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Information » Education, Employment & Training » Getting a Job » Application Forms

Application Forms

Application forms are a chance to sell yourself to an employer and are the main way employers select people for job interviews so it's important to get them right.

  • Sometimes large companies or organisations, employers will have a criteria or set of requirements of the kind of experience, skills and attributes they are looking for in the successful candidate
  • This is called a Person or Employee Specification and will provide details of the essential things that they would like from candidates
  • Usually this will be provided to you, together the job description listing the duties of the role and an application form for you to complete
    • General tips for completing an application form:

      • Read the instructions carefully and follow them
      • Some forms can be complicated so ask for help if you need it from your parents, teacher, youth worker or careers advisor
      • Take your time - if possible photocopy the original application form and practice on this first. If you can't photocopy it, write down your answers on a piece a paper first. There's nothing worse than a crumpled and marked application form
      • Use your CV to help you fill the form and make sure you complete everything that is asked of you or write Not Applicable
      • If one has been supplied, use the Person or Employee Specification as a guide - employers are telling what they are looking for and quite often your application form won't be considered any further if the essential criteria isn't met
      • Some people think that they don't need to bother filling in parts of the application form because the information is in their CV but this can count against you. Prospective employers might be dealing with a huge number of application forms for one job so they want to be able to find the information they need about you quickly and in the place that they expect to find it!
      • Give the information that is asked of you. If they ask for a CV, then include it, if they don't ask for it, then don't
      • Once you're happy with your practice form, fill in the original in black ink, neatly and clearly
      • Sometimes employers will accept typed application forms submitted via email but you need to ask them first
      • It's important to sell yourself but don't be tempted to lie. An employer is entitled to dismiss someone who has deliberately mislead them on an application form or in an interview
      • Ask referees permission before you use their names
      • Sign and date the form if required
      • Make a photocopy of your completed form if you can - it will help you prepare if you get an interview and can you use it for reference in the future if you need to fill out another application form
      • Make sure you submit the form by the deadline
      • Send a covering letter if you want to add more information. A cover letter is a simple introduction stating that you are submitting your application form and giving a few brief reasons why you think you are suitable for the job

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