Filling in an application form correctly | ActionHRM blog

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Filling in an application form correctly

How to fill in application form the right way

An application form is often the first and most difficult stage of landing yourself a new job. It has becoming increasingly common trend in the job market for companies to ask applicants to fill in an application form rather than submitting a more general CV. While this approach can benefit the employer in many ways, it can be time-consuming and difficult process for an applicant and can often cause quite a bit of hair pulling and worry!

Determine exactly what the application form questions are after

When attempting to draft an answer to an application form question, it is important that you approach it with the correct mentality. Don’t simply take a question at face value.You need to consider exactly what skills and attributes the question is trying to look for. For example, a question such as ‘what are your hobbies and interests?’ doesn’t mean that they want to know about the rare stamp collection you’ve been building since you were 9 but rather, what skills and qualities do your hobbies demonstrate about you, do they show you to be a team player? Dedicated? Trustworthy?

To help determine what key skills your answers should target, it is often useful to check an employer’s website. In the ‘about’ section of the homepage you can often find hidden gems to include in your answers. You’ll often see the values and qualities that a company looks for in its employees, by targeting these values directly within your answers, you are giving the application form markers exactly what they are looking for.

Don't rush

This is crucial to your success, this should be the number one rule of filling in an application form. Do your best to take your time, this on tip can save you from making costly mistakes that can rule you out of an application process. When applying for numerous rolls, it can often be tempting to rush, get down the bare minimum on paper and move on to the next. What you’re doing is producing quantity and not quality, when it’s quality that counts for everything.

You should try your best to remember that each and every application form you fill out could be the one that lands your dream job, therefore you should give it the care and attention that it warrants.

Presentation is everything

Don’t let something as simple as being neat cost you your job opportunity. Always try your best to write your application form neatly, this ties in with the previous point nicely. Even the best content can be made to look terrible with bad presentation. You could have the best experience and content in your application form but ink blotches, bad spelling and scruffy handwriting that would take a scientist years to decipher can all cost you dearly!

Check and double check your application form

You should read your form multiple times before finally submitting it. This stage is often very tedious and finding a mistake that requires you to draft out your entire application form again can be extremely daunting, however it can pay dividends in the long run. Why not get a friend or a member of family to help you out, sometimes another set of eyes can spot mistakes that you couldn’t.

Make a copy of your form

Back-up, save or make a copy of your application. Doing this can help you draft other similar forms quicker in the future and keep a record of the information that you’ve submitted for reference in the interview stage. Reading over your application form just before an interview can be excellent preparation and ensures that you’re familiar with everything that you’ve said

*Matthew Hayes is the author of the Police Application Form guide, a book that provides help to aspiring Police Officers complete the Police application form. You can find it at: www.applicationformpolice.co.uk