Tips for filling out application forms

You might find that some job roles require you to fill in an application form instead of simply sending in your CV. These help employers as all of the applications they receive will follow the same format.

Don’t be put off though, use the space to sell yourself as best as you can and remember our top tips for success:

  • Make sure you fill it out each section exactly as asked; the questions are there for a reason.
  • You won’t need to attach a covering letter if there is a section where you can provide additional information – such as your reasons for applying.
  • Keep your application neat and tidy and avoid using casual language and abbreviations.
  • Highlight the skills that you have that are most relevant to the role – don’t just copy and paste from your CV – always make sure you tailor your answers to the specific role.
  • Always make sure you mention your DofE programme. Not only under ‘Achievements’ but also when you give examples to demonstrate any skills you have. Visit the ‘Showcase your DofE skills’ page to find out more.
  • Make sure you do a draft version first. It will give you a chance to double check it and also make sure you have a back-up. With online forms, always save as you go.
  • Read it over, and get someone else to double check it, to make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes.
  • If there are any boxes that aren’t relevant to you put ‘N/A’ (not applicable) to make it clear that you noticed them.
  • Photocopy or save the final version somewhere safe, you’ll need to refer to it if you get offered an interview.
  • Make sure you submit it before the closing date (allow enough time for posting).
  • If you’re asked why you’re leaving your current job then it’s best to keep it positive (even if that’s not how you feel!).
  • Finally, you might be asked to fill out an equal opportunities form. This won’t be used in selection but it is important for the employer to make sure they’re receiving applications from all areas of the community.

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