Completing Application Forms
Completing Application Forms (Paper and Online)
Job application forms are official forms which a company asks candidates to fill out when applying for a job and can be either a paper form or form you will need to complete online.
Unlike your CV, these forms allow employers to ask a specific set of questions – rather than letting jobseekers choose the format and content of their application themselves.
Employers will clearly ask about all the things they want you to highlight, allowing you to tailor what you write to exactly what they’re looking for.
And, because you don’t have to worry about how it’s presented, filling out your application can take a lot less time.
This form is your one and only chance to sell yourself to your prospective boss, so you need to make sure you include everything relevant to your application and why you’d be a perfect fit for the job.
Here are some basic things you’ll usually need to include in a job application form:
- Your name and address
- Your employment history
- Your qualifications
- Answers to specific competency-based questions
Its these last questions that people find harder to complete, of course we all know our personal details, but we are just using the same skills and research we did when writing a cover letter.
- What interests you in this job?
- What would you bring to the role?
- Why would you be a good fit for our company?
- Why do you want to work here?
Here we use the skills in matching our experience with what the job specifications are. For example:-
JOB ADVERT- "to be able to deliver great customer service." So, we write as a part of this answer – "Working for three years as checkout assistant, I cheerfully greeted and chatted to customers, taking time to answer and questions they have."
Research the company online and find out what it’s like to work there; link any personal interests that have made you want to work for this employer. Other things you may want to mention (that you’ve found in your research) could be about:- Company general reputation, Admiration of products/services, Company culture and values, Company growth/success
Remember first impressions always count, use your best handwriting or ask someone to write it for you, if you deliver the application form by hand, dress in formal clothes, like you would wear to an interview, when you deliver it. You can always ask to speak to a manager when you hand your application or CV in, this is your opportunity to create a conversation about the job or company that allows you to be a bit more memorable to the employer.
Online applications are sometime pre-filtered by a computer, the computer system will then only send a short list for the recruiting manager to choose from to invite to interview. This has been seen to be a challenge with some very suitable applications dismissed by the computer, however we can use computers as well to aid our application. After a few searches online, you can find the ‘key words’ that the computer is looking for to filter the applications, ensure the text in your application and/or cover letter contains these words and it should improve your success. You may also find part of the online application is a quiz, asking you how you would deal with certain situations, the answers to these will perform the filtering process, again you can find the ‘right’ answers online with a bit of hunting (sometimes they are very different to what you would expect)1