Home: Job Application Forms: Sample Employment Application Form Mistakes

3 Sample Employment Application Forms...

... And 4 Common Mistakes To Avoid!

On this page, you'll find extracts from three employment application forms which Catherine was asked to review. All three candidates were applying for the same job.

She gave each of them advice and thought you would find it useful too.

Catherine found common mistakes in each sample employment application. Here are the most popular:

Over-use of the word "I"

Job interviewers expect to see a lot of "I"s in job application forms, CVs and resumes, but don't start every new sentence with one. If you have, remove a few using these ideas:

  • Just change the words around so that instead of saying:

"I have actively sought technical challenges since working in this team".

Say...

"Since working in this team, I've actively sought technical challenges to develop myself".

  • Or add other words, such as:

"In addition, I", or
"As well as this, I", or
"You've asked for someone with excellent communication skills, which I feel I have".

Long Paragraphs

A new idea should always start a new paragraph.

In your job application form, cover letter, CV or resume, limit your paragraphs to three sentences. Any longer and the paragraph is no longer easy on the eye.

There is nothing wrong with one sentence paragraphs if there is only one point to cover.

All three of the sample employment application forms Catherine reviewed contained paragraphs that were too long.

Focusing on the features, not the benefits

Too many job applicants describe what they do, but fail to sell the benefits of what they do, or their contribution, when completing job application forms, cover letters, CVs and resumes.

Here's an example from 1 of the 3 sample employment application forms:

"I was involved in a project which aimed to deliver new processes to our finance department to allow them to process cheques in 5 rather than 7 days. After that, I worked on another project which led to the upgrading of the department's software."

Catherine suggested to her team member that he wrote this instead, which better reflected his role.

"My Manager asked me to lead a workstream within a project, which aimed to reduce cheque processing time from 7 to 5 days. Through investigation and negotiation with other parties and by using the skills of my team to the best, I delivered the changes early. In fact, cheque processing time fell to a little over 4 days.

Immediately after this, my Manager recommended me for a related project, which I delivered on time and to budget."

Can you see that this is so much better?

The applicant describes the benefits of his work and all employers want to read about benefits!

Click here to learn about the 4th common job application form mistake.

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