporting your name in the file name (e.g.
“name_surname_CV.pdf”), so that the hiring manager can immediately link them to
How about the employment history?
It is a list containing all your previous jobs together with companies address,
dates of the period of work, you salary and the exact position you held. It is
very important to be the most accurate as possible, since employers may use it
for a background check to see if the information you provided is correct. If
you don’t remember something you can either check it with the human resources
department of your previous employer or ask it to national organisms such as
the social security or public unemployment agencies. As a tip, we recommend you
to keep a file with the information that may help you reconstructing your
employment history and update it when you start a new job, receive a promotion
or change the tasks you perform.
if it may seem easy to do an online application, some difficulties may arise if
you are blind or visually impaired. Before starting the process, we advise you
to check which kind of device fits better for your scope according to the
assistive technology at your disposal and the feature of the website. Indeed,
some statistics have proven that even sighted people using their smartphones
for job applications experience more problems than computer users because many
websites are not designed to fit the smartphones screens and it is more
complicated to upload the required files.
Moreover, you should be
prepared to the fact that many forms that have to be filled are not always
accessible for VIP. Although, we try to offer you three solutions that may
facilitate this task. First, you should check that the technology at your
disposal is the ultimate version or if some updates are needed. A small
adjustment could be sufficient to make a huge difference. Second, if this is
still not working, you can ask a sighted person to help you in the process.
Third, if you cannot get assistance from someone, check whether the company
itself offers help to disabled people, for instance through their human
resources department. In the description it could be already stated what to do
in case you need assistance. Lastly, if none of these options worked and the
company didn’t seem to be helpful and able to accommodate the procedure to your
necessities, it can be a signal that this is not an adequate place for you to