Jobkit >> Completing an application form
Today, more and more organisations will ask you to complete and return their own application forms rather than just sending in your CV. This is because when they are looking through applications for a vacancy, the information on experience, interests etc for each candidate is always in the same place on each form, making it easier for them to choose who to invite to interview.
This means that to get your application some extra attention, what is written and the way that it is written is very important to create a good impression.
Before you start
Proper preparation prevents poor performance. When you receive the application form check the date when you have to return it. Mistakes could be made if you leave it to the last minute and you might even miss the deadline.
- Read the instructions carefully.
- Make sure you understand all the questions. lf unsure, ask someone to help you.
- Write your answers on a photocopy of the form. This will avoid any crossings out or changes of mind, especially if you decide to alter something.
- When you have completed a copy, get someone to go through it with you to make sure you have covered all the key areas.
- While you are carrying out the above preparations make sure that you keep the original clean and in a safe place ready for when you fill it in.
Completing the form
Find a place where you will not be disturbed and can concentrate. Read the instructions again and take your time, quality counts. With your CV alongside you:
- Use black ink or ballpoint, this will help if the employer wants to make a photocopy of your form and you can make a copy when finished.
- Write neatly, make sure it is easy to read and that the spelling is correct.
- Complete one section at a time.
- Keep your answers brief and to the point.
- If you need more space, use a separate piece of paper and attach it to your form. Do not attempt to try and cram everything on the form itself, it will look untidy and may create a bad impression.
- If you do use additional paper, include your name and the job vacancy/ reference number in case it gets separated from the application form.
- Answer all the questions that apply to you. Where they don’t, put ’Not Applicable’.
- Sell yourself. Make sure you emphasise all your relevant skills, experience, qualities and achievements.
“Don’t forget – experience and skills gained outside of work can also be very important to the job you are applying for, make sure you mention them and remember to complete a rough copy first and check it thoroughly.”
When you have finished
This is the time to sit back and check that you have really sold yourself to the employer, giving you the best chance to get an interview.
- Check through your answers carefully, ensuring that all the dates are correct.
- Make sure it’s clear which job you are applying for.
- Keep a copy for yourself so that you have a copy you can take to interview if you are successful.
- Write a short covering letter to go with the application form including the vacancy and reference number if there is one.
- Use a large envelope; don’t cram the form into a small one.
- Send the form off to reach the employer in plenty of time.