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7 tips for successful application forms

6th November 2018

Author: Natashia Larkin

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7 tips for successful application forms

Application forms are used by recruiters to help decide who to interview. But what makes a good application form? Natashia Larkin from CV-Library shares her seven top tips for application form success.

Application form hints and tips

1. Be choosy 
Before filling out an application form do your research. Check the job description to see if it sounds like something you would like do, and the company sounds like a place you want to work. If you prefer to take your time over tasks, for example, is working in a face-paced environment going to suit you? Often success comes down to being a good fit for the job and the company. Ruling out anything which doesn’t feel right at the outset can save you a lot of effort.

2. Don’t dive straight in

Have a good read of the form before you start writing. What is each question really asking? Make notes on the key points you need to cover. It can help to print out the application form before you start typing. If you’d prefer not to print, copy the questions over to a blank document and type your responses there first.

3. Match your skills with the job description

Forms often have a big blank section asking why you are suited to the role. This can be tricky to get right. Show how you match each of the requirements outlined in the job description and give examples where you can. It’s also a good place to show your enthusiasm and perhaps include a sentence about why you want to work for the company.

4. Stick to the word count

When faced with a blank white box, the temptation can be to throw in as much detail and information about yourself as possible. Unlike a CV, where you don’t want to exceed one or two A4 pages, empty text boxes don’t always have a limit.

So if the application gives a specific word count, don’t exceed it! If it doesn’t, you still want to avoid long and off-putting paragraphs. Instead, write clear, concise answers and keep to the point.

5. Make sure you include all the information needed

Make sure you’ve filled in every section of the application form. Double check at the end before you hit submit. Leaving out any key information could cost you the job.

6. Check and check again

Before you submit any job application, read and re-read what you’ve written. Any spelling or grammar mistakes can really damage your chances of being invited in for an interview. After all, recruiters want to know you put time and effort into your application.

7. Make a copy

Before you press submit, save your final version into a separate file. Once you’ve sent your completed form, it’s not always possible to see it again. If you are called for an interview, it’s useful to remind yourself what you said. It can also be a helpful starting point for future job applications.

Top takeaways for filling in application forms

Take your time when filling out applications forms and make sure you fill in every textbox to the best of your abilities. Don’t exceed any word limitations and keep your answers clear, concise and to the point.

Natashia is the PR & Communications Assistant at CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job site. She loves all things lingual, whether that’s writing, talking, reading or singing (especially singing!). She spends her days writing a huge range of career and recruitment advice for everyone using CV-Library.

Natashia’s Buzz animal is a dolphin. Take the Buzz Quiz to find out what you’re like and what you could do.