Often one of the biggest barriers to getting a job is getting through the time-consuming process of completing application forms. We have all been there, you’ve found the job, the person spec screams “ME!’ but then you have to face the long drawn out process of ensuring that you correctly communicate everything about you that makes the recruiter realise that you are the ONE they have been looking for!
Completing an application form is a real art and only comes with time, experience and strong writing skills, but the following useful tips will get you started.
As with so much of job-hunting, you need to be prepared. Read through the person specification and job description provided and ask yourself:
- Am I really right for this job and is the job I want?
- Do I have the skills, knowledge and experience required for the post?
- Do I have enough information from the job description to provide me with sufficient information to apply for the job?
Read the instructions!
Each employer/recruiter has a format for the way they wish a form to be completed. Don’t jump the gun, read the instructions through thoroughly before beginning. Failure to do so makes you look careless and does not impress a recruiter.
Job applications are generally electronic or online, but regardless of the format draft your answers, as this will reduce the number of errors you make. Many employers still use paper applications and spelling errors, smudges and crossings outs look terrible to an employer.
On paper applications, you may also need to practice your response to gauge how much information can be included in a box. Where space is tight use bullet points and be succinct.
Many application forms now require applicants to complete a personal statement in support of their application, usually giving the reasons for applying and what makes them a suitable candidate for the job, such as their knowledge, skills and experience supported by examples. This is a key section and one that you should spend time on – read my blog for more advice on how to complete a supporting statement well.
Don’t fill it out the night before!
Like school homework, filling out your application the night before is most likely going to get you a fail. Give yourself the time to prepare for completing the application and you won’t make mistakes that miscommunicate your abilities.
Get someone you trust will do more than just skim read and ask them to proofread the application – they will almost certainly pick up something you have missed!
Keep a copy
Preferably keep a digital copy that you can refer back to for your job interview or for any future applications.
Do you want a professionally completed job application or a supporting statement that really grabs a recruiter’s attention? Get in touch today and talk it through with me.