Application Forms: Are You Getting Them Right?

For many application forms are often seen as an inconvenience and there are arguments to suggest that they can deter good candidates from applying to a position. However, application forms can also be a good way of screening candidates and offer a good indicator of how serious a candidate is about applying for the role.

The trend is that application forms are becoming more popular amongst big employers. Fewer people are usually going to apply but those that do are generally well suited to the role. The difficulty for any business is bench marking. Every competitive market must use bench marking as a way of making the right decision about a potential employee.

Take a look at some of the recent questions and answers that we have received in regards to application forms.

 I just want to send My CV

If an employer has requested for an application form to be complete that is indeed what they want. Applicants that avoid doing this are usually reject immediately through not following correct instructions. A CV send is a simple way of itemizing your career but is often seen as the “easy way out”. Remember you will also be scored on behavioral issue too. A good example would be a newspaper job advert it may say “Send CV to or call 00000 for further information”. From this example you can pretty much guarantee those that actually call will be remembered by the company. It’s little details and don’t allow this to affect your chance of securing a job you really want.

I am leaving my current job, what can I say?

Probably the most difficult thing to tell a new potential employer as it is important not to set the wrong image about you and your motivations. So not liking your line manager or constantly disagreeing with suggestions or policies may do your job hopes a lot of harm.

So why do we leave? It’s always important to turn a negative into a positive. I would advise this is kept short and normally should have a small space next to each work history. Good reasons are usually end of a temporary contract, whether you are a professional contractor, maternity cover or fixed term contractor. Limited career progression with your current employer, redundancy, relocation. There are many different reasons that can be given as to why you are leaving your current employer, just make sure you pick out the positive ones.

Can an online application for one job be used for others?

This falls into the same question as “should I us the same CV for different positions?” In short no, you should always tailor your application forms as well as your CV for each position that you apply to. By tailoring your application forms you are carefully highlighting why you are the perfect candidate for that position. The employer will see that you have related your experience to the job description and will put you in a strong position for a potential interview.

Is an online application easier than a paper application?

Most application forms are now submitted online and can be quite a lengthy process to complete so make sure that you allocate a good amount of time to completing it to ensure that you have fully completed all aspects. It is not advised to use casual language that you may use in an email or text message, also, don’t abbreviate words as this just looks lazy and unprofessional. The main priority is to follow the instructions carefully! Errors on your application form will be noted and can lead to immediately being rejected without the employer even seeing your great CV.

What is equal opportunity monitoring?

Organizations often ask you to fill in an ethnic background form. This is not used for selection and is used by the human resources department to check they are receiving applications from all sections of the community.

Facts about applications forms and standard industry practice:

  • Job / application / employment forms are official documents that employers ask potential employees to complete
  • Applications can sometimes be completed in black ink and capital letters
  • Usually used for bench marking. Allows employers to ask the same questions that all candidates will complete. Making for a more well-rounded process.
  • Applicant’s history, education, further education, references are common options
  • Different to a cover letter in that they are written to sell the applicants most significant credentials and the job application is pure questions that require factual responses
  • Usually job applications include a signature; authorizing reference checks, background, criminal records
  • Courteous employers who seek a reputation as an employer of choice will often send an acknowledgement letter / email and a rejection letter / email, interview request or phone screen to all candidates

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