Application form hints and tips
Many employers will ask you to complete an application form when you apply for a job. Some will send you a traditional paper form. Others will ask you to download and print out a form from their website.
- Read the job advert or job description, and have a copy to hand. Match your skills and qualities to that specific job.
- Read the form carefully before you start, and make sure you follow any instructions. For example, use BLOCK CAPITALS when asked.
- Practise on a photocopy of the form before you complete the original. If you are downloading the form from the employer’s website save a copy, or print one out, to use as a practise version.
- It can take anything from 30 minutes to an hour to complete an application form. So, give yourself enough time to do it well.
- Use black ink if you filling it out by hand; it photocopies best (many employers will request this).
- Keep your writing neat and clear. If you are using a word processor keep things simple. Use the same type of font throughout and make sure it's easy to read.
- Complete all of the sections. If a question doesn’t apply to you just write in ‘Not Applicable’ or N/A.
- Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation. If possible, get someone else to check your draft copy before you complete the final version.
- Make sure the information you give is truthful and accurate.
Make sure you get the form in by the closing date.
- Complete the form in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed; you’ll make more mistakes if you can’t concentrate.
- Try to make the best use of space in the form. If necessary, use an additional sheet of paper and attach it to the form.
- Don’t eat or drink near the application form. Jam is pretty hard to remove!
- Never let children or pets near an application form, unless you want it chewed or drawn on!
- Keep a copy of the completed form to use again when filling in other forms. You can also use it to prepare for the interview.
- Contact your referees, the people who are providing you with a reference, to let them know that the employer might be in touch.
- You may also want to read our articles about Applying online.
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