Application forms

Some companies will ask for an application form to be filled out as a part of the application process. This can be instead of a CV, act as a supporting document or be used to compare applicants to one another.

Before starting an application, there are a couple of key things to check: the closing date of the application to ensure you have enough time to complete it, and any instructions for completion like whether you need to use a particular pen colour or format (e.g. block capitals). It’s also worth making sure you’ve read the job specification carefully.

If it’s an online application, try drafting answers in a separate document beforehand so you can sense check it and check everything is spelt correctly. Using a programme which checks spelling and grammar will help to ensure your application is error-free. Read through your answers before copying them into the form to ensure they are clear, relevant and honest.

With the amount of time it takes to complete an application form, you’ll probably want to send it off as soon as you’ve finished completing it. But it’s worth taking five minutes and then giving it a final read over with fresh eyes. Review your contact details, check your spelling and grammar and, if you can, ask someone else to read your answers for you.

If it’s an online application, make sure to use a clear font and that the formatting is correct. If it’s a hand written application, make sure your writing is legible.

Finally, save, scan or print a copy of your application so you have it for future reference (it may be useful to take to an interview).

For more career advice, explore our advice pages.

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