Employers use job applications to learn about your qualifications and compare you to other applicants. But some prefer that you submit a resume.
The information you provide may become part of your permanent employment record. Answer all questions honestly. False information can become the basis for dismissal. Avoid any negative information. Here are some tips for completing applications successfully:
Avoid having your application rejected because you filled it out wrong.
- Read the entire application before you complete it.
- Pay close attention to what is being asked and how you are expected to respond.
- Do not write in sections that say “Do Not Write Below This Line” or “Office Use Only.”
- Provide only the information that the employer wants or is needed to sell your qualifications.
Be Neat and Complete
Make sure that your application creates a good impression by answering all the employer’s questions.
- Before you leave home, create a personal data sheet. This should include all the information you might need to complete an application, like names of previous employers, employment dates, addresses, telephone numbers, etc. Use it as you fill out the application.
- Most applications will ask for references. Add this to your personal data sheet.
- Do not use abbreviations, except for “n/a” (not applicable).
- Respond to all questions. If a question does not apply to you, use “n/a” to indicate that it is not applicable. This shows the employer that you did not overlook anything.
If you are filling out a paper application:
- Make a rough draft. Write out responses on a separate sheet of paper before completing the real application. Or get two copies and use the first one as a rough draft.
- Write clearly. Use a black, erasable pen, and print clearly. Or use a typewriter.
- Proofread it. Make sure that you have no grammar or spelling errors. If possible, have someone else review the application. They’ll catch errors that you might miss.
- Keep it neat. Use correction fluid (“white out”) to fix minor errors, but use it sparingly.
List Your Position Desired
Do not leave this question blank or use “any” or “open.”
- If you’re answering a job ad or looking for a specific position, enter that job title.
- If you are not applying for a specific position, enter the name of the department in which you wish to work.
- If you are interested in more than one job, fill out more than one application.
Target Your Qualifications
Many applications have limited space to record your skills, experience, and accomplishments.
- Include only those that meet the specific needs of the job. To decide what to include, research the company, its products or services, and the skills needed for the job.
- Attach a resume that details your skills, experience, and accomplishments.
Provide Salary Requirements
Employers may use this question to screen out applicants. It is best to give a salary range or list “negotiable,” even if you know the wage. This leaves you room to negotiate a higher wage.
Give Positive Reasons for Leaving Past Jobs
Choose your words…
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