Preparing a Perfect Application Form

Application forms remain a popular tool for recruiters and are widespread in the world of apprenticeships. They are convenient for employers to compare and contrast the precise qualities of different candidates.All applicants will be asked to fill out the same form, but remember your job application form needs to be clear about whatYOUhave to offer.Disclosing personal informationYou're not obliged to divulge personal details regarding your age, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation, and so shouldn't be asked to do so in an application form. Only include information that you feel would help with your application and support your suitability for the role.You may be asked to complete an equal opportunities form. This information is treated confidentially and will not be used as part of the selection process. The form is normally separate from the application, and used solely for monitoring the employer's commitment to equality and diversity.How to fill in a job application formThe only purpose of completing an application form is to impress an employer enough to win a place at interview.It may be that very little writing comes into the job you want but you will still have to get over this hurdle of the application form in order to get offered an interview. Most people (including myself) dread having to “sell themselves” and find it doubly hard to do so in writing.Application forms tend to look pretty much the same. They are divided into different sections. These normally include:
Personal details (name, address etc.)
Work experience
Interests and details of your referees
Most of these sections need factual answers and, if your CV is up-to-date, it can provide most of these for you. Do the form in rough first so that you don’t send off any silly mistakes or messy paperwork.You must think about yourself, then you need to analyse the position and then you need to present your skills and experience in the light of what is required for that job.The form should give the employer an insight into you as a person, and encourage them to want to meet you to find out more.Consider the following three questions:What do I know about this job?Research the job (this shows dedication, motivation, and sincerity). Think through what the employer will be looking for and what sort of organisation does it seem to be??How can I summarise my skills and strengths, and relate them to the job?Think about yourself. What are you especially good at? What kind of work or activities have you enjoyed in the past? Do you have particular experience that makes you different to other candidates? Which kind of work environment suits you best?Now put yourself together with the job. What are you offering that is relevant to this position? Can you match your background with the kind of person that they seem to be looking for? What in particular do you think you can offer them?Vocabulary tipsUse power verbs, such as 'transformed', 'delivered', 'achieved' and 'inspired', ‘pioneered’Choose descriptive words like 'effective', 'consistent', 'determined' and 'adaptable'Focus on the questions asked rather than waffling or being too vague;Select appropriate examples of your achievements from past experience;Demonstrategenuineenthusiasm for the role.There may also be a question about why you want the job, or room for you to make a statement about why you feel you fit the vacancy. This is the key part of the form as it invites you to promote yourself as the best applicant for the job.You need to outline any special qualities, aptitudes or abilities that you have. What makes you a preferable candidate to another? What exactly are the special things that you can contribute to this job as a result of your skills, experience and personality?What to do and what not to doDostart each application afresh with energy and enthusiasm.Docomplete the form in draft before writing the final version as errors of spelling or grammar are never impressive.Doanswer the questions on the form fully to do justice to your skills and abilities.Don’tkeep all your eggs in one basket – keep applying for different jobs that interest you but be organised about your paperwork.Don’twaffle or use pretentious language; your jargon may not be understood.Don’tbe vague - use concrete examples of your achievements and create pictures for the reader.Points to rememberThe key to a successful job application is to be succinct, positive and clear, while satisfying each of the points listed in the person specification.Think about the job from the employer’s point of view and consider what information will have the most impact on them.If there is a person specification, make sure that you show exactly how you satisfy each point on it.Selling yourself depends upon strong statements, enthusiastic language and clarity about what you have to offer.Once you've completed the form, check through the final version to ensure that there are no spelling or grammar errors. You may want to ask someone else, such as a university careers adviser, to read it too.Further helpEmail me the National Careers ServiceSources:

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