When you’re looking for a new job, you’ll come across many a job application form. Whether online or in print, most job application forms follow the same format. Before you start applying for jobs, it’s good to know how to fill in these job application forms. This is, after all, the first impression an employer or recruiter will get of you, so you want to make sure it’s a good one. Want to know what a job application form is and how to fill it in? Keep reading, because in this article we’ll tell you exactly how you can get invited to any job interview you want by filling out a job application form.
What is a job application form?
First things first: what is a job application form? This is a form usually created by an employer to get a quick impression of who you are and whether you’re qualified for the job you’re applying for. Sometimes you need to fill in a job application form instead of sending your CV and cover letter, but more often you’ll need to do all three. A job application form usually consists of a few different parts, including:
An employer usually creates their own application forms, and there are no rules or guidelines on what to include, so each form can be different. For example, sometimes employers add questions specific to the nature of the job, while others just want your contact info and years of experience.
Prepare before you fill in the job application form
Once you’ve found a vacancy you love, you probably want to apply for the job straight away. Understandable, but we recommend waiting just a little bit longer. Gather all the information you need before starting on the job application form. That way, you can fill in everything in one go, and you don’t have to constantly stop to find the right documents or information. Some websites will automatically log you out after a while, or maybe your computer will suddenly run out of battery, and the last thing you want to do is start all over again.
Some things you’ll definitely need for (almost) any job applications are a CV and a cover letter. Make sure your CV is up-to-date, and your cover letter is tailored to this particular vacancy. Many things that may be asked on the job application form, such as your work experience, can easily be found on your CV. That’s why keeping your CV close by makes filling out the form even easier.
One more thing to do before you can get started: read. Read through the job description, the vacancy and the job application form. Ensure you know what the employer is looking for and what is being asked of you; that way, you have all the correct answers and documents to help you make a great first impression on the employer.
The structure of job application forms
As we mentioned before, not every job application form is the same. Some are long and thorough, while others are short and simple. However, it’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared. So, to make sure you won’t be surprised by any part of the job application form, we’ll give you the low down on the standard structure with these forms. That way, you’ll know exactly how to fill in any job application form.
The first thing you’ll be asked for on an application form is some basic personal information, such as your:
- Phone number;
- Email address;
- Date of birth.
You’ll need to add your educational background in the job application form the same as on your CV. Some employers will only ask for your university or college degree, where others want to know your whole education background. They want to know:
- The name of the school;
- Your starting date;
- The date you graduated;
- Your degree;
- Whether you received a diploma.
Probably the most important thing for employers is your previous work experience. Again, some employers will onlyask you to add the most relevant work experience, while others want you to add every work experience you’ve had. Sometimes employers will ask how many years of experience you have in the field or job you’re applying for. They want you to add:
- The name of your employer;
- Where your work was located;
- The date you started;
- The date you finished;
- Some responsibilities you had at this job.
Often a job application form will just consist of personal information, educational background and work experience. Sometimes, however, employers want some more information. For example, if the job requires specific knowledge or if the company is looking for people with the same values as the company. Some questions you may come across on job application forms:
- What skills can you bring to this job?
- Give an example of a challenge you faced at work and how you overcame this.
- What is your most outstanding achievement?
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- Discuss a time when you did not meet a deadline and explain how you dealt with this.
Reasons for applying
Chances are, you’ve already added a personal statement to your CV. However, sometimes an employer also has a section for a personal statement on the job application form. Usually, they’ll give you a word limit to explain why you are applying and reasons you’d be a good fit for the job. Try not to copy and paste your personal statement, but come up with something original that will attract the employer’s attention.
Filling in a job application form online
Though some employers still use physical job application forms, most job applications happen online nowadays. This saves you a lot of time and effort, as you don’t need to go out and send your application physically, and instead can send your job application form, CV and cover letter to the employer in one simple click.
An online application is pretty much the same as a physical application form. Ensure a good internet connection and enough battery when starting the application to make sure everything goes smoothly. Save any necessary documents to PDF; this way, the layout can’t change upon opening.
10 tips for filling out job application forms
Hopefully, you’ll have a clearer image of how to fill in a job application form by now. Here at 10 final tips to help you land the job:
- Check, check, double-check. Check your application for spelling and grammar, and make sure you’ve filled everything correctly.
- Use power verbs such as delivered and achieved.
- Answer the questions asked, don’t be vague.
- Keep it clear and concise, don’t waffle on.
- Show your enthusiasm for the job.
- Use examples to strengthen your argument.
- Use descriptive language.
- Research the job and the company before you start filling in the job application form.
- Be truthful, don’t lie in your application.
- Read the vacancy and use words that are being used in the vacancy. For example, mention this if they mention they are looking for someone with a specific skill and you have that skill.
A job application form template
Curious to see what a job application form would look like? Take a look at this job application form template:
1. Application form
Application for [job title]
Education and training
Please give details:
Please give details:
Your current or most recent employer
Name of employer:
Length of time with employer:
Reason for leaving:
Please tell us about other jobs you have done and about the skills you used or learned in those jobs.
Please tell us why you applied for this job and why you think you are the best person for the job.
Interview arrangements and availability
If you have a disability, please tell us if we can make any reasonable adjustments to help you in your application or with our recruitment process.
Are there any dates when you will not be available for an interview?
When can you start working for us?
Right to work in the UK
Do you need a work permit to work in the UK? Yes / No
Please give the names and contact details of 2 people we can ask to provide you with a reference. We may ask them before an employment offer is made. We will not ask your current employer until we get your permission.
I confirm that the information I have provided on this form is correct to the best of my knowledge, and I accept that providing deliberately false information could result in my dismissal.