Applications are an important component of the job search and should be taken very seriously. How you complete the application will tell the employer a lot about who you are as a person and an employee. Just like everything else in the job search process, the application is serious business.
What TO do:
- Make copies of the application and practice filling it out.
- Use a typewriter to complete the final version.
- Answer every question and fill in every blank. If it doesn’t pertain to you, use NA for not applicable.
- Answer all questions thoroughly, while also being concise.
- Remember to use key words and action verbs just as you did on your resume.
- Give complete names and address when they are requested.
- Proofread, proofread, and proofread. Then have two or three other people proofread it also.
- Sign the application where requested.
- Use one color of ink if you hand write the information
- Stay positive in all information given.
What NOT to do:
- Use pencil.
- Write illegibly.
- Leave empty spaces.
- Use the phrase, “See resume.”
- Abbreviate items/terms.
- Be vague.
- Ignore directions.
- Scribble out mistakes.
- Make spelling errors.
- List specific salary requirements.
- Make negative comments about current/past jobs, employers, or co-workers.
Use common sense when completing the application. By not following directions you are telling a potential employer that you won’t follow them on the job either. A messy application shows that you don’t have respect for your work or for other people’s time. Vague information and spelling errors prove that you can’t pay attention to details and follow through an entire project. Listing specific salary requirements tells them you are rigid and inflexible - something most employers want to avoid.
An employer will learn a lot about you from your application. Make sure you take the time to project a positive and professional image.