Some companies use CV’s for job applications but the majority use application forms. This is because having applicants answer the same questions on the same form makes it much easier to compare them. Application forms are used to shortlist candidates for interview and employers will often ask questions about the content of the form. It is therefore a good idea to print out a copy and go over the answers you wrote before attending an interview.
Filling out an online or written application for an internship or job can feel daunting. Here are a few useful tips to ensure that you are successful in mastering your application.
To begin with, take a moment to read the form through from start to finish. Try to think about what the employer is looking for. It is essential that before you fill out the form you research around the company and the role you are applying for. This will help you to answer the questions accurately and with detail. Use your research to tailor the application to the specific role and company; generic answers can be spotted a mile away. Good, accurate knowledge will also be useful for the interview.
Learn about the skills required for the role. What skills do you have that are relevant to this role? Think about why you would like to be given the role and if selected what you would bring to the company. It is a good idea, especially with questions of these sorts on written application forms, to plan and draft answers before writing them on the form.
Use your application form to clearly highlight relevant experience. Explain why you are suited to the role and provide examples which clearly illustrate this. When writing your experience on the form, provide specific examples which illustrate what you wanted to achieve during the task, what was achieved and what impact you had on the organisation.
Be confident about stating your strengths and achievements, but remember the importance of being earnest. Stating that you are always “fabulously thrilled” about working in a team for example sounds exciting but it is a good idea not to write anything on the application form that you would not say out loud in a conversation or interview.
Application forms provide a section for you to write your hobbies and interests in. This is your opportunity to make sure that this application stands out from the crowd as this is what the employer is looking for. Try to make your hobbies and interests relate to the job and show off your personality.
Remember that the employer has limited time to read your application. It is crucial that you write in short, straight forward sentences, use proper English and do not waffle or repeat yourself too much. Make sure that you proofread the content before submitting the form.
Most importantly, take your time; this is your chance to shine.