In today’s competitive job market, it’s more important than ever before that you take the time to complete a stand-out job application form that will allow you to secure your dream job role and achieve your career ambitions.
After all, completing a job application form is your first opportunity to position yourself at the forefront of an employer’s mind and prove that you fit the criteria outlined in the job description. With this in mind, it certainly pays to take the time to fill out a job application form with care and attention.
We’ve rounded up our helpful tips on how you can nail the job application process.
What is an application form?
Employers use job application forms to gather the information they need from potential candidates. This gives them the opportunity to ask a wide range of questions about the individual and their related skills, including their qualifications, work history, personal information and capabilities.
An application form is usually the first stage in the application process. Employers will use the information you provide to determine who they want to take through to the next stage, usually an interview.
How do I prepare for making an application?
Today’s job market is highly competitive so, if you want to make a memorable first impression, it’s important you carefully prepare and ensure your application demonstrates the specific skills and experience the employer is looking for.
First and foremost, you should carefully read through the application and make a note of the information being requested.
Some of the generic information that you will need to have to hand when completing an application includes:
- Your academic achievements
- Employment history
- Contact information for your referees.
Some of the best candidates also take the time to thoroughly research the company they are applying to work with, looking closely at their main competitors, their social media channels, their values, and the company’s background. This allows them to provide responses that will appeal to the team reviewing the applications.
What information should I include on an application form?
Most job application forms will ask you to provide similar types of information. For example, typical sections might include:
- Personal information
- Educational background, including courses taken and qualifications gained
- Work experience such as a full list of your employment history focussing on those closely linked to the role you are applying for
- Competency-based questions where you will be asked to provide specific examples of times you’ve demonstrated the skills required for the role
- A personal statement which should explain why you are the right person for the job.
Remember, this is your first opportunity to sell yourself, so don’t be afraid to highlight all your skills, experience and why you will make a great candidate for the job. Plus, all of your answers should be related to the role you are applying for – think about what skills employers want and how you can show that you have them.
How do I fine-tune my application?
Once you have completed your job application form, you should always take the time to finely tune it, looking closely at the style and tone of your writing and whether you have portrayed yourself in the best possible light.
For example, always use power verbs, avoid waffling, and focus on answering the question at hand. At the same time, ensure that you’ve included examples to support what you are saying and ultimately, demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for the role you are applying for.
Do I need to disclose personal information in a job application?
Yes, the majority of job application forms will ask you to provide personal information about yourself such as age, race, religion, and sex (gender).
However, although you are not obliged to provide this information, it does prevent employers from discriminating against applicants on these grounds.
How do I submit my application form?
In today’s ever-evolving digital world, most job application forms are completed and submitted online, generally via the employer’s website.
Online application forms also allow you to attach any supporting documents such as cover letters or CVs. And, once you’ve submitted your application, you should receive an email to confirm it has been received.
What happens if my application is successful?
When waiting to hear whether your job application has been successful, you should always keep in mind that employers tend to have lots of applications to sieve through, therefore, you might not hear back straight away.
If an employer has received an unprecedented response, they might invite you to complete a series of online exercises such as psychometric tests to further shortlist applications.
If you are successful, you will generally be asked to attend a face-to-face or video interview or perhaps a telephone interview.
How do I respond to job rejection?
No one likes the thought of rejection but, in the world of recruitment, you must accept that you might not always be the right candidate for the job you are applying for. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go on to apply for other similar roles. After all, they do say that when one door shuts, another one opens.
At the same time, it’s important that you respond to rejection professionally, and thank the employer for the opportunity to apply for the job and for their time. This is also a great opportunity to ask them for feedback.
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