Many employers require potential employees to complete a job application. Filling out an employment application is an important part of the screening process and should be taken seriously. Below are some tips for filling out applications for employment either online or in-person. For more in-depth information, attend one of our no-cost workshops.
Print Clearly & Complete All Sections
- Take the time to fill out the application completely and legibly. Many employers will not accept partial applications, and if you do not complete certain sections, you may increase your chances of getting disqualified.
- Be sure that your writing is easy to read and grammar and spelling are correct.
- Use the application to show the strengths that you can bring to the organization. This is your first introduction to the organization, so use positive language to set a good tone.
- When referring to your reasons for leaving previous employers, refrain from responses that include ‘quit’ or ‘laid off’; instead, focus on a reason to grow, such as ‘seeking additional responsibility.
Be Honest & Specific
- Be sure that every element on your application is true. Employers can disqualify potential employees (or even dismiss current employees) for lying on applications. However, don’t feel that you have to volunteer more information than the employer requested.
- Be specific about your skills and your desired position. Try not to respond to questions regarding the position you are looking for with nonspecific answers like ‘any’ or ‘all’.
- It is preferable to use the job code or job title when filling out the application. If you are applying for multiple positions, consider filling out an application for each.
Refrain from Talking Salary
- If the application asks for salary requirements, you are better off answering ‘open’ or ‘negotiable’ than putting in a particular number. These responses may offer you more negotiating room if you get the job, and can also help you to avoid being disqualified if your salary requirements are outside the expected range.
Stand Out with a Resume
- Because a standard application is not personalized, you can improve your chances of standing out from the crowd by attaching your tailored resume to the application. However, you should never use the resume in place of a required application.