Application forms (online and paper)
Application forms allow employers to compare groups of candidates and are often the first point of contact that you will have with an employer.
Top tips for application forms:
- Set aside enough time to complete the form – application forms tends to take longer to complete than expected.
- Do a rough copy (photocopy the original if you only have one copy). Check your spelling, punctuation and grammar and if it's handwritten keep it tidy and legible.
- Always follow the employer's rules – if they say 'black ink' or 'capitals' use black ink or capitals.
- If it is an online application check at the start whether you can save and edit as you go as often you are not able to do this. Alternatively do your drafting in Word until you are ready to submit the form.
- Application forms have competency-based questions and / or personal statement questions. Competency-based questions ask you to provide evidence for particular competencies, personal statement questions are more open, e.g. what skills and experience do you have that relate to the job? For these you need to find out the requirements for the job (look at the advert and person specification) and provide evidence.
- Provide real examples and analyse what you actually did – instead of saying 'working for Quay Radio developed my team working skills' – show more clearly what your role was and how it developed your skills. But don't waffle – keep your examples relevant and structured.
- Keep a copy of your application form – read it over to help you prepare for your interview.
- You do not need to attach a CV with an application form (unless it is asked for).
- Get your free copy of ‘Application forms guide’ and use the range of reference materials available at Purple Door to learn more useful tips on completing your application forms.
- Visit our Download zone, Prospects and TargetJobs for information on successful application forms with examples of 'Do's' and 'Don'ts'.
- Book an appointment to see a careers adviser who will be able to talk through your application form with you.