Tips For Filling Out A Job Application

Tips For Filling Out A Job Application

Job applications come in many forms. While some employers prefer candidates to fill out a questionnaire, others only ask for a resume and cover letter. In any case, the job application process is the first step to a new job. If you don’t do it properly, you won’t even make it to the interview stage. So, to increase your chances of an interview and job offer, you should put effort into your application. These tips can give you an edge over the competition and help you land a great job.

Understand the Application Process

If you want to be successful with your application, you need to understand the process. And that means reading the job listing very carefully. The listing should give you directions on how to apply.

Here are a few common directions for job applications:

Bring a resume into a specified location

Fill out an online application

Send in a resume and cover letter

Call a specified phone number

If you don’t read the full listing, you could be missing crucial information. It’s not uncommon for employers to hide very specific directions deep within a job listing. In fact, they might ask you to use a certain phrase in your subject line. This allows them to weed out candidates who don’t follow directions or pay attention to details.

Have the Job Listing in Front of You

When you apply for a job, you should look at the listing while you apply. This helps you in multiple ways. For one, it ensures you follow the instructions. If you’re trying to apply for a job you read about yesterday, you may not remember all the details. Even if you read the listing a few hours ago, you should put fresh eyes on it when you’re ready to apply.

Looking at the listing again also gives you some insight into what the employer wants. As you read the job description, pay attention to keywords. Does the employer seem to focus on a skill or certification? If so, be sure to include that in your application. This makes it clear that you’re a good fit for the job.

Give Yourself Enough Time

To avoid problems and mistakes, you should give yourself enough time to fill out a job application. There’s nothing worse than starting a job application only to be interrupted. If you stop mid-application, you might forget to complete it. Or, you could rush through it and make a mistake.

Sometimes, job applications require skills tests. If you encounter this type of application, you should allow yourself extra time. It could take up to an hour to complete a skills test. Typically, you can’t start one and then complete it at a later time. If you have an upcoming appointment, you should wait until you have more time to fill out the application.

Eliminate Distractions

Although filling out a job application is simple, it requires focus. One small mistake could be enough to convince a hiring manager that you’re not right for the job. As much as you might want to apply for jobs while watching television, resist the temptation.

When you’re ready to apply for a job, set aside a chunk of time and go somewhere quiet. Turn off the television and radio. Put your phone on silent and keep it in another room. Doing so reduces the chance of you texting or giving in to distractions.

Eliminating distractions is particularly important when you need to perform a skills test. Oftentimes, each question on the test has a time limit. If you only have 40 seconds to answer a question, you need to dedicate all your time to answering the question.

Include Transferable Skills

If you’re new to the workforce or switching careers, you might struggle to fill out a job application. It’s difficult to write about your skills or experience when you have no related positions. Fortunately, there’s a way to strengthen your application without lying or exaggerating.

You can include transferable skills, or skills that translate from one role to another. For example, consider this scenario. You volunteered at a wildlife rehabilitation center in college. While there, you learned how to be a team player and how to manage your time. These skills would translate well to almost any job. In this scenario, you could include those skills on your resume.

If you’re still struggling to find common ground, think about all of your volunteer experience, extracurriculars, and projects. You can use skills and achievements from past experiences on your resume. Although using examples from the workplace is the most effective strategy, it’s acceptable to talk about school projects and other activities.

Be Honest

One of the biggest mistakes a job applicant can make is to lie on their resume. Sure, a hiring manager might hire you because they like your embellished resume. But once you start working, it won’t be long before your employer realizes that you lied. At that point, you will lose your job.

There’s nothing more difficult than trying to explain to a future employer why you were fired. If you don’t want to be in that position, be truthful in your job application. Don’t just say what you think the hiring manager wants to hear. Rather, be truthful about your strengths.

It’s all about finding the right balance. You want the hiring manager to see you as a good fit for the job but you still need to tell the truth.

Edit Before You Submit

Job applications can be long and tedious. Because of this, applicants often rush through them. They quickly type up responses and don’t bother to read them over. Unfortunately, this leads to

people submitting applications with spelling and grammar errors.

If you want to be an appealing job candidate, take the extra time to edit your application. Read over your resume and cover letter. And if the application has questions, check over your answers.

Ready to Apply Now?

With these tips, you can submit a job application that impresses everyone. The next time you apply for a job, set aside the time to be thorough and get ready for an interview request.

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