Have you started the job search process? Have you had your resume looked over countless times?? Have you filled out job application after job application and no prospects have come from it?? If this is the case, you may need some help with your job application.?
I’ve recently received a few requests from our readers to cover the job application.? Since this is not as popular of topic as a resume,?cover letter, or interview, I felt it was important to cover the application process?to provide you with the critical information you need to successfully complete a job application. Filling out?an application shouldn’t be?stressful. If you have a resume, you should have most of?the information you need. If you don’t have a resume, now might be a good time to start looking at that.? Here are some helpful posts on writing your resume.
What is the purpose of a job application?
For many part-time, entry-level positions employers use applications to screen potential employees. They use the information from the applications to determine who they are going to call for an interview. For other types of jobs, applications are?required by Human Resource departments.
Why do employers use job applications?
Many employers use applications as a way of standardizing the information they obtain from all job-seekers, including some things that you would not normally put on your resume. Your goal is to complete the application as completely and honestly as you can — all the time remembering that the application is a key marketing tool for you in the job-hunting process. Remember that some employers will use your application as a basis for deciding whether to call you for an interview.
10 Things you must do when completing a job application!
- Follow directions. You may think this one is a no-brainer.? But you would be surprised at how many people fill out job applications without reading and following the directions for the specific job carefully.? Always take a few minutes to review the entire application. Some applications ask for different information, it’s not always the same for all applications.??All applications have specific spaces in which you are expected to answer questions. Think of the application as your first test in following directions.
- Neatness counts. Remember back in elementary school where?handwriting was so important??Neatness and legibility count.? Today, technology is in all aspects of the employment process. Especially in the application process. Consider typing it if you have access to a computer or even a typewriter. As a very, very last resort fill it out by hand.? If completing it by hand, be sure to use only a blue or black pen.? It is also important?to keep the application itself in immaculate condition.? Don’t fold, bend, or otherwise damage the application.
- Apply for the job you?seeking. Just as with your resume and cover letter, you want to focus your?skills, knowledge, and experiences to the job at hand. Give details of skills and accomplishments, and avoid framing your experiences in terms of duties and responsibilities.? The important thing to do here is show why you are more qualified than other applicants for the position. Include experience from all sources, including previous jobs, school, clubs and organizations, and volunteer work.
- Don’t leave any blanks. A common mistake I see is that people leave portions of their application blank.? Regardless of the position, I always make sure to put something in each required field.? If there are questions that do not apply to you, simply respond with “not applicable,” or “n/a.” One of the worst things you can do is write?”see resume” when completing the application.
- Avoid?negative information. As with any job search correspondence or job interview, never offer negative information. Your goal with the application is to get an interview. Providing negative information, such as being fired, just gives the employer a reason not to interview you.
- Answer the truth. The fastest way for an application to go straight to the gutter is to lie on it. ?For example, many applications ask your reason for leaving your last job. If you were fired or downsized, keep it as positive as you can and be brief.??Leave longer explanations of the scenario for the interview; I would suggest?you writing “job ended” as the reason you left your last job.
- Never mention salary requirements. There should never be any salary talk until they bring it up first or it’s you final round of interviews.? It is way too early in the job search process to ask for a?specific salary request. You don’t want to give employers too much information too soon. In addition, employers often use this question as a screening device — and you don’t want to be eliminated from consideration based on your answer. It’s best to say “open” or “negotiable.”
- Provide references. Employers want to see that there are people who will provide objective information about you to them. Pick your references carefully and make sure you ask if they are willing to be a reference for you before you list them. I have heard horror stories from people listing old professors or employers that barely remember them and are called for references.? Give them notice and provide them with your most current resume and a copy of the job description.? Where do you get references? From past employers, to teachers, to family friends. These are people who can speak of your skills and accomplishments in a positive light.
- Your application should compliment?your resume and cover letter. Make sure all dates, names, and titles on your application compliments the information on your resume and cover letter. Don’t worry if the application is based on chronological employment while you have a functional resume.? Just allow for congruency in all three components.
- Proofread your application. One of the easiest things to do that will save you from being put in the trash can at first glance is proofread your application before submitting it.??Sit back and take a moment to thoroughly proofread the application, checking for all grammatical and sentence errors.? Keep a close eye?especially for typos and misspellings.
Please consider the cover letter, resume and job application with congruency and detail when doing your job search.? If you haven’t had a chance to start your cover letter but have you resume complete please make sure to compliment your resume and make it unique to your job application.?
**For additional information on writing cover letters, I highly recommend you check out?Amazing Cover Letters!