The General Rule
Now the matter with application forms. Who here usually rush through the details required in application forms in their excitement to get to the next stage, which generally is an interview? Oh no, listen: You’ve got to fill them out with a lot of care, too. That’s the general rule.
Job applications these days are mostly initiated online. However, many still require job applicants to fill out pages of the printed ones before interviews are granted. To employers, job application forms are a way for them to quickly screen out the “bad” from the “good” candidates.
What to take away from here?
You have to make your application form stand out or no employer is ever going to take notice, which means that you won’t ever get a phone call or an email from your desired company.
How to do that? Read on for the tips from the pros.
1) Prepare all important documents needed. Resume, passport, government-issued ID’s, character references and their contact details, etc.
2) Follow instructions. Skim the whole application form to get an idea of what details are needed and how you are expected to fill out the form. If the instructions say, “Print your name,” please do so. If boxes are supposed to be marked with an “X”, don’t go ticking them with a check mark.
3) Write legibly. Not everybody has a great handwriting, but at least minimize erasures. The application form functions as your introduction to the company. Without a good one, there may be no doors opened for you. For online applications, watch out for typographical mistakes.
4) Don’t leave anything blank. If something doesn’t apply to you, write “NA” or “Not Applicable”.
5) Match the job description. As mentioned in a previous post, it’s important to frame your answers with the specific job description in mind using the language that the company speaks. The specific requirements posted in a job ad are usually the same key words the employers are expecting to see from your application. Otherwise, you’ll be deemed not a good fit, and so you’re out!
6) Don’t ever pad your application. That’s simply fraud, and I guess, that’s just too big of a risk for you to take. Be truthful. You may have gaps in your work history, you can explain truthful reasons without being negative.
7) And so, be POSITIVE. Write not only truthful, but also positive things. You don’t want to make the impression that you’re a big headache, right?
8) Proofread. The ideal is you proofread not just once, but many times before hitting the very inviting send button. Check your grammar, word choice, dates, spelling, and the overall tone of your voice.
Especially in hard times, one job ad usually generates hundreds of applications from eager applicants like you. If you keep these tips in mind, you should stand a better chance of being shortlisted for the next step of the job application process.