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How to write a successful Job Application form

Updated: Nov 15, 2020

What an application form is:

An application form is a form that the applicant completes, with personal details, when applying for a job.

Why would an employer use an application form?

From an application form, an employer can get an insight into all the applicants' skills and qualities just from the information that they provide in the application form.

What an applicant needs to know

For each job vacancy, there is a relevant application form. It requests all the information that the prospective employer needs to know about the applicants. The format of the application form will read the same and it will be laid out in the same way. This is so that the employer can compare the application forms fairly.

What is included on an application form?

An application form will usually ask the applicant to fill in the following:

Personal details - name, address, date of birth, nationality

Educational history - schools/universities attended, examination results, professional qualifications

Previous employment history - places worked, roles and responsibilities, how long in each place, reasons for leaving

Personal Statement - this allows the applicant to write a few paragraphs about themselves and their experiences. It is here that the applicant has an opportunity to 'sell themselves' by giving reasons and suitability for the job they are applying for.

Names of referees - often a recent employer and/or someone who knows the applicant (but is not family or a friend). The referee will be asked to write about the applicant's character and attitude to work.

Top tips:

1. Fill in the application form honestly and accurately

2. Complete all sections

3. Write clearly and in black ink (this is so that the form can be easily read, even when photocopied many times).

4. Before writing in the names of suitable referees, ask for their permission and if they would be happy to act as a referee - this is just good manners!

5. Sign and date the form in the appropriate places (the application form will be deemed null and void if this is not done).

6. CHECK - CHECK - CHECK the application form before it is submitted or posted or emailed to check all the details are correct and that there are no mistakes.

7. Make a copy of the application form for interview preparation for that job.

Increasingly businesses ask applicants to complete and submit applications online rather than post a paper copy.

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