Home: Job Application Forms: General Guidelines

How To Win An Interview WithYour Job Application

Think on this -- you can't get the job without first getting the interview. And you won't get the interview with a poor application form. So it's important to spend time getting it right. Do this, then worry about the job interview when you get it.

We can help you write WINNING job applications.

Just read our free How To Guide and check out our real-life employment application example which won an interview.

Let's start with...

.. 3 Top Tips For Your Job Application

Here are 3 must-dos for any employment application form.


1. Spelling And Grammar

When I (Catherine) read job application forms, I circle any errors in spelling and grammar. I accept one mistake -- everyone's human. Two worries me a little more. Three worries me a lot and I probably won't shortlist you for a job interview.

Why? Because if you've not taken the time and effort to ensure your employment application form is free from errors, I find myself doubting your commitment to the job as well as your ability to do it right.

Telling you to check for spelling and grammar mistakes may seem unnecessary, but you'd be surprised how many employment application forms we receive which contain mistakes.

Ask a friend or family member to read your application form. They will be able to spot mistakes which you can't.

And watch for apostrophes. Misuse of apostrophes is the commonest of all grammar mistakes.


2. No Blank Spaces

Make sure you answer all questions on the employment application form. If the answer is N/A for you, write "N/A" next to the question or score though it. If you leave answers blank, interviewers may think you've missed them. It's far better to show you've read the question by making some note against it.

We're surprised when we receive incomplete employment applications, especially when important information is missing. Recently, we've received applications with the following questions left blank:

  • "Do you have permission to work in the US?"
  • "Do you have a full, clean driving license?"
  • "Do you have a disability which may affect your employment?"

3. Write Or Type?

If you can, type your answers because typed text is easier to read than handwriting.

Some companies provide e-application forms to candidates. If they do, use one.

If you can't type your answers, write clearly using a good pen -- don't risk it running out half way through!

When you come to answer questions such as "why do you want the job" write out your answers in rough first. When you're happy, transfer them to the employment application form.

In fact it's preferable to type longer answers on a separate sheet and attach it to the application form. In the space given for the answer, simply write "please refer to the attached sheet", numbered if necessary.


Final Tip: Ask for 2 copies of the job application form, just in case (despite the above) you make mistakes. Companies won't mind giving you two. If you'd rather not ask, get a friend to ask for one.

Finally, take a photocopy of your job application form. Don't arrive at the interview not remembering what you said!

Help With "Why Do You Want The Job?"

All job application forms ask, in some way, "Why do you want the job and why are you suitable?"

We get loads of questions about this section of the form.

Here are our application guidelines on what to write.

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