Getting a Job: 1/4 - Application Form
Curriculum Vitae
The Interview
Applying for jobs
Is the application form important?
Applying successfully for a job takes time and skill. The employer has a good idea of the sort of person needed to fill a vacancy – their qualifications, skills and personality. Before beginning to fill in an application form, you should make sure you are likely to match most of the requirements for the job – particularly your experience and qualifications.
You need to be clear about the sort of work you are seeking and why you would be good at it. You need to analyse the vacancy information and do some research on the company to decide whether you are suited to the vacancy. If you are, then you need to demonstrate this to the employer. The application form is the first stage.

How should I prepare?
You should read through the whole form before you start filling any of it in, noting whether the application requests that responses be written with, for example, black ink.
Always follow the instructions on the form as the employer has put them there for a reason.
You should write your answers in rough first on a photocopy of the form, and if you know you can’t spell, have a dictionary handy. Better still, as a friend or relative to read it through and spot any errors or mistakes.
Gather together all the factual information you will need to complete the form eg. Exam results, work experience dates.
Adopt a positive attitude, remember this is your opportunity to sell yourself, and make the company want to meet you.
You should do some homework on the company and try to find out what the selectors are looking for and demonstrate to them that you can meet their criteria.

How can I communicate effectively?
Think of what you are going to say, who you are saying it to, how you are going to say it and why you are saying it. Think very carefully about open questions eg. “What attracts you to this type of work?” Make your answers relevant, interesting and personal. Avoid bland generalities.
Highlight your strengths and achievements which are relevant to the position for which you are applying. If you are asked to put one or more referees ask your their permission before naming them on the form. Keep them in touch with how your plans are working out so that they can write the most helpful sort of reference.

Note: A referee is somebody who knows you well and will write a reference on your behalf.

How can I do myself justice?
Emphasise your positive commitment, offering evidence of the claims you make. Always keep your application form clean: a form crumpled or soiled with food and drink does not create a good impression.
Either word process or use your best handwriting to make the form easy to read. Yours may well be one of many, and if employers cannot read your form, they won’t!
Ask someone else to look over your application, before you send off the final version, to look for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, or questions you have not answered.
Keep a copy of the form to read before your interview and for reference the next time you fill in an application form.