Completing A Job Application Form

Even though an increasing number of jobs are being advertised online, completing a job application form correctly can be the key to getting an interview and in turn landing you the post.

Once you have read and analysed the advertisement to gain a clear understanding of the requirements of the job, been supplied an application form, it is now time to make sure that you give yourself the best chance to impress.

your job application form is vital in the recruitment processThe application form is a crucial part of the recruitment process, so it is vital that you produce a correctly completed form. The information you give on the application form supplies the employer with facts, details and what to ask you at interview, so you should not dismiss how important it is for you to make sure it is correctly completed. Take your time when completing a job application form.  Do not rush and ruin your odds of being invited for an interview. In short make sure you address what employers want on a job application form.

Completing a job application form

Before you start:

  • Make a photocopy of the original form.
  • Read all the instructions carefully, including the Job Description and Person Specification.
  • Make sure you understand all the questions and why they are being asked (ask for help if necessary).
  • Fill in the photocopied first and then copy it to the original form.
  • Keep the draft copy for future reference and/or interview.

Filling in the form:

  • Use black ink, pen or ballpoint
  • Write neatly – check whether the form asks for BLOCK CAPITALS
  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Do not leave gaps answer all questions that apply to you – remember to have answers for all questions you have not answered. Write N/A (not applicable) if a question does not apply to you.
  • Use simple words and short sentences
  • Emphasise positive qualities in the “any other details” section
  • Remember experience gained outside work can be relevant to some jobs
  • List current jobs history in orderly sequence, usually latest job first – but check each application form carefully
  • Do not exaggerate or understate previous responsibilities
  • Focus on positive information
  • Do not overcrowd the form. If necessary, add extra information on a separate piece of paper (with your name, the title of the job applied for and any reference number)
  • Tailor your answers to the advertisement or the person specification
  • Remember a correctly completed application form will increase your chance of getting to an interview.

When you have finished:

  • Include a covering letter – to break down the anonymity of the form
  • Make sure all dates are consistent
  • Get someone to check it all
  • Transfer from photocopy to original
  • Use a large envelope and first class stamp(s)
  • Post the form to reach the employer in good time
  • Keep a copy for yourself so you have a record of what you’ve put. You’ll need to be able to refer back to it at the interview stage

Make sure you keep a record of closing dates for all the applications you have made. This way you can have an easy to access record of follow up actions required. A phone call to confirm that your application form has been received can both put your mind at rest and bring your form to the attention of the prospective employer.

Your job application form can project you to probably the most crucial stage of the recruitment process – an interview – so spend the time to make sure it reflects you in the very best light.

Online Job Application Form

With more and more companies advertising jobs online, you should familiarise yourself with the process of how to complete online applications.  Not all companies offer the option of printable online job applications so you could miss out on a job interview if you do not fill out your online application form correctly.