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The application process – Completing application forms both paper and online
Job application forms can vary depending on the company. A company may ask you to complete an application form instead of or in addition to your CV.
An application form will ask specific questions in regards to the job you are applying for; the application form is your chance to sell yourself to your prospective employer.
Some things you might need to include in an application form are:
They may also ask:
By looking at what is required in the job specifications you can then match your experiences and skills.
For example a job advert might ask that you are able to deliver great customer service. This could be incorporated into your answer: “Working for three years as checkout assistant, I greeted customers with a smile and took time to listen and help customers I served to make their experience memorable.”
Other questions that might be included are:
Research the company online and link any personal interests that have made you want to work for this employer. Other things you may want to mention (that you’ve found in your research) could be about; Company general reputation, Admiration of products/services, Company culture and values, Company growth/success
Completing by hand
If completing the application form by hand then remember first impressions always count, use your best handwriting or ask someone to write it for you, if you deliver the application form by hand, dress in formal clothes, like you would wear to an interview, when you deliver it. You can always ask to speak to a manager when you hand your application or CV in, this is your opportunity to create a conversation about the job or company that allows you to be a bit more memorable to the employer.
Online applications are sometime pre-filtered by a computer, the computer system will then only send a short list for the recruiting manager to choose from to invite to interview. This has been seen to be a challenge with some very suitable applications dismissed by the computer; however we can use computers as well to aid our application. After a few searches online, you can find the ‘key words’ that the computer is looking for to filter the applications, ensure the text in your application and/or cover letter contains these words and it should improve your success. You may also find part of the online application is a quiz, asking you how you would deal with certain situations, the answers to these will perform the filtering process, again you can find the ‘right’ answers online with a bit of hunting (sometimes they are very different to what you would expect).