Despite the increasing range of tools available to recruiters application forms have remained popular, providing a useful way of helping to compare and distinguish the most qualified and experienced applicants. If you’re looking to impress prospective employers, knowing how to sell yourself properly on the application form is vital if you hope to remain in contention.
A well-written, positive and thoughtful form can leave recruiters with a great first impression. While writing skills may not play a huge part in your future role it’s essential that you’re able to communicate clearly, and this needs to be evident on your application form.
How to successfully complete an application form
Anyone can fill in an application form, but the key is to impress your prospective employer enough that they decide to invite you for an interview. In order to do this it’s vital to target your application form to carefully fit the role in question.
1. Effectively summarise your skills
It’s important to consider your past experiences and how they helped you to develop. Trying to condense the skills you’ve learnt into a paragraph or two may be difficult, but be sure to mention the aspects that make your career stand out. Anything that sets you apart from a run of the mill candidate will provide a useful talking point at interview and will help make your application more memorable.
2. Why this job?
Offering an original and well thought out answer to this question can go a long way to helping you secure an interview. Aim to find out as much as possible about the role. Go above and beyond other candidates by calling the recruiter with any questions you may have. Have a careful think about what the role involves and which parts you’ll enjoy the most. Try to make your answer specific to the job in question, and remember a little enthusiasm can go a long way!
3. What is the employer looking for from an ideal candidate?
The application form offers an opportunity to present yourself as an ideal applicant for the role. However not all recruiters want the same things from their staff, so check out the role profile and capabilities section of the job description. While keeping things factual, try to match your background to suit the employer’s requirements.
4. Use your CV to help
Application forms tend to be quite generic and usually require your personal details, qualifications, work experience and referees. If you can’t remember these off the top of your head, your CV should be able to help you to speedily complete these sections. Remember to be as accurate as possible with regards to dates, as when checking your references these will be obtained from your previous employers.
5. Use positive language
Appearing optimistic and upbeat throughout your application form can help leave a strong lasting impression with employers. Although you may dislike your current job, don’t allow any negativity to spill into your application form.
By embracing a professional and highly targeted approach to your application form you’ll be rewarded with great results and an increased number of interview invitations. Good luck!