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Tips & Suggestions for Completing an Online Job Application
A photo of a person using a computer mouse

The following tips and suggestions will help you understand how to fill out an online job application. These tips cover some of the most common difficulties encountered in online applications, but if you don't find an answer here, please ask a librarian for help.

Can you save your progress?

Double check if the application has to be completed at one time or if you can save and finish it on another day. If you can save the form, you will be asked to create an account with a username and password. Create something that will be easy for you to remember and write the information down.

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Do you have enough time in your session?

If you are working from a library computer, check the amount of time you have on your computer session (at the top). If you will need more time added to your session, please ask staff before your session has only 5 minutes remaining.

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An example of a form with required fields

What are required fields?

Required fields (boxes) may be indicated in red or indicated with the word (required) next to them, or may have an asterisk * next to the required field. You must complete that particular box to continue with the application.

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An example of a drop down list

What are drop down lists?

On many forms, you will come across a drop down list. They are often used for selecting a particular state or an occupation. If you click on the tiny arrow pointing down at the top right, you will see a list of options. Please select the correct option by clicking on it.

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An example of a CAPTCHA

What are CAPTCHAS?

A CAPTCHA is a program that can generate letters and numbers that humans can retype but a computer program could not. This guarantees that a real person is completing the form versus a computer that may be trying to spam their website. Enter the code that you see and click the Submit button. If you can't read the code, you may click to have another code generated for you to try.

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How do I submit my resume?

If you currently have a resume, please proceed to the next appropriate step. If you do not have a resume, you will need to create one. You can create a resume by using Microsoft Word, WinWay Resume Deluxe, or by using the Jobs and Career Accelerator link from the library web page. When saving your resume, keep in mind that a potential employer may see the name of your resume file. A good rule of thumb is to use your first and last name for your resume file name.

If the application allows you to upload your resume:

You will have to click on the Browse button and locate your resume file from the computer or your flash drive. Once you have located that file, click the Open or Upload button (either term may be used depending on the particular website). The final step is to click the Submit button for your resume to be submitted. You should be notified if it was successfully uploaded to their website.

If the application only allows for you to copy and paste your resume:

You will need to open your resume file in Microsoft Word, and copy the contents. Before copying, go ahead and remove all formatting (such as words that are bold, italicized or underlined). Run a spell check. To select all of the text on your resume, go to Edit (at the top) and Select All. While your text is highlighted, go back to Edit (at the top) and select Copy. Next, put your curser in the correct box in the application form and paste your resume by going back to Edit and select Paste.

One final tip:

Review your text carefully and correct any spacing or spelling errors. Make it look as good as possible in their box -- which may require you to do some backspacing and removing of some spaces.

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