You will find that many jobs you apply for will now ask you to fill in an application form rather than sending in your CV.

Application forms can sometimes this can make it easier as you already know what information your potential employers need.

However, filling in an application form requires just as much attention as creating your CV. Standard Life have created some top tips to help you fill out the perfect application form, but before you start take a look at the example application form – it will help to guide you through.

Online application

Most application forms are now online, so you will need to fill them in on the computer. Before you start, make sure you:

  • Write out any long answers or sections in a Word document first – this will allow you to check your grammar and for any spelling mistakes.
  • Use plain English, no slang, or text language, sentences short and to the point.
  • Check that you have completed all sections as fully as you can.
  • Get someone to check the form over before you send it.
  • If it is a PDF or Word application form, save a copy on your computer too as it will help you for the interview.
  • Write all your answers in the same font style and size.

Paper applications

There are some key points to remember when completing a paper application form:

  • Use black pen (this is the best colour when photocopied).
  • Use CAPITAL letters.
  • Handwriting should be clear and easy to read.
  • Complete all sections as fully as you can.
  • Use plain English, no slang, and no text language, use short sentences and keep to the point.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.
  • Do not use correction fluid or cross out mistakes.
  • To avoid any changes, photocopy the form then practise completing the form first.
  • Ensure that the form is kept clean and uncreased.
  • Get someone to check the form over before you send it.
  • Photocopy your completed application form and keep it as it will help you for the interview.
  • Most application forms are A4 size. Try to use an envelope this size.

Early in your career, you should include all of your qualifications. Some employers are interested in the grades obtained so list them if you know them. If you have only prelim results at the time of your application, include these as it gives the employer an idea of your expected results. It’s customary (like in your CV) to put the most recent qualifications first. Don’t just put subjects in alphabetical order – put your highest grades first. This gives a good impression. As with your CV make sure you include your interests and your previous work experience.

Keep a record of all the applications you send off. If you get an interview you will want to remind yourself of all the details you put on the form (it’s also helpful when filling in future applications to refer to previous ones).

Take a look at the sample application form too, it will give you even more top tips and guidance so you can make sure that your application is the best it can be.



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