Learn How to Apply for Jobs

Do you need to start a job search, but aren't sure how to go about applying for jobs?  What's the best way to apply for a job? How you apply for jobs depends on the type of position you are seeking, and how the company accepts applications. 

In many cases, you'll be able to apply online or email your job application.  In others, especially for part-time, hospitality, and retail positions, you can apply in person.  Here's information on the best ways to apply for jobs, where to look for jobs, how to apply for jobs, and the best sites to use to job search.

Apply for Jobs Online

Young man works at home
James Whitaker / Getty Images

Before you start applying for jobs online it's important to prepare to complete online job applications and to gather all the information you'll need to apply. Online application systems typically ask for your contact information, educational background and employment history. You will need to know when you worked and what you were paid at your previous jobs. You may also be asked what days and hours you are available to work.

In order to apply for a job online and to complete online job applications, you'll need an email address to use for job searching, Internet access, an up-to-date resume, a cover letter for some jobs, and your employment history details.

Email Job Applications

email message
Copyright CSA Images/Mod Art Collection/Getty Images

When you are using email to apply for jobs, all your communications should be as professional as they would be if you were sending written correspondence.  Your email messages need to be properly formatted and should include a relevant subject line and your signature.  Here's advice on how to submit job applications via email.

Apply for Jobs on Company Websites

Businessman working at laptop in office
Hero Images / Getty Images

Company websites are among the best sources of job listings, especially if you know what companies you are interested in working for. You can go directly to the source and search for and apply for jobs online directly on many company websites. At most company sites, you can apply for all level positions online - from part-time hourly jobs to top management positions.

Applying to a company that hires directly, can be one of the best ways to get hired.

Career information is usually listed in the "Careers" or the "About Us" section of the site. Follow the instructions for searching for and applying to jobs online.

Apply for Jobs In-Person

employment application
Copyright Sampsyseeds/iStockPhoto

Before you apply for a job in-person, you need to know what to bring when you apply, the information you'll need to complete a job application, how to prepare, and how to follow up after you have applied for jobs.  It's not as complicated as applying online, but you will need to be prepared to apply and interview on the spot. If you're lucky, you may even be hired shortly after your interview.

If you're not sure what to do or say, review these tips for how to ask for a job application.

Apply at a Hiring Kiosk

Latin woman, small business owner
Pamela Moore / Getty Images

In-store hiring kiosks are convenient for both applicants and employers. You'll be able to apply online directly at the store or hiring center. The store manager or hiring manager will be able to review your information right away, speeding up the hiring process. Here's what you need to know about applying for a job at a hiring kiosk.

Apply for Part-Time Jobs

College student interviews at job fair
asiseeit / Getty Images

Applying for a part time job is a little different from applying for a full-time professional position. Here's how to apply for a part time job, along with tips and advice for finding part time jobs.

Apply for Summer Jobs

camp counselors
Thomas Barwick / Stone / Getty Images

Here's how to search for and apply for summer jobs, along with the information you will need to apply, summer job search tips, and advice on where to look to find a terrific summer job.

Job Application Guidelines

Application for employment and pen
Tetra Images / Getty Images

When you complete a job application, regardless of whether it is a paper application, an online job application, or an emailed resume and cover letter, there is specific information you will need to provide in order to complete the job application and submit your application for employment. The most important rule to remember when applying for jobs is to follow the directions.

If the employer tells you to apply in person, don't call. If the job posting says to mail your resume, do not send it via email. When the job listing says apply via a form on the company web site, don't email your application directly to Human Resources. There is not much more annoying to hiring managers than job seekers who don't follow the rules!

How to Compete a Job Application

Glasses, pen, and job application form
Geri Lavrov / Getty Images

When you're applying for jobs, the details are important. Leaving off information or submitting too much information can hinder your chances of getting hired.

Here is the information you will need to complete an application for employment and tips and suggestions for writing applications that make a great impression. Review the list for step-by-step details on completing and submitting employment applications.

Sample Employment Applications

Woman Filling Out Form at Kitchen Table
Eric Cahan / Getty Images

Job applications are lengthy and detailed. Review these samples so you will know exactly what the employer is going to want to know about you.

The best way to prepare to complete job applications is to download a sample job application or two. Complete the application and bring it with you when you are applying for employment.

This way you will be able to copy the information rather than having to remember dates of employment and education, contact information for previous employers and other information your prospective employer will need to know.

How to Follow Up After Applying for a Job

Man on phone using laptop
AMV Photo / Digital Vision / Getty Images

You have applied for a job with a company you'd like to interview with and you haven't heard back right away. What do you do next? You can either wait patiently, presuming the employer will contact you if they are interested, or you can choose to follow-up with the employer.

Here are tips on the best way to follow up after submitting a job application.

How to Reapply for Your Job

job interview
Copyright George Clerk/E+/Getty Images

It is not unusual for companies to formally their employees to reapply for a job after a merger or acquisition. It can also happen when a company is downsizing and layoffs are planned. Here are tips for how to reapply for a job with your current employer.

Where to Find Job Listings

help wanted ad
Alex Slobodkin/E+/Getty Images

Here are the best sites to find job listings including job search engine sites, job boards, company websites, niche job sites, social media and professional networking sites, jobs listed by type of job seeker and location, and more top job listing sites.

What Not to Do

Irritated businesswoman disagree with bad contract, boss dissatisfied with report
fizkes / Getty Images

It's important to know what you shouldn't do, along with what you should do when you are applying for jobs. Review these things not to do when you're applying for a job, to up your chances of getting and interview and a job offer.