How to get a job applying online

How to Apply Online (and Actually Get Job Offers)WorkCareerResumeJun 21Written By Linhda TranHow I Got 6+ Job Offers & Built a Career by Applying OnlineI know, uncommon but tru

How to get a job applying online

How to Apply Online (and Actually Get Job Offers)WorkCareerResumeJun 21Written By Linhda Tran

How I Got 6+ Job Offers & Built a Career by Applying Online


apple online and actually get a job 2020-06.png
apple online and actually get a job 2020-06.png

I know, uncommon but true: I got all my jobs by applying online.

Yup, I scouted the job boards, sought roles matching my goals and qualifications, then submitted my application directly. With enough attempts, time, and experience Ive had 6+ job offers from cold online applying (and counting).

How many people can say the same? I didnt go through my network; I didnt get a warm introduction, or referral. I didnt ask my friends, friends or my supportive families for leads.

Dont get me wrong, I believe using your network, getting face time with warm introductions and referrals are the gold standard to landing a job. But what if, for some reason  you find yourself left with online applications as the only method? Back then, I simply didnt know any better, so I did what my college counselor advised: I submitted my resume into the abyss and low-and-behold, got job offers.

The online application world has served me well. The standard job application story looks something like this: you see a job posting, apply online, and then (wait for it) nothing. Nada! No email. No phone call. No interviews. And certainly no job offers.

In todays world, where much of the job application process has shifted back to the online forum, and in-person networking is challenging (or impossible due to COVID!)  its more essential than to learn how to play the cold job application game. So, it seems pertinent to share my tricks of the trade. I will explain how to successfully cold apply to a job listing and land a job offer. It will not be without a lot of trial and error, and at the end of the day its a combo of a numbers game, and your application appealing to the algorithm and/or person who makes the first screening call.

Lesson #1:

The first step to successfully applying to a job, have an exceptional resume and cover letter that screams I am the best, I am unique, I have a story and if you dont call me, youre a fool!

Your tool belt must be strong. You cant bake a great cake without the staple ingredients of flour, sugar, butter. Dont think you can turn water into wine. Start with a strong foundation: your resume and cover letter.

If you dont know if your resume and cover letter are solid read your cover letter as if you were reading your best friends. Is it interesting? Does it scream - this person is motivated, accomplished and is passionate?

If youre bored by reading your cover letter, then I guarantee you the person who has an inbox of 300 cover letters is going to be 10x more bored reading it. Boredom is the worst. If your cover letter and resume are boring, dry, a list of bullets - then you are not at the top of the applicant pile. Rework it again and again until you are impressed with yourself. This may sound easy but it is not, It has taken me years to craft my statement and resume! And I know its not perfect, but its 100x better than when I first started applying. If your resume is weak, then make sure your cover letter explains why youre interested in this career, position, company and what you have to offer. Then show it to at least one other person, and ask them if it sounds impressive, memorable, and above all would they call this person?

Rinse and repeat until you are impressed with yourself and your trust friend can honestly say - yes - I love it!

Lesson #2:

Understand the rules of the game. At each stage of the job application game, your singular goal is to make it to the next level.

Its like a video game. Stay vigilant. Stay focused. Your job is to get past their juvenile screening methods and confirm/convince them that you are the best candidate at every step of the way.

The basic steps of a job application and the goals along the way are as follows,

(note: that some steps may be repeated or skipped as determined by the hiring manager, its up to their discretion):

1 - Recruiter/HR phone interview

2  Hiring manager phone interview

3  In-person interview (with hiring manager and/or the team)

4  Job offer and negotiation

5  Job acceptance (win!)

6  Persistence, Persistence, Persistence


1 -Mastering the Recruiter/HR Phone Interview:

At times youll have both a recruiter and/or a hiring manager phone call. The recruiter can either be in-house or an outsources head hunting firm. If any recruiter/hiring manager is in-house, theyll be more adept at answering your questions about the company culture, your role and your hiring manager. I find that hiring managers typically work in-house. No matter what, do your LinkedIn stalking; find out before you get on the phone, who they are, what they do, in-house/outhouse and start to understand how their mind works.

Goals for interview #1: convince the recruiter that you,

(1) have all the skills needed for the job

(2) are not a complete psycho, dunce, or fake

(3) keep in mind, theyre trying to screen out sub-optimal candidates and counteract this by proving you are the best fit. This means for every question they ask you, make sure you are showcasing yourself in the best light. Think about it from their perspective.

For #1, make sure you have read the job description, highlighted key phases/works/skills/experience and have at the ready, excellent examples of you exhibiting those skills in action.

For #2, this is the easy part; just make sure you come off as competent, professional, and generally, match the interviewers wavelength. Read the room. If the interview is upbeat, make sure youre mirroring that attitude. Do not be difficult. Do not exude any bitterness, fear, or desperation. They will pick it up immediately. And any vulnerability will make you easy prey for when its salary negotiation time. If you do reveal any vulnerabilities, do so strategically (i.e. for what reason does it benefit you to share this bit of information?)

#3: this one is more nuanced. Re-read the job description and think about what skills [or lack of skills] the recruiter be trying to screen out. When the recruiter asks questions, think about what theyre trying to learn from you and make sure you fill in the gaps and give them no reason to reject your application.

Remember, the recruiter is the gate keeper to the hiring manager. No resumes will make it to the hiring manager until the recruiter gives your application their stamp of approval. Dont give the recruiter any reason to veto your application. You need to convince the recruiting/hiring manager that youre the top 10%, this job was meant for you because of X, and you far exceed expectations because of Y [insert your reason for why youre different than other candidates]. Make sure you stand out. If the recruit hangs up the phone, and immediately forgets you, thats a sure sign your application is not going further.

You are your own brand. Tell your own story. Dont be a lost soul, Oh I dont know what I want to do. I dont really care who I work for, I just want a paycheck. WRONG! Read the companys mission, find a passionate, life-altering reason why you want to work for that company. And practice saying it in the mirror, video yourself, and ask friends and family to help fake interview you. You need to genuinely believe what youre saying. Everyone can smell a rat. Think honestly about your strengths and weaknesses; then play up your strengths. Thats whats going to set you apart.


2 - Mastering the Hiring manager phone interview:

The hiring manager phone interview is the pivotal moment that will make or break you. Its all fun and games chatting to the recruiter. But once you make it to this level, the hiring manager will be extremely discerning. Their questions will be more dialed, specific and unyielding. Small talk, or a likable personality alone will not get you off the hook.

Every hiring manager [and every job description] is different (just as many colors in the rainbow, there are as many jobs, company cultures and personality quirks!). Everyone will have a different skillset, personality, feature and/or experience level that theyre looking for. There will be a je ne sais quoi it wont be spelled out in the job description. It will be written in the lines in between!

OKAY, so if you dont know how to win over the hiring manager, how do I succeed?

Repeat the professional LinkedIn stalking mentioned in the above Mastering the Recruiting/HR Interview section. Look up your hiring manager, read their past job experiences. Was it more technical, more creative oriented? Did they come from a Finance/Accounting background? Do they have their MBA? Where are they from, the big city or are they a small Southern town? How long have they worked at X company? The point is to figure out what makes them tick. What kinds of people, backgrounds, and experiences did they hire previously? Stalk their direct reports, team. What is their background? For example, does she only hire MBAs, who have a hands-on mechanical engineering background? If so, be ready for questions centered around those topics. Prep accordingly.

Your stalking should start before you get to the hiring manager interview.

Some key questions that have served me well include: who does this role report to, and how do you see this role fitting into the long-term growth of the company and/or department? The Recruiter may not know the answer, but what they say reveals how this captain likes to run their ship! Pay attention, take diligent notes. They will be dropping hints throughout, dont let it go over your head.

For example, one recruiting talked about how the hiring manager is looking for candidates with a more technical background [read: theyre trying to fill a gap and/or they believe that a person with this experience will excel in the role]. Hint: thats the recruiter hinting at your weak spot. Once you know your weak spot, ask yourself how can you play this down during the interview? Try to paint yourself in the best light, after youve built a vision as to what you think the hiring manager wants.

What if they ask me about a skill/task/project that Ive never done and/or experienced?

The best strategy Ive found, if Ive never done X and if Im not able to learn it in a weekend  is to say, I am familiar with X, but have not used it myself. However, I am an extremely fast learning because XYZ, so I am confident Id hit the ground running to learn quickly to make an immediate contribution.

Does this always work? Heck no! Many a-times Ive failed. Its sad to admit you dont know something during a job interview. The fact that theyre even asking, usually means hey, its important, dummy! Thus, if youre answering anything in Im-not-an-expert category, then me thinks youll be eliminated.

My rule of thumb: I can learn any general software over a long weekend but theres no point in faking a true, deeper level knowledge/experience. So tread carefully, folks.


3  Mastering the In-person interview (with hiring manager and/or the team)

This is a continuance of the skills and tactics I explained in the above #1 and #2. Master those skills, then you can rinse and repeat them at the in-person meeting!


4  Job offer and negotiation

This is pretty straight-forward, standard advice! I recommend this Muse article as a starting place.


5  Job acceptance (win!)

Now that youve made it to the end, you can pass go and collect $200! Note your learnings, and apply your successful skills to the next job hunt!


6  Persistence, Persistence, Persistence

In summary, you need to constantly tweak your resume, cover letter and interview tactics and methodology based on what is working or not working. If youve received a firm rejection, politely, professionally ask if you can schedule a phone call to receive any feedback. Then graciously accept the feedback  and go back see what can be improved upon.

The best advice I can give: is never sit on your laurels and always improve-improve-improve. If youre not learning from your failures, then its like youre dead. Dont be dead.

Keep you goal and focus in mind. Do not give up. If you stop applying, then they definitely wont know you existed, which means you are giving up the opportunity! Giving up is 100% failure, so dont stop.

I have gone 8 months applying to jobs and had no call backs due to the sh*tty economy and my lack of experience. Its true  some things are out of your control. For that pep talk and more on that  read my Job Fail post. The point is, do not give up. If you give up, youll surely fail. Where as if you keep going, the tide will eventually turn in your favor (so you need to be ready).

As you keep applying, keep honing your skills, refining your tool belt and tactics, after each failed attempt  youll increase the odds of making it to the next level. In the words of the classic motivation poster: Carry on!


And thats it! Yes, its a slog and not a quick fix - but it is worth it! If you want any more advice, coaching or want me to review your resume / cover letter - I do offer resume/interview prep services! So feel free to reach out and tell me about your experience, questions, and/or how it goes. Good luck! Job SearchJob ApplicationsApply Online JobJobsLinhda Tran

How to Apply Online (and Actually Get Job Offers)WorkCareerResumeJun 21Written By Linhda Tran

How I Got 6+ Job Offers & Built a Career by Applying Online


apple online and actually get a job 2020-06.png
apple online and actually get a job 2020-06.png

I know, uncommon but true: I got all my jobs by applying online.

Yup, I scouted the job boards, sought roles matching my goals and qualifications, then submitted my application directly. With enough attempts, time, and experience Ive had 6+ job offers from cold online applying (and counting).

How many people can say the same? I didnt go through my network; I didnt get a warm introduction, or referral. I didnt ask my friends, friends or my supportive families for leads.

Dont get me wrong, I believe using your network, getting face time with warm introductions and referrals are the gold standard to landing a job. But what if, for some reason  you find yourself left with online applications as the only method? Back then, I simply didnt know any better, so I did what my college counselor advised: I submitted my resume into the abyss and low-and-behold, got job offers.

The online application world has served me well. The standard job application story looks something like this: you see a job posting, apply online, and then (wait for it) nothing. Nada! No email. No phone call. No interviews. And certainly no job offers.

In todays world, where much of the job application process has shifted back to the online forum, and in-person networking is challenging (or impossible due to COVID!)  its more essential than to learn how to play the cold job application game. So, it seems pertinent to share my tricks of the trade. I will explain how to successfully cold apply to a job listing and land a job offer. It will not be without a lot of trial and error, and at the end of the day its a combo of a numbers game, and your application appealing to the algorithm and/or person who makes the first screening call.

Lesson #1:

The first step to successfully applying to a job, have an exceptional resume and cover letter that screams I am the best, I am unique, I have a story and if you dont call me, youre a fool!

Your tool belt must be strong. You cant bake a great cake without the staple ingredients of flour, sugar, butter. Dont think you can turn water into wine. Start with a strong foundation: your resume and cover letter.

If you dont know if your resume and cover letter are solid read your cover letter as if you were reading your best friends. Is it interesting? Does it scream - this person is motivated, accomplished and is passionate?

If youre bored by reading your cover letter, then I guarantee you the person who has an inbox of 300 cover letters is going to be 10x more bored reading it. Boredom is the worst. If your cover letter and resume are boring, dry, a list of bullets - then you are not at the top of the applicant pile. Rework it again and again until you are impressed with yourself. This may sound easy but it is not, It has taken me years to craft my statement and resume! And I know its not perfect, but its 100x better than when I first started applying. If your resume is weak, then make sure your cover letter explains why youre interested in this career, position, company and what you have to offer. Then show it to at least one other person, and ask them if it sounds impressive, memorable, and above all would they call this person?

Rinse and repeat until you are impressed with yourself and your trust friend can honestly say - yes - I love it!

Lesson #2:

Understand the rules of the game. At each stage of the job application game, your singular goal is to make it to the next level.

Its like a video game. Stay vigilant. Stay focused. Your job is to get past their juvenile screening methods and confirm/convince them that you are the best candidate at every step of the way.

The basic steps of a job application and the goals along the way are as follows,

(note: that some steps may be repeated or skipped as determined by the hiring manager, its up to their discretion):

1 - Recruiter/HR phone interview

2  Hiring manager phone interview

3  In-person interview (with hiring manager and/or the team)

4  Job offer and negotiation

5  Job acceptance (win!)

6  Persistence, Persistence, Persistence


1 -Mastering the Recruiter/HR Phone Interview:

At times youll have both a recruiter and/or a hiring manager phone call. The recruiter can either be in-house or an outsources head hunting firm. If any recruiter/hiring manager is in-house, theyll be more adept at answering your questions about the company culture, your role and your hiring manager. I find that hiring managers typically work in-house. No matter what, do your LinkedIn stalking; find out before you get on the phone, who they are, what they do, in-house/outhouse and start to understand how their mind works.

Goals for interview #1: convince the recruiter that you,

(1) have all the skills needed for the job

(2) are not a complete psycho, dunce, or fake

(3) keep in mind, theyre trying to screen out sub-optimal candidates and counteract this by proving you are the best fit. This means for every question they ask you, make sure you are showcasing yourself in the best light. Think about it from their perspective.

For #1, make sure you have read the job description, highlighted key phases/works/skills/experience and have at the ready, excellent examples of you exhibiting those skills in action.

For #2, this is the easy part; just make sure you come off as competent, professional, and generally, match the interviewers wavelength. Read the room. If the interview is upbeat, make sure youre mirroring that attitude. Do not be difficult. Do not exude any bitterness, fear, or desperation. They will pick it up immediately. And any vulnerability will make you easy prey for when its salary negotiation time. If you do reveal any vulnerabilities, do so strategically (i.e. for what reason does it benefit you to share this bit of information?)

#3: this one is more nuanced. Re-read the job description and think about what skills [or lack of skills] the recruiter be trying to screen out. When the recruiter asks questions, think about what theyre trying to learn from you and make sure you fill in the gaps and give them no reason to reject your application.

Remember, the recruiter is the gate keeper to the hiring manager. No resumes will make it to the hiring manager until the recruiter gives your application their stamp of approval. Dont give the recruiter any reason to veto your application. You need to convince the recruiting/hiring manager that youre the top 10%, this job was meant for you because of X, and you far exceed expectations because of Y [insert your reason for why youre different than other candidates]. Make sure you stand out. If the recruit hangs up the phone, and immediately forgets you, thats a sure sign your application is not going further.

You are your own brand. Tell your own story. Dont be a lost soul, Oh I dont know what I want to do. I dont really care who I work for, I just want a paycheck. WRONG! Read the companys mission, find a passionate, life-altering reason why you want to work for that company. And practice saying it in the mirror, video yourself, and ask friends and family to help fake interview you. You need to genuinely believe what youre saying. Everyone can smell a rat. Think honestly about your strengths and weaknesses; then play up your strengths. Thats whats going to set you apart.


2 - Mastering the Hiring manager phone interview:

The hiring manager phone interview is the pivotal moment that will make or break you. Its all fun and games chatting to the recruiter. But once you make it to this level, the hiring manager will be extremely discerning. Their questions will be more dialed, specific and unyielding. Small talk, or a likable personality alone will not get you off the hook.

Every hiring manager [and every job description] is different (just as many colors in the rainbow, there are as many jobs, company cultures and personality quirks!). Everyone will have a different skillset, personality, feature and/or experience level that theyre looking for. There will be a je ne sais quoi it wont be spelled out in the job description. It will be written in the lines in between!

OKAY, so if you dont know how to win over the hiring manager, how do I succeed?

Repeat the professional LinkedIn stalking mentioned in the above Mastering the Recruiting/HR Interview section. Look up your hiring manager, read their past job experiences. Was it more technical, more creative oriented? Did they come from a Finance/Accounting background? Do they have their MBA? Where are they from, the big city or are they a small Southern town? How long have they worked at X company? The point is to figure out what makes them tick. What kinds of people, backgrounds, and experiences did they hire previously? Stalk their direct reports, team. What is their background? For example, does she only hire MBAs, who have a hands-on mechanical engineering background? If so, be ready for questions centered around those topics. Prep accordingly.

Your stalking should start before you get to the hiring manager interview.

Some key questions that have served me well include: who does this role report to, and how do you see this role fitting into the long-term growth of the company and/or department? The Recruiter may not know the answer, but what they say reveals how this captain likes to run their ship! Pay attention, take diligent notes. They will be dropping hints throughout, dont let it go over your head.

For example, one recruiting talked about how the hiring manager is looking for candidates with a more technical background [read: theyre trying to fill a gap and/or they believe that a person with this experience will excel in the role]. Hint: thats the recruiter hinting at your weak spot. Once you know your weak spot, ask yourself how can you play this down during the interview? Try to paint yourself in the best light, after youve built a vision as to what you think the hiring manager wants.

What if they ask me about a skill/task/project that Ive never done and/or experienced?

The best strategy Ive found, if Ive never done X and if Im not able to learn it in a weekend  is to say, I am familiar with X, but have not used it myself. However, I am an extremely fast learning because XYZ, so I am confident Id hit the ground running to learn quickly to make an immediate contribution.

Does this always work? Heck no! Many a-times Ive failed. Its sad to admit you dont know something during a job interview. The fact that theyre even asking, usually means hey, its important, dummy! Thus, if youre answering anything in Im-not-an-expert category, then me thinks youll be eliminated.

My rule of thumb: I can learn any general software over a long weekend but theres no point in faking a true, deeper level knowledge/experience. So tread carefully, folks.


3  Mastering the In-person interview (with hiring manager and/or the team)

This is a continuance of the skills and tactics I explained in the above #1 and #2. Master those skills, then you can rinse and repeat them at the in-person meeting!


4  Job offer and negotiation

This is pretty straight-forward, standard advice! I recommend this Muse article as a starting place.


5  Job acceptance (win!)

Now that youve made it to the end, you can pass go and collect $200! Note your learnings, and apply your successful skills to the next job hunt!


6  Persistence, Persistence, Persistence

In summary, you need to constantly tweak your resume, cover letter and interview tactics and methodology based on what is working or not working. If youve received a firm rejection, politely, professionally ask if you can schedule a phone call to receive any feedback. Then graciously accept the feedback  and go back see what can be improved upon.

The best advice I can give: is never sit on your laurels and always improve-improve-improve. If youre not learning from your failures, then its like youre dead. Dont be dead.

Keep you goal and focus in mind. Do not give up. If you stop applying, then they definitely wont know you existed, which means you are giving up the opportunity! Giving up is 100% failure, so dont stop.

I have gone 8 months applying to jobs and had no call backs due to the sh*tty economy and my lack of experience. Its true  some things are out of your control. For that pep talk and more on that  read my Job Fail post. The point is, do not give up. If you give up, youll surely fail. Where as if you keep going, the tide will eventually turn in your favor (so you need to be ready).

As you keep applying, keep honing your skills, refining your tool belt and tactics, after each failed attempt  youll increase the odds of making it to the next level. In the words of the classic motivation poster: Carry on!


And thats it! Yes, its a slog and not a quick fix - but it is worth it! If you want any more advice, coaching or want me to review your resume / cover letter - I do offer resume/interview prep services! So feel free to reach out and tell me about your experience, questions, and/or how it goes. Good luck! Job SearchJob ApplicationsApply Online JobJobsLinhda Tran

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