While it may not seem as important as a resume, most people don’t realize that a badly filled out job application can be much more costly than a bad resume. A recruiter will see hundreds of application forms, so any that are filled in badly will stand out for all the wrong reasons. These tips should help you avoid problems like that and show you exactly how to fill out a job application the right way!
Read through the application before you begin filling it in, and follow any instructions to the letter. While most applications will ask for similar information, they will not all do it in the same way, so it’s a good idea to make sure you are following the guidance given. If you make a mistake here, the potential employer will likely think “This candidate doesn’t know how to fill out a job application correctly, why should I trust them with anything else?” And there go your hopes of getting an interview!
Do a practice run- Photocopy the form and have a practice run at filling it out. This will help you get an idea of how many words you can fit into the boxes etc, and will definitely improve the way the finished article reads.
Be consistent. One of the things that people often overlook when learning how to fill out a job application is the consistency of their data. Make sure the form is filled out with information that matches with your resume. If you “stretched” the dates on your resume because one of your jobs ended prematurely, you will need to make sure your application information covers exactly the same dates. A smart recruiter is well aware of such tricks, and finding you out to be dishonest at this early stage can only be a problem.
Check it. How to fill out a job application 101-Make sure there are no mistakes! Read through it once immediately after you finish it, and then if possible you should leave it a day or two and re-check it. It’s much easier to spot mistakes and other errors when the document is not fresh in your mind, and for this reason it’s a good idea to give yourself some “edit time” between filling it out and sending it away.
Never volunteer negative information. The object of filling out an application is to get yourself in for an interview, and giving out negative information will only hamper this goal. Try and give all your answers as positive a spin as possible, and leave the lengthy answers for the interview. There are many different schools of thought on how to fill out a job application, but one thing is for sure, it’s very hard to use the small space on an application form to explain away any negative information that you have volunteered.
As you’ve seen, the methods of how to fill out a job application can be every bit as tricky as writing a resume, so just make sure you stick to those guidelines and you should be a winner every time!
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