How to fill out an application form
Get the basics right
Make your application form stand out from the crowd
Set aside a good amount of time to complete an application. Rushed applications are rarely
Find a quiet, comfortable place and have with you a copy of the Job Description and Person
Specification of the job you are applying for.
Read all the instructions thoroughly before starting, and follow them exactly
Save your progress at every possible opportunity.
Type text into Word first so you can spell-check, grammar check and you are aware of the word
count. When you are happy with it copy and paste it into the form.(you may want to save this
text if you are making a number of applications)
Avoid using acronyms as they may only relate to your previous job or mean something else at the
company you are applying for
Avoid negative statements. If you don’t have, the specific experience explain how the experience
you do have is similar or transferrable. Also, give an example of where you have picked up
learning a new skill or system quickly.
Check dates of qualification and make sure that no qualifications you have on your CV have
“Targeting” is the key to a first-class application form. Always relate your answers directly to
what the employer says they’re looking for in the job advertisement, or in the job specification
they sent you.
If they’ve supplied you with a Person Specification, make sure you’ve addressed each point in
the correct order. This makes short-listing much easier for the employer.
For each point, provide specific examples of how you have the skills for the job. Don’t just
tell the employer you have them (and hope they believe you!).
Make sure you’ve mentioned all your skills and experience that are relevant to the job, while
keeping what you say reasonably short and to the point.
Make sure your language is positive and dynamic.
Re check that you have answered all the questions to the best of your ability.
Make sure you’ve completed the application and submitted it before the closing date.
If you’re sending a form by post, ideally use an envelope big enough to take the form without
folding. Remember that the postage you pay will depend on the size and weight of the form. If
you are unsure check with your local Post Office.
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