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Careers: Application forms
This section proviides information and advice on job searching, CVs, interviews and aspoects of job hunting
Note: this section is not intended to replace advice given by a careers guidance service. If you have access to a guidance & information service, you should make use of that: advice from a dedicated and specialist service is always better.
Sometimes, instead of asking for a CV, a job advert may require an application form to be completed. Some employers use applications forms because they standardise applications, making it easier to compare applicants and assess their suitability. Application forms will usually ask for the same kind of information that will appear on your CV, but also might ask questions that you'd expect have to answer at your interview (e.g. "briefly describe what you consider to be a good example of demonstrating your ability to evaluate information and solve problems"). Application forms may be pen and paper or may be completed online. Here are some tips:
Gather the information that you need to complete the form (e.g. personal, education, employment information)
Contact your referees to get their permission and to confirm their contact details
Read the application form and job description
Check the closing date for applications
Match your skills and experience to the job description
Read and understand the instructions
If it's a paper form
Photocopy it - several times, in case you make a mistake
Write out your answers in draft before filling in the form
Check your spelling and grammar in your draft answers
Use a black pen and make sure your handwriting is legible. Do not use Tipp-Ex
Photocopy the completed form
If it's online
Print off the form and fill it in offline first and /or ...
Write your answers in a different document and check the spelling and grammar before pasting into the form
If the form allows you to save your progress, then use this feature
Print out the form before you press the send button
If there's a question that doesn't apply to you, write "Not applicable" or "N/A", otherwise readers might think that you have ignored the question
Answer each question that is asked
Use formal language and write clearly; don't use slang or jargon
Answer the questions honestly: wouldn't it be embarrassing to be caught out during the interview?
If there's an "Any other information" question, then use this as an opportunity to shine; to show that you're more interesting and a better-rounded individual than than the other candidates. Include things like:
Team & committee activities
Have someone look over the form before you send it in. If you have access to a guidance and information service, ask an advisor to look at your application form.
If it's a paper form, check the address to which you're sending it and use an envelope large enough to send it unfolded.