The most common ways to complete an online job application are to register with the site and then either manually fill out the work history fields, copy and paste a resume, or attach a file. The exact options available depend on the employer.
Completing an online job application requires computer access. If home access is not available, both public libraries and American Jobs Centers provide free Internet access.
Some third-party websites such as CareerBuilder or Monster.com allow applicants to complete and submit applications on their sites. Otherwise, the employer's website may provide instructions on how to complete the application. The U.S. Department of Labor suggests that applicants never email a resume directly to an employer unless the website or job listing specifically requests this.
The employer's website may require registration and may require the prospective employee to use an email address as a login name. Sites such as Gmail offer free email registration for those who need a first email or who want a more professional-sounding email for application purposes.
To make accessing a resume easier, you can register with Google Docs and upload your resume. You can then access it when completing an online application and export it as a PDF file if you need to submit the resume as an attachment.